Evening Prayer Thursday, 13 May 2021 Ascension Day
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
Jesus Taken up into Heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
6 Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
7 He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.’
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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: 1–11 NIV®
Dear Lord, we give you humble thanks that your Son and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
is alive and reigns with you, while also being with and within every one of his children,
suffering with us through all our troubles, and supporting us with his grace,
so that we may continue to love him and follow him wherever he leads us.
May we learn to understand that the clouds that hide Jesus from our sight are often within us,
and we pray for a clarity of inner vision to see you in our hearts.
Help us, we pray, to be sensitive the needs of those about us,
and to have the determination as your agents to do all we can
to meet their needs and relieve their suffering.
Help us to look for Jesus where he is to be found, in the suffering of his world,
and not in any special holy place of our making,
or somewhere that is as remote and far up above us.
Although we have a real need to find a special place where we can set aside all distractions
and pay attention to what Jesus is telling us,
may we also listen out for the still, small voice that may call to us at any time, in any situation.
At this time we rejoice and give you thanks,
that we are beginning to return to a more normal way of living,
of worshipping together in person, and of spending time with our families and friends.
May we be always ready to show your hospitality to all those whom we encounter each day.
We continue to pray for all who are suffering at this time,
whether because of the pandemic or for any other reason.
We bring before you all those families who find it difficult to hold together,
because of unsatisfactory accommodation, lack of food, lack of meaningful work,
or because of breakdowns in relationships.
Finally, we pray for ourselves. As we prepare for another night of rest,
we pray that you will grant us your peace, to calm our troubled minds
and give us the blessed gift of restful and refreshing sleep,
so that we are ready in the morning to face whatever befalls us,
ready to do your bidding and to help your Kingdom come to those about us.
We ask all these prayers in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.