Praying for a New Pentecost
Bible Prayers for the Coming of the Holy Spirit
In 1897 Pope Leo XIII was inspired to call every Catholic Church in the world to pray nine days for the coming of the Spirit. We pray this novena from the day after the feast of the Ascension to the day before Pentecost each year. Pope John Paul II has reiterated Pope Leo's call to pray for the coming of the Spirit.
I prayed this novena in 1975, and it was one of the greatest events in my life. The Spirit was stirred up in me (see 2 Tm 1:6-7), my Confirmation was renewed, and I was filled with the Holy Spirit. In thanksgiving to the Spirit, I have compiled these Bible-based prayers for a new Pentecost. If we pray these prayers sincerely (see Lk 11:13), we will see the Spirit do more than we have ever asked for or imagined (Eph 3:20).
THIRSTING FOR THE SPIRIT
Father, I repent of stifling the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19) by giving in to selfish desires. May I let the Spirit lust against the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:17) so that I thirst much more strongly for the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:37).
RENEWING OUR CONFIRMATIONS
Father, stir into flame the gift bestowed when hands were laid on me (2 Tm 1:6).
LIFE-STYLE IN THE SPIRIT
Father, by the power of the Spirit, may I devote myself "to the apostles' instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42).
WITNESSING FOR JESUS
Jesus, the Holy Spirit bears witness on Your behalf. May I bear witness as well (Jn 15:26-27) right where I am and even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
PRAYER FOR FIRE-PURIFICATION
Father, purify me by baptizing me "in the Holy Spirit and in fire" (Lk 3:16). Holy Spirit, convict me of my sins and compromises with the world (Jn 16:8).
ONLY BY THE SPIRIT
Father, without the Spirit I cannot please You (Rm 8:8-9). Not by my might or power but only by the Spirit can I live for You (Zec 4:6). Come, Holy Spirit!
"RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH"
Lord, as the Spirit moved over the waters on the day of creation (see Gn 1:1-2), breathe on me to receive the Spirit (Jn 20:22). Send forth the Spirit and renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30).
"CRUCIFIED TO THE WORLD"
Holy Spirit, take me in prayer to the foot of Jesus' cross. Reveal to me how I shared in crucifying Jesus through my sins. Crucify me to the ways of the world and the world to me (Gal 6:14). Crucify my flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24). (This prayer is based on Pope John Paul II's encyclical on the Holy Spirit.)
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Holy Spirit, through Your gifts produce Your fruit in my life. Give me "love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity" (Gal 5:22-23).
PRAYER TO BE TAUGHT EVERYTHING
Father, send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, to instruct me in everything and remind me of all that Jesus told us (Jn 14:26).
Spirit of Truth, make me true and faithful in all my relationships — in family, church, and work (Jn 16:13). Be the Source of unity in my life (Eph 4:3).
PRAYER TO BE A NEW PERSON
Father, may the Spirit of the Lord rush upon me and change me into another person (1 Sm 10:6).
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND MARY
Jesus, thank You for giving Mary to me as my mother (Jn 19:27). Mary, spouse of the Spirit (Lk 1:35), as you prayed in the upper room for the first Pentecost, pray for me now (Acts 1:14). "Let it be done to me" according to God's word (Lk 1:38).
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
The Bible contains several lists of gifts given by the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 11:2-3 — RENEWAL GIFTS
6. Fear of the Lord
Romans 12:6-8 — UNITY GIFTS
11. Exhortation (Encouragement)
1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; 13:1-3 — UNITY AND GROWTH GIFTS
17. Discernment of Spirits
18. Tongues (Praise)
19. Interpretation of Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues
23. Redemptive Suffering (Martyrdom) —Acts 7:6
Ephesians 4:11 — GIFTS TO EQUIP FOR SERVICE
24. Evangelists (Preachers)
25. Pastor-Teachers (Shepherds)
26. Deliverance —Acts 19:15
27. Celibacy —Mt 19:11; 1 Cor 7:1
28. Gospel poverty —Mk 10:21
29. Intercession —1 Tm 5:5
30. Hospitality —1 Tm 3:2
Father, I ask to be freed from doubt and to be strong in faith (Jas 1:5-6). Then I ask You for wisdom to apply Your revelation to my everyday life.
Father, spare me and have mercy on me by making me "an understanding person" (Is 27:11).
Father, give me counsel to evangelize my city and to stop abortion, pornography, sexual perversion, racism, and starvation. Give me counsel to change our culture of death into a civilization of love.
Father, make me grow strong in my "holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20). May I not be timid but strong, loving, and wise (2 Tm 1:7).
Father, may the earth "be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea" (Is 11:9).
6. FEAR OF THE LORD (PIETY)
Father, let "a reverent fear" overtake me (Acts 2:43) and may I "make steady progress in the fear of the Lord" (Acts 9:31).
Father, may I seek prophecy above all the other gifts (1 Cor 14:1) so as to breathe new life into the dry bones of the Church (Ez 37:4).
Father, give me confident assurance concerning what I hope for, and conviction about things I do not see (Heb 11:1).
Jesus, I will follow in Your footsteps by washing others' feet (see Jn 13:14).
Father, raise up teachers who are zealous, orthodox, and evangelistic.
11. EXHORTATION (ENCOURAGEMENT)
"God, the Source of all patience and encouragement," enable me "to live in perfect harmony" and to derive hope from "the words of encouragement in the Scriptures" (Rm 15:4-5).
Father, You love me so much that You gave Your Son to die on the cross for me (Jn 3:16). I give all to You.
Father, may I accept the gift of leadership, even if I don't want it.
Father, may mercy triumph over judgment in my life (Jas 2:13).
1 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10, 28-30; 13:1-3
Father, may I use to the fullest my authority over "disease of every kind" (Mt 10:1).
Father, "grant to Your servants, even as they speak Your words, complete assurance by stretching forth Your hand in cures and signs and wonders to be worked in the name of Jesus, Your Holy Servant" (Acts 4:30).
17. DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS
Father, raise up Christians to discern the spirits behind prophecies, world events, trends, and TV programs.
18. TONGUES (PRAISE)
Father, may all be "filled with the Holy Spirit, and "express themselves in foreign tongues" (Acts 2:4).
19. INTERPRETING TONGUES
Father, may I seek the gift of interpretation of tongues by praying with people who speak in tongues, even if I find this uncomfortable or inconvenient.
Father, raise up hundreds of lay apostles in all the countries of the world.
Jesus, give me Your heart for the leaders of the Church so I will help them in any way I can.
Father, raise up faithful administrators of Your mysteries (1 Cor 4:1-2).
23. REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING (MARTYRDOM)
Jesus, teach me how to share in Your sufferings by being formed into the pattern of Your death (Phil 3:10).
24. EVANGELISTS (PREACHERS)
Jesus, may I want to share Your gospel more than I want to feel pleasure and avoid pain.
25. PASTOR-TEACHERS (SHEPHERDS)
Father, appoint over us shepherds after Your own heart who will shepherd us wisely and prudently (Jer 3:15).
PRAYERS FOR OTHER SPIRITUAL GIFTS
"St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle and be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. Rebuke him, O God...(Prayer of St. Michael).
Lord, Your love is greater than life, marriage, or sex (Ps 63:4).
28. GOSPEL POVERTY
Jesus, if You tell me to sell what I have and give to the poor, I will not walk away sad, but obey (Mk 10:21-22).
Father, at this time in world history, may I intercede as much as possible.
Jesus, may I extend to others the supreme hospitality You show me in the Eucharist.
There are hundreds of other gifts in addition to these, and each Christian has several gifts of the Spirit. So we pray:
Father, distribute the gifts of the Spirit (Heb 2:4) in a lavish (Ti 3:6), unrationed way (Jn 3:34). Father, do more than we can ever ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20).
PRAYER FOR LOVE
Father, I know that the gifts of the Spirit will be of no benefit (1 Cor 13:1-2) unless we love each other by laying down our lives for each other (1 Jn 3:16). Give me Your love.
PRAYER FOR A NEW PENTECOST
Father, may all be "filled with the Holy Spirit...express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamations as the Spirit" prompts them (Acts 2:4).
There are many other Scriptures about the Holy Spirit, but these will help us begin to pray for a new Pentecost.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 19, 1992.
Imprimatur: † Most Reverend James H. Garland, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 23, 1992.