YPOWER FOR WITNESSING
(Day 9 of the 9-day Pentecost Fasting and Prayers)
Scripture Reading: Acts 1:8
As we round-off our nine-day Pentecost fasting and prayer novena today, we pray that God will anoint us anew with the Holy Spirit and power for holiness, miracles, signs and wonders in the name of Jesus. Amen. Pray with us. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul is speaking of his ministry to the Corinthians in Greece. What do we know about the Greeks? They were known for philosophy, for being intellectuals, and seeking wisdom. What do we know about Paul? He was the greatest theologian and missionary of all history. Paul’s success in witnessing was simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.
Our scripture reading says, “And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” The power is essential for the challenges of an ever-expanding witness to Christ. This extraordinary power fell upon the Christians at Pentecost. It says in Acts 2:4 that they were “filled with the Holy Spirit.” And this power, this unusual fullness came upon the church and its messengers again and again in the early church for the special challenges of witnessing to Christ. Is this true with the modern church?
Today there are a lot of carnal witnesses; little wonder our proclamation and evangelization bears little or no fruit. Scripture recorded thus in Acts 4:8-13, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke to the rulers of the people. And they saw the boldness with which he spoke.” Acts 4:31 states thus: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” In Acts 6:5, 10, Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and faith and the Jews could not withstand the wisdom with which he spoke. Acts 7:55, says “Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 11:24 states that, “Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit and faith; and a large company was added to the Lord. Acts 13:9, says, “Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at Elymas and said…”Beloved, one of the physical manifestations of Pentecost is the power and grace to witness for Christ with boldness and conviction. It is an expression of the extraordinary power available for Christians who believe. Power for authentic and fruitful witnessing comes by the Spirit, a power that can accomplish far more than we ordinarily think or imagine.
How can we get this power? How can we prepare ourselves to receive it? For the past nine days, we have been involved in a novena of prayer and fasting leading to the outpouring of power, anointing and grace upon us. The power to witness has therefore been imparted into us. What we need to do now, therefore, is to remain docile to the same Holy Spirit in fervent prayer and humility of life. Through these, we are able to sustain our spirituality and extraordinary ability to witness for Christ with boldness and conviction. Recall that Peter, who denied Jesus a few days ago, after Pentecost, stood before the same killers of Jesus to proclaim the same Jesus was God. Dear friend, be ready to go out and announce to this dying world that Jesus is Lord and God.
MASS: RED Acts 28:16-20.30-31; Ps 11:4.5.7 (R.7b); Accl. Jn 16:17.13; Jn 21:20-25 SS CHARLS LWANGA & COMP, M. Gen 11:1-9 or Ex 19:3-8a. 16-20b or Ezk 37:1-14 or Joel 2:28-32; Ps 104:1-2a.24.35c.27-28.29bc-30 (R.30); Rom 8:22-27; Jn 7:37-39 EVENING VIGIL OF PENTECOST:
. Prayer Points:
1. “As You flow through me to minister to others, I know that You are flowing within me to heal my life too. Thank You for flooding the deep places of my life with Your electric love. Thank You for washing and cleansing wounds and scars from the past that still have the power to dominate my thoughts and suppress my physical and emotional freedom. Thank You for bringing light into the shadows and, warmth to the cold, dark areas in my soul. Compassionate Holy Spirit, thank You for coming and drawing out the uncried tears, the unfinished grieving, the pain of loss, the traumas, the fear, the emotional hurt so painful that are “buried alive.” Spirit of Wisdom, thank You for coming into the root cause of chronic failures.”
2. Take this prayer seriously: “Help me Holy Spirit. I pray to be spiritually fruitful and to abide in Jesus day by day… and He in me. Thank You that as the heavenly Gardener, You are graciously pruning me through the truth of Your word and shaping me into the person You would have me be.
Exercise: Spend time in prayer tonight asking the Holy Spirit to fill you with power.
Meditation:2 Timothy 1:6