Journey towards Pentecost
Reading: John 16. 29-33
Jesus answered them… ‘I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’
Jesus said many things to his disciples – and these things have been passed on to us. Which of Jesus’s words have offered me comfort? Which have challenged me? Which have brought me peace? …
Change can be frightening. People can become confused and suspicious of the motives of others and the reasons behind their decisions. At a time of major change there are doubts and uncertainties – some expressed, others hidden. This is a time for bravery: for facing the future in the knowledge that Jesus has indeed conquered the world and given us the Spirit to help us play our part in the building up of his Church. What part are you being called to play?
Pray for those who will have to make brave decisions over the coming months.
Pray for a generosity of spirit: for trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit:
deepen our faith in the One who created us,
confidence in the One who saved us
and fill our hearts with your peace.
Reading: John 17. 1-10
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
What does eternal life mean to me? How does the promise of eternal life influence how I live? Do I try to share that promise with other? How?
Eternal life is what we are promised at our baptism. In the constant routine or struggle of our day-to-day lives it is easy to forget our destiny. In times of change we can also lose sight of our ultimate goal and focus solely on the here and now. How can we retain a sense of vision: seeing beyond what may seem confusing or problematic? How can we help others to set things in a greater context?
Pray for your community and its sense of vision.
Pray for an increased awareness of your eternal destiny and that of others.
Come, Holy Spirit,
and renew our vision:
remind us of the great promise made to us in baptism –
the promise of eternal life.
Reading: John 16.23-28
‘On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.’
Praying in Jesus’ name – what does this mean? When Peter prayed in the name of Jesus, folk were healed – the dead were raised… How has God used my prayer? Was it as I expected – or surprising – or confusing… but ultimately the ‘right’ answer?
Prayer is powerful – but when we pray we often can’t see ‘the big picture’. How do you cope with this? How easy is it for you to ‘let go and let God’?
Pray for those who have had to try to take the big picture into account, and are concerned about how their decisions will be received.
Come, Holy Spirit:
Fill the hearts of your faithful.
Bless those charged with discernment about major decisions.
Grant them insight and wisdom
And a deep love of the people entrusted to them.
Reading: John 16. 21-23
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.’
How does this image of a woman giving birth speak to me? Have I experienced or witnessed a birth – and do I agree with Jesus? How can I help to support people through the process of ‘birth’: easing their pain and encouraging them through what may be a difficult time?
This may not be the most comfortable Gospel reading to begin our devotion with – but speaking about birth gives us hope.
Like a woman wondering or worrying how she will cope with a difficult labour, some people feel apprehension about the future. Others feel more excited at the prospect of new possibilities, and see great opportunity beyond any initial pain. How do you feel about the prospect and process of ‘birth’?
Pray for those for whom the future looks worrying – even terrifying. Pray for their consolation and comfort.
Come, Holy Spirit,
to all who are preparing to give birth to new ideas
and ways of being.
Give comfort to those who are apprehensive,
confidence to those preparing for change
and trust in your guidance.