A prayer for the Day of Pentecost.

God.

Most of the time that we turn to you and start talking, we know what we want. We’re not shy about wanting to you fix things, to solve pain, to bring blessing. We know exactly what you should do.

That first day of Pentecost the Apostles were in a room together, talking with you, honoring you, expecting you. But I don’t know whether they knew what they wanted you to do, what they wanted you to fix, the pain they wanted you to solve.

I think they were waiting for you. Ready to go when you said, ready to do what you said, ready for you.

They were aware that you were telling a massive story that they were part of. They were aware that the story was going to be hard before it was easy. But they were missing a piece. They were missing you.

God, I’m not sure we’re ready for you.

I keep thinking about Nehemiah right now.

Nehemiah was doing fine, working hard, following you.

And then he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken and the gates were burned and no one was getting the work done.

And he wept and fasted and prayed.

Every day for four months he said to you:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.

I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.”

And then he said,

“Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.”

It is my prayer, too. All of it.

For this place, for this city, for this world.

We have sinned. For a long time. We confess. We wait for your Spirit.

Amen.

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