Written by: Rachael Keefe

Pastoral Prayer for Pentecost

God whose very breath gives us life, allow your Spirit to blow freely through this place. May we feel your mighty winds clearing away our disbelief, our reluctance, and our ambivalence leaving …

Pastoral Prayer for Pentecost

2013-05-19 12.56.28God whose very breath gives us life, allow your Spirit to blow freely through this place. May we feel your mighty winds clearing away our disbelief, our reluctance, and our ambivalence leaving only the full knowledge that we are yours. We rejoice to be part of your amazing creation. May the winds and flames of Pentecost remind us of all that you
created us to be.

When your people wandered in the desert, you longed for a time when all your people would be prophets. Put your Spirit on us, this day! We want to be your voice in the world. In the face of violence, let us speak words of peace – no longer ignoring senseless shootings, murders, domestic violence, rape, and all the other forms of violence that make us want to turn away. When we see nation rise against nation, let us proclaim a still more excellent way in Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Africa, and every place in this world where there is war and the threat of war.

Even as we ask for words, we also ask for the courage to listen to voices of those who are often silenced. Let us be companions to the lonely and forgotten. Open to us the way of compassion and kindness to those most in need – the refugees and immigrants who come in need of sanctuary and new beginnings… those who are hungry and homeless without hope… those who struggle with symptoms of illness in body, mind, or spirit… those who discomfort us or face the world with anger…

Patient and ever-loving God, we know that all the broken and bruised places in this world and in our lives is not what you desire for us. You remind us that we are one in Christ. Moreover, we are called to see Christ in our neighbors as well as ourselves. The labels we apply to each other are meaningless in your sight. You do not see us as black or white or red or yellow or brown or male or female or transgender or gay or straight or liberal or conservative or sick or well or poor or rich anything else; you see us as each your beloved child. Stir your Spirit among us and within us until we are no longer content in our pews. Guide us to new understanding of what it means to be the body of Christ here and now. Free us from all fears and anxieties that prevent us from living the Good News loud enough
for all who pass by to want to join in your joy. Let our hearts pour forth living water into this thirsty world.

Holy God whose strength and wonder we cannot begin to image, may we breathe deeply of your Spirit. As we celebrate the beginnings of your Church, open us to all that is beginning to grow in us and around us. We would like to lay our burdens at your feet, but we cling to them because we can’t imagine ourselves without them. Set our heads and our hearts on fire that we may be so bold as to trust you with our whole selves, making it possible for
greater trust among our neighbors. We would be the people you called and created us to be. Breathe on us anew this day.

In gratitude for the grace you have given to us, we pray. May our
meditation be pleasing to you, for we do, indeed, rejoice in you! Let your
mighty winds rush through us as we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

RCL – Year A – Pentecost – June 8, 2014
Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:34-39

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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

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