Prayer Service: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit by Sheila Yackley

Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit
A service of prayer, scripture and song inspired by Francis Chan’s excellent book, Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit.

For a PDF of this service,
click here –> Prayer Service: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit

This service may be led by one or more persons. If you are using multiple readers, invite persons to read prior to the service or invite persons to read as they are gathering before the service. If they accept, hand them a full service script with their portion highlighted. When it is time for their reading, they arise from their place in the congregation and move to one of several microphones preset throughout the congregation. Choose a variety of persons to read.

This service may be offered in place of the sermon or following the sermon.

Scripture and Meditation
Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a Person, not an indistinct “power” or “thing.”

ONE: John 14:16-17 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is God, not a lesser or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son.

ONE: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NRSV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

In his book Forgotten God, Francis Chan wrote, “How ludicrous it would be for anyone to say they were going to explain the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we cannot fully understand God, and I am certainly not the exception to that rule. There are things about God that are mysterious and secret, things we will never know about Him. But there also are things revealed, and those belong to us (Deut. 29:29)….The point is not to completely understand God but to worship. Let the very fact that you cannot know God fully lead you to praise…

For Illumination by Christina G. Rossetti   
United Methodist Hymnal #477
Open wide the windows of our spirits, O Lord,
and fill us full of light;
open wide the door of our hearts,
that we may receive and entertain Thee
with all our powers of adoration and love.

The following songs or others may be used.
Come, Holy Spirit
by Bill Gaither
CCLI #10934

Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome
by Dottie Rambo and David Huntsinger
CCLI #12994

Holy, Holy, Holy 
United Methodist Hymnal #64

We Exalt Your Name
by Kari Jobe & Matt Maher
CCLI #5866478

by Brooke Ligertwood
CCLI #4785835

The following testimony or another may be used.
The testimony of Dave Phillips who founded the Children’s Hunger Fund as retold in Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God (pp. 135-136).

Scripture and Meditation
Basil the Great said, “What does the Spirit do? His works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity. How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages? What did He do before creation began? How great are the graces He showered on creation? What power will He wield in the age to come? He existed; He pre-existed; He co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further beyond.”

The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, all powerful.

ONE: Zechariah 4:6 (NRSV)
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, always everywhere.

ONE: Psalm 139:7-10 (NRSV)
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

The Holy Spirit is omniscient, all knowing.

ONE: 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”– but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

The following prayers are printed on an insert. Other prayers may be substituted as desired. Persons are invited to pray at the communion rail, pray in their seats, or to move from pew to pew praying for the Spirit to fill all who come into the sanctuary. Persons pray at their own pace, in silence or aloud. Soft instrumental music or silence may accompany the prayer time. The prayer time concludes with The Lord’s Prayer.

Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition                           
United Methodist Hymnal #607
I am no longer my own, but Thine.
Put me to what Thou wilt, rank me with whom Thou wilt,
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for Thee or laid aside for Thee,
Exalted for Thee or brought low for Thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to Thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am Thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen

Come, Holy Spirit by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Come, Holy Spirit
Breathe into us the breath of new life
Come, Generous Spirit
Bring peace and bring hope
Bring courage for change
Bring freedom from all falsehood and fear

Come, Holy Spirit
Embolden us with the fire of Your heart
Come, Pentecost Spirit
Bring light and bring strength
Bring tongues filled with truth
Bring passion for the world to know You

Come, Holy Spirit
Unify us in the ways of Christ
Come, Creating Spirit
Bring gifts and bring fruit
Bring life to dry bones
Bring wisdom to live justice and love

For Renewal of the Church by John de Gruchy                                                       
United Methodist Hymnal #574
Renew your church, Lord,
Your people in this land.
Save us from cheap words
and from self-deception in your service.
In the power of your Spirit
transform us, and shape us by Your cross.

Scripture and Meditation
Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit prays with us and for us.

ONE: Romans 8:27 (NRSV)
And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit brought creation to life and continues to sustain it.

ONE: Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

ONE: Job 33:4 (NIV)
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

ALL: Psalm 51:10-12 (NRSV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is eternal and holy.

ONE: Romans 5:5 (NRSV)
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

The following testimony or another may be used.
The testimony of Esther Ahn Kim, who was imprisoned for her faith, as retold in Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God (pp. 97-98).

Offering and Doxology
The following songs or others may be used.
Holy Spirit, Truth Divine                                               
United Methodist Hymnal #465

All Creatures of Our God and King
David Crowder version
CCLI #3608102

The following songs or others may be used.
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
United Methodist Hymnal #103, v. 1, 2, 4

by Chris Tomlin and Reuben Morgan
CCLI #5677399


The following songs or others may be used.
Sweet, Sweet Spirit
United Methodist Hymnal #334

I am Free by John Egan
CCLI #4220974

Books Referenced:
Francis Chan, Forgotten God (David C. Cook, 2009)
Esther Ahn Kim, If I Perish (Moody Publishing, 2001)

Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

For more of Sheila Yackley’s artwork, click here

Prayer: For Renewal of the Church © 1986 John de Gruchy

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Service Compilation: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit
© 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use my work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact me for information and permission to publish a work in any form.

2 thoughts on “Prayer Service: Naming and Claiming the Holy Spirit

  1. Pingback: Worship and Preaching Resources for Pentecost Sunday | Turning the Word

  2. Pingback: Worship and Preaching Resources for Pentecost Sunday |

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