Mary Lou Redding, the former Editorial Director of The Upper Room magazine, has written numerous small-group studies, including The Lord’s Prayer: Jesus Teaches Us to Pray; lives and writes in Brentwood, Tennessee, with her spoiled and aging miniature poodle, Annabelle, at her side
Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions is a longstanding—and beloved—resource published by Upper Room Books every year. Each week’s readings are reflections on scripture passages in the lectionary for that period.
In 2013 you can not only read these daily devotions but also comment on them, ask the writer a question, and respond to others who are reading the same material each day. We are looking forward to building a community of Disciplines readers! Just sign in and add your comment in the Comments section following the Monday blog post.
Each Monday an introduction and the initial reading for the week will be posted. Come back to this Monday post throughout the week to continue the conversation about the week’s readings and prayers.
Read Acts 2:1-13
“Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful. . . .”
For over a decade, I have met weekly with several other women in a discipleship group. Each Thursday we begin by praying the “Prayer to the Holy Spirit”* that I quote from above. After all these years, bidding the Spirit to come into my heart feels quite natural. But apparently praying in this way is not common.
Several years ago when leading a workshop on discovering spiritual gifts, I opened with a prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit—appropriate, I thought, given our subject. When the workshop ended, one of the participants made a point of coming to say to me, “I have never heard anyone pray to the Holy Spirit before.”
If we looked back over our recent worship experiences, the Holy Spirit is likely to be the person of the Trinity least addressed. Other than at Pentecost, we seldom talk about the Spirit or address the Spirit except in hymns.
Discussing the Holy Spirit makes many of us feel uncomfortable. It raises questions to which we have no answers and opens doors we’d as soon leave shut. Today’s reading includes the account of people speaking in tongues. Discussion of this passage usually ends up devoting significant time to that phenomenon, diverting attention from the role of the Spirit’s less spectacular but far more pervasive role in our daily life.
Going back to the prayer familiar to me: What would happen if we prayed from the heart each day, “Come, Holy Spirit”? This week as we approach Pentecost, we’ll be considering what it means to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives.
Holy Spirit, help me to open my heart and my life to you. Amen.
*Adapted from The Walk to Emmaus, used by permission of Upper Room Books.