PENTECOST BEGINS AT SUNDOWN TONIGHT!
(June 8, 2019)
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “We rejoice…” As you exhale, whisper, “…in You, Holy Spirit!”
When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites;
Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene;
Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes;
Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!” (Acts 2:1-11, MESSAGE)
A Prayer for Pentecost
Heavenly Father, we thank You for saving us. Thank You for sending The Holy Spirit to guide, teach and comfort us. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for empowering us to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. We praise You, Lord; and we bless Your Holy Name forever and ever.
Holy Spirit, we thank You for being God’s Representative in the earth. The Producer of the Fruit of the Spirit and our Advocate. We love You, Holy Spirit, and thank You for working through us to perform miracles so that people will experience The Kingdom of God.
Holy Spirit, continue to fill us with Your power and help us to share The Kingdom in this dark world. Show us those areas in our personal lives that we need to get in order so that we will not bring You sorrow by the way we live.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for all acts of sinfulness. Forgive those of us for not completely yielding control of our lives to The Holy Spirit. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that You have committed). Holy Spirit, remind our caregivers of all those they need to forgive and help them to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.
Almighty God, You are the God of gods and Lord of lords. You are the great God, the mighty and awesome God who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. You alone are worthy of praise because You alone perform such great miracles. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Concepts to Consider:
This evening at sundown the celebration of Pentecost, Shavuot [shah-voo-OAT] or the Feast of Weeks begins! We will gather as a church family at 6pm to worship and rejoice! (The name “pentekosta” in Greek means “50,” and we’ve just finished counting down the 50 days between Passover and today. Likewise, the Hebrew word “Shavuot” means “seven weeks.” )
It’s what we’ve been counting down to all this time: HOLY SPIRIT RE-LAUNCH! What have you been praying, hoping, and preparing for over these last seven weeks?
From Joel 2 we read,
“I will pour out My Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters. Your old men will dream, your young men will see visions. I’ll even pour out My Spirit on the servants, men and women both. I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below: Blood and fire and billowing smoke,
the sun turning black and the moon blood-red,
Before the Judgment Day of God,
the Day tremendous and awesome.
Whoever calls, ‘Help, God!’
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be a great rescue—just as God said.
Included in the survivors
are those that God calls.”
The Apostle Peter used this text (Acts 2:14-42) to announce to the Jewish and Gentile-Jewish converts (aka proselytes) assembled for Pentecost in Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14–17)—that the long-promised universal outpouring of the Spirit of God had arrived as predicted by the prophet Joel! That now the reign of God has begun in Christ Jesus, and that now God has assembled and sealed–by the supernatural appearing of His Spirit—a group of people made up of every tribe, nation, language, and tongue (the church/ekklesia) to aid in the spread of this Good News about God’s salvation for all the world! Hallelujah!
Shavuot is also a time to remember God’s giving of the Torah—His Word–to His people on Mt. Sinai. The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us that because of the work of Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit God desires to “put [His] Torah in [our] minds and write it on [our] hearts; I will be [your] God, and [you] will be my people.” (Hebrews 8:10 CJB) The Torah is no longer merely a written document, but it is one that has power and fulfillment in Jesus Christ and in the life of the church. Lastly, Shavuot is a time to remember and be thankful for God’s provision, as the agricultural background for this holiday was the first harvest of wheat in the land of Israel. It is, therefore, also known as (a second) “First Fruits” (Leviticus 23:16). (Remember, there is an earlier “first fruits” celebrated as part of Passover—the first barley harvest.)
Spend some time reviewing all the things that you have brought before the Lord as you prepared for Pentecost. If you would find it meaningful, please bring one of your completed “My Holy Spirit Re-Launch Expectation and Reflections” pages (found at the back of this guide) to the Pentecost celebration service at 6pm and leave it on the altar as a sign of faith, hope, and praise.
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.