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Prayer for the Week – 18th May 2024

Prayer for the Week – 18th May 2024
May 18, 2024 Bronwen


Acts 2:1-13

Every year Jerusalem was thronged with people, singing, dancing, worshipping in the Temple, celebrating the Festival of Weeks (Festival of Pentecost, in Greek), which originally was to celebrate the first harvest of the year and to ask God’s blessing, but later it became more of a celebration of God’s gift of the Law to the people, so the city would have been thronged!


The apostles were together, sitting in a house in Jerusalem. I wonder why they were there: were they trying to make sense of all that had happened? Were they talking about Jesus’ resurrection appearances? Were they lamenting that they would not see Jesus again? They were very brave to have stayed in the city where Jesus had been put to death and where they would have been recognised as Jesus’ followers, but Jesus had told them not to leave the city. Were they in hiding, waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to enable them to carry on the work that Jesus had begun? They were expecting this gift, but would they have had any idea as to how this gift would be given?


‘Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.’(V:2,3)

The apostles did not seem to be surprised – the wind didn’t scare them, the flames didn’t panic them and even when they began to speak to the crowd they were not intimidated. They realised that this was the gift of the Holy Spirit that had been promised to them. The inference is that only the apostles received the Holy Spirit, but we know, from the previous chapter. that the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, joined them in constant prayer and they were all together in that place.

This was a very dramatic deliverance of the Holy Spirit, but another name for the Holy Spirit is ‘the Comforter’, a gift that can also come gently. Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit at his baptism:

‘ As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.’ (Matthew 3:16) 

The Holy Spirit enables us to do Christ’s work on earth, perhaps not in a dramatic way, but it is what motivates and enables us to spread hope, love and peace and it is ours for the asking.

Hymn:StF 389  Like the murmur of the dove’s song


Spirit of God, you breathe life into our lives; we ask you to inspire us and excite us to spread your word, just as the apostles did on that first Pentecost. Fill us with your love and help us to speak in a way that people can understand. May the wind of the Spirit, freshen us and awaken us to the challenges of today.

Come Holy Spirit, come. Amen


Ruth Parrott – CoChair North

Photo: by Gary Ellis on Unsplash