May 18, 2017

Pastoral Prayer for Ascension

Here’s a pastoral prayer for Ascension from Rev Bryce Calder on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

Ascension Day Prayer
(inspired by the events in Acts 1:6-11)

Almighty God,
We come today reminded of your greatness and glory,
your sovereign power and eternal purpose
all expressed so wonderfully in Jesus Christ, our Lord:

Risen and Ascended.
 We thank you for the wonder of Ascension,
 that marvellous yet mysterious moment
 in the life of the Apostles
 which left them gazing heavenwards in confusion
 yet departing in joy.
 We thank you for the way that it brought the earthly ministry of Jesus
 to a fitting conclusion;
 signifying his oneness with you,
 and demonstrating your final seal of approval
 on all that he had done.
 We thank you that through his Ascension
 Jesus is now set free to be Lord of all:
 no longer bound to a particular place or time,
 but with us always - able to reach even to the ends of the earth.
 We thank you that through his departing
 Jesus prepared for his coming again:
 through his Spirit,
 his Church,
 and his coming again in glory.

Gracious God,
 Forgive us for so often failing
 to grasp the wonder of Ascension,
 for living each day as though it had never been.
 Forgive the smallness of our vision,
 the narrowness of our outlook,
 the weakness of our love,
 the nervousness of our witness,
 our repeated failure to recognize
 the fullness of your revelation in Christ.
 Give us a deeper sense of wonder,
 a stronger faith,
 and a greater understanding of all you have done.

Father God,
Like the Apostles,
 we too will never fully understand
 all Ascension means.
 We accept, but we do not fully understand.
 We believe, yet we have many questions.
 Help us, despite our uncertainty,
 to hold firm to the great truth
 that the wonder of Christ Jesus goes far beyond
 anything we can ever imagine,
 and in that faith may we live each day
 to his glory and honour: Amen.

~ written by Rev Bryce Calder, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday (now Weekly Worship) website.  http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/5981/starters_05_06_11.pdf