At the Ministry of the Wild Goose, we are once again preparing for an evening of prayer for the Pentecost Vigil. Some parishes, groups and individuals have asked for some possible guidelines for what the evening might look like. The possibilities are endless!
Over the years I have heard so many wonderful stories about how God has blessed the Pentecost Vigil gatherings and I continue to be excited about what he will do again this year. It would be impossible to provide a type of structure what would fit everyone’s needs. What I have is some basic elements that I think are important for the Pentecost Vigil Gathering. That way you are able to use what fits best for your group.
This may be a curveball but sharing a meal together is always such a blessing. Consider beginning the evening with a time of fellowship and a meal.
Choose a place that will be conducive for prayers and encountering the Lord. In Acts 1:4 Jesus instructed to gather and to stay in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father.” Find some place where you can gather that will facilitate a time of prayer.
Some type of music with worship is a great way to prepare our heart. If you don’t have a musician and would like to have some resources for music check out The Vigil Project.
The Word of God has power. Have some part of your evening listening to the Word of God, perhaps reading Acts 2:1-24
It’s often good to have a short teaching that helps with our understanding and our encounter with the Holy Spirit. A teaching or exhortation is a great way to open our heart to God and continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Consider watching a segment of The Wild Goose Series. Segment 2 - The Breath of God or segment 3 - Baptism in the Holy Spirit would both be fitting.
Working with the Holy Spirit - For the groups who might want something new or different this year I filmed a short teaching, about fifteen minutes, while I was in the Holy Land that you may want to use. It was blessed to be able to film the teaching while in the Upper Room. Amazing, right! It is a teaching about how we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Witness – Consider having someone in your group share a witness of what God has done in his or her life within the last year. Jesus reminds us that when we receive the Holy Spirit that we receive the power to give witness to Jesus.
Prayer for the Holy Spirit
Always take the opportunity to pray for more of the Holy Spirit.
Take a few minutes and pray that everyone be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Encourage your participants to be in a prayerful disposition of surrender, receptivity, and openness.
Lead a prayer for the Holy Spirit to fill them.
Very simply, take a few minutes and invite all present to ask God to send his Spirit that all may be filled with the Lord’s grace once again.
Feel free to invite them, as a sign of receptivity to open their hands in front of them.
Invite them to repeat a prayer of commit to Jesus and asking that they be filled, baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Remind everyone that we are also conduits of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can flow through us to bless others.
Invite them to place their hand on the person to one side of them. Explain that they do not know what the person needs, but the Holy Spirit does. Invite them to pray a prayer either silently or out loud for the person.
Be specific – while you are praying be specific about what you are asking for.
Pray for God’s love, hope, peace, freedom, forgiveness to name just a few. Be open to what God is placing on the Communities heart. Pray for what God leads you to pray for.
Pray for healing. God will do great things if we ask him to.
Perhaps close with a few minutes of Thanksgiving for the many blessings that God has done.
Depending on your timing consider having a time for fellowship and some refreshments. This is a wonderful opportunity to share with others how God has been present to you.