Thursday, 17 May 2018

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ (7):
Help, Luke 2: 8, 13-18, 20

Patrick Comerford

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is an invitation to pray with Christians around the world during the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost, using art and scripture.

‘Changed Lives → Changing Lives’ is the guiding theme this year as people are invited to pray afresh for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

In doing so, people are joining thousands of others around the world as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ – an initiative encouraging people to explore through prayer how they might courageously witness to God’s life-changing work.

As the Apostles prayed together following Christ’s Ascension, waiting for the Holy Spirit to come at Pentecost, we too are invited to wait and pray today. They prayed in obedience, trusting that the way ahead would be revealed. May we, like the disciples, pray anticipating that the Spirit will show us new ways of living and loving. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ asks that we may we be open to where God leads us, to be the change God wants to see in the world – whatever that might require.

As God is at work in us, he is also at work through us changing the lives of others. Please join with us as we pray together: ‘Come Holy Spirit: thy kingdom come’ and may our waiting and praying this Novena open our hearts afresh to God’s possibilities.

The ‘Pocket Prayers’ for 2018 for these nine days invite readers each day to:

LOOK at images and meet the characters caught up in life-changing moments, where the future is shaped by their encounter with God. They suggest letting those images reveal new possibilities for God’s Word to transform us and others.

WAIT prayerfully for the Holy Spirit. Pause, creating a space into which God can speak.

READ the Bible text, allow it to enliven your heart, stir your soul and spark your imagination.

LISTEN for insight through idea or image, through recollection or curiosity. Let that Word dwell within you, as you listen for yourself and your community.

RESPOND to the prompting of the Word, with an action that leads to life-giving change. Let the words of the collect gather up and bless these moments of prayerful waiting upon God, so his Kingdom might be seen more fully in you.

Thursday 17 May: Adore

LOOK … and be curious.

WAIT … with prayerful expectation.

Come Holy Spirit: Thy Kingdom Come.

READ … the text with an open mind.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night … And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’ The shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them … The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2: 8, 13-18, 20 abbreviated)

LISTEN … for a word with a willing heart.

RESPOND … with prayer and action. Oh revealing God, as we stand transfixed in an unexpected place, crumpled and surprised to find ourselves here, invited, yet uncertain on the threshold, help us to recognise our gorgeous Lord Jesus. Drawn in, may we kneel in wonder. May we go away changed. May we draw others to the stable too.

Amen.

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