The following prayer with responses contains echoes and borrowings from hymns in Singing the Faith and elsewhere.

The prayer is adapted from A Pentecost Great Thanksgiving published elswhere on this site. It is in sections - you may wish to use all or only parts.

As well as referring to the Pentecost story told in Acts 2: 1-21, the prayer draws upon a number of hymns by contemporary writers. Some of these might be sung or played at other points during your service:

At the table of the world (Brian Wren, Bring Many Names © Hope Publishing 1989)
Crashing waters at creation (Sylvia Dunstan, StF 376)
Like the murmur of the dove’s song (Carl Daw, StF 389)
She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters (John Bell / Graham Maule, StF 393)
Spirit of the living God (Michael Baughen, Church Hymnary 4 #620 and elsewhere)

Prayer with responses

God’s Spirit is approaching
Through time, across continents, soaring over creation
God’s Spirit is speaking
Whispering and comforting, roaring and challenging
God’s Spirit surrounds us
Beyond touch, warmly embracing
God’s Spirit transforms us
Making our horizons wider
our faith stronger
our hopes possible

Creator God,*
like a bird you hovered over the chaos of the world’s first day,
drawing life from crashing waves
and making a world of possibility.
You hovered still over parting waters,
liberating an enslaved people,
guiding them forward with cloud and fire,
nurturing your followers and sharing your love.

Like a still, small voice
you made your presence felt to
prophets and healers,
to a people in exile,
and young mothers-to-be.
In the life of Jesus
your healing touch was felt
and all were made welcome.

Like flickering embers dancing into flame,
you revived those who looked for you,
inspiring their speech and startling onlookers.
Undeterred by death, you delivered
creative power,
transforming determination
and your eternal, supporting presence.

And your Spirit nurtures us still,
a gathered people at Pentecost,
moved to celebrate, free to be ourselves,
glad to meet God and open ourselves to the world around us.

Spirit of the living God
move among us,
as you transform us into the people you invite us to be,
as you transform the world into the place you dream it to be.
Make us one in love,
humble, caring,
selfless, sharing.

Blow among us, Spirit of God,
fill us with your courage and care.
Hurricane and Breath,
take us on a journey of love!


*Section beginning “Creator God…”. This section of the prayer records the work of the Holy Spirit through history. Following John Bell and Graham Maule’s hymn “She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters” (StF 393), you may wish to re-phrase this section as a story, using the feminine reference to the Spirit. E.g.

Let us hear the story of the Spirit.

Like a bird she hovered over the chaos of the world’s first day,
drawing life from crashing waves…

Like a still, small voice
she made God’s presence felt… etc.