9 Days of Prayer

If there’s ever a moment when we all could use the light and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, it’s now. While we wait till we can be fully together again for Sunday worship, this is a way we can join our hearts in prayer, as those first disciples did, and wait in hope to receive the Comforter, the Spirit of Jesus.

Feast of the Ascension

As the Risen Christ prepared to leave his work in the hands of his followers, he instructed them to gather in the upper room and devote themselves to prayer as they awaited his sending of the Holy Spirit. The nine days between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost is often considered to be the first novena.Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church, the day when that first community of believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit and sent out to tell the world about the Risen Christ. The storm of the present pandemic is inviting all of us, whether we like it or not, to rethink how we live in this world. It’s also beckoning us to reimagine ourselves as Church, as that community of baptized believers who are sent to recreate the world.And so, let us join those first disciples in these nine days of prayer, a way for us to be together even while we are separated by space, to ask God to make us ready to receive the Spirit and follow unafraid where that Holy Breath of God might take us.

 

 

 

LITANY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

 

 

 

Friday – Day One:

WE PRAY FOR CHARITY

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may teach you to give and receive the selfless love that is charity, that you may learn to love as Jesus our Brother showed us by his example.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

WHERE LOVE IS FOUND

Christian charity is not just a loving attitude, a feeling that comes and goes with the moment. But rather, it is a choice, an act of the will, whereby we decide to show others care and reverence. We treat them as our closest kin because in reality we are all the beloved sons and daughters of God.

 

 

Saturday – Day Two:

WE PRAY FOR JOY

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may bless you with that deep and quiet joy that’s been promised us by Jesus, a joy that grounds your life through challenging times.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

O GOD, BE THE MUSIC

Our joy as disciples of Jesus is grounded not on the circumstances of our lives, but rather on the reality that we are the beloved of God. Jesus of Nazareth promised that he would never leave his followers alone. He would breathe his own Spirit into each of us so that he would always be as close to us as we are to the very breath that sustains us.

 

 

Sunday – Day Three:

WE PRAY FOR PEACE

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may ground your heart in peace, that you may know the peace that only God can give so that you might inspire peace to your own corner of the world.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

LITANY OF PEACE

The peace we pray for today is not about the absence of turmoil or anxiety. It is truly that peace that the world cannot give, and it comes from knowing deep in our heart of hearts that our God is always with us. It comes from our being grounded in a faith that we may not always understand, yet a faith that dares to make the journey with the Spirit of Jesus as our constant companion.

 

 

 

Monday – Day Four:

WE PRAY FOR PATIENCE

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may teach you to bless you with an abundance of patience, with a heart that is slow to judge and quick to grant forgiveness.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

IN GOD’S PERFECT TIME

Learning to love others as Christ showed us is no easy task. Sometimes it’s very hard to see the goodness and beauty in them that might allow us to respond. And we get discouraged that we don’t do better. Perhaps patience is mostly about just hanging in there, enduring, and maybe even embracing life’s hurt and our human brokenness.

 

Tuesday – Day Five:

WE PRAY FOR KINDNESS

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may teach you how to place yourself in another’s shoes, to understand their hearts so that you may respond to them with kindness and compassion.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

HOW CAN I REPAY

 

Some people just seem better equipped temperamentally to be kind. But we can work at it too. Kindness is at work in us when we’re able to see behind people’s behavior and empathize with their struggles. It takes a willingness to step out of our own shoes and into those of another. When we see those true acts of undeserved kindness, it takes our breath away.

 

 

 

Wednesday – Day Six:

WE PRAY FOR GOODNESS

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may open your eyes to the goodness and beauty which surrounds you at every turn so that you may show some small bit of that goodness which gives hope to others.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

SO THE LORD IS TO ME

True goodness reflects the character of God and allows us, especially at times like these, to be comforted and find hope. Even at times like these, maybe especially at times like these, we still see so much goodness. When we look for it, there is still goodness all around us despite this virus that seems to threaten all that we know and love.

 

 

 

Thursday – Day Seven:

WE PRAY FOR FAITHFULNESS

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may help you grow in the virtue of faithfulness, to stand firm in your desire for God and not be swayed by the winds of time or become discouraged.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

I FOUND THE TREASURE It seems to me that a truly faithful person is one who stands firmly in God’s corner and isn’t swayed by the winds of time. To be faithful requires a certain degree of detachment because sometimes we’re asked to give up our own plans, our own security, to follow faithfully on the path where God leads.

 

Friday – Day Eight:

WE PRAY FOR GENTLENESS

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit may inspire you with a gentleness that is not meek, but rather that gentleness which can hold the suffering heart of another with tenderness and compassion.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

SEND US YOUR SPIRIT

I suspect that gentleness is often considered to be a form of weakness. But true gentleness is profoundly courageous. It’s the kind that can hold the suffering heart of another with tenderness and compassion and stands contrary to many of society’s values. In the gospels we see Jesus over and over again treat people with an extraordinary gentleness.

 

Saturday – Day Nine:

WE PRAY FOR SELF-CONTROL

Four suggested steps:

  • Place yourself in the presence of God.

    • Close your eyes. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine that you are enveloped by the unconditional love of God.

  • Ask for the grace you desire today.

    • Pray that the Holy Spirit teach you that kind of sober self-control that will allow you to understand that true holiness is a gift from God, that true temperance is a quality growing in us over time.

  • Spend time in prayer and with the song.

    • Pray as you feel drawn, either sitting in silence or listening to the song. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Distractions are normal for all of us. God smiles on our small efforts without judgement or shame.

  • Pray in gratitude.

    • In your own words, express a simple prayer of thanks to God.

 

 

ALL FOR YOUR GLORY

The discipline that we pray for today is one which understands that all goodness comes from God. Any holiness that we might achieve is the result of God’s work in us. Without God we are powerless. But with God there is the plentiful grace that will allow us to become the best of who we were created to be.