Morning Prayers for Ascension Day, 21 May 2020
Jesus told his disciples, ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
While they were looking up in amazement two men dressed in white came alongside and told them, ‘This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’
Acts 1: 7–10
Jesus spent forty days with the disciples after his Resurrection
and then he returned to heaven.
Today is Ascension Day and this is significant for three main reasons.
First, it ended the earthly visible ministry of Jesus
and prepared the way for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit
to minister invisibly through the Church.
Second, the Ascension exalted Jesus to the right hand of the Father,
where he now reigns as Lord over the universe
and serves as the great high priest interceding on behalf of God’s people. (Hebrews 7: 24, 8: 2)
Third, the Ascension functions as a reminder
that Jesus will once again appear visibly from the heavens at His second coming. (Acts 1: 11)
The Hodder Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, although we cannot see you with our eyes,
we know that you are still with us as you promised.
Today, we join with all Christians in praising your Ascension.
We pray for the Church that you left to continue your work on earth.
Help us to remember that you are near and that you will never fail us.
Have mercy on those who are suffering from the coronavirus.
Give them strength and healing.
Please comfort those who are grieving the loss of families and friends;
surround with your protection all who are working
in hospitals, care homes and nursing homes to save lives.
Father, the apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem
until the Holy Spirit filled them.
Today, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit,
we ask you to inspire and give us courage to witness for you.
When did you last show or tell anyone what Jesus means to you?
Loving God, forgive us for lost opportunities
through our own half-hearted approach to witness for you.