Ascension Day Prayer
This Ascension Day Prayer helps us bring ourselves and the questions we have about the timing and direction of our lives to Jesus. Ascension Day is the church commemoration of the events recorded in the first chapter of Acts. After Jesus died, was crucified and arose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and many others on earth. However a time soon came when the disciples witnessed Jesus being taken up into heaven where he now reigns until he comes again during the final judgment.
Dear Jesus, Today we marvel anew at who you are. We thank you that you came in human form and lived on earth just as we live, yet you didn’t sin and you always did what your Heavenly Father desired. We have celebrated Easter and your resurrection from the dead and the time you spent on earth appearing to your disciples afterwards.
Today we contemplate the fearful and wonderful event of your ascension into heaven when you left the earth by being taken up into a cloud while the disciples watched. As human beings, we feel great sorrow that you departed the earth and no longer walk and talk with us in human form. Sometimes we yearn and ache to actually touch you, or to ask you a question and hear an answer with our ears or to see your face with our eyes. Yet we are also eternally grateful that you are in heaven, seated on the throne, holding together everything here on earth and continually interceding with the Father on our behalf and fulfilling your promises to us.
Your ascension brings to mind many things we have yet to understand.
We want to know the times and dates of when you will come back and when things will happen in our lives. And yet you told us as you were about to leave that these sorts of things are not for us to know, but are all up to God who has a perfect plan. Help us to put our timetables of life into your hands, knowing that you will bring them to completion when the time is right.
We want to know why loved ones departed this earth before any of us felt ready. We want to know why you have left your great work on earth up to people like us who often fail and who are prone to inaction, doubt and fear.
We wish we knew when you would return to the earth and when sin and death and decay and evil will finally be defeated to end the suffering we see all around us.
Today on Ascension Day, help us to follow the example of the disciples in Acts 1:14 who, after seeing Jesus leave this earth, returned to Jerusalem and “joined together constantly in prayer.” Today may we all voice our prayers to you about the need of your presence in our lives and in our world and our great need for your direction, strength and help. May we receive the empowering promise of your Holy Spirit so we may be your witnesses in our own families and communities and all over the earth. We pray in the name of Jesus, our Ascended Lord. Amen.
So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them, “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.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand 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 :6 -11 NIV)
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Copyright Karen Barber 2012 All rights reserved.