The following prayer by the Rev. Tim Whitaker was published in the January/February 2001 issue of the The District Beam, newsletter of the Virginia Conference’s Norfolk District. At the time, Mr. Whitaker was serving as superintendent of that district.
On Feb. 28, 2001, he was elected to be a bishop and was assigned to United Methodist Church’s Florida Annual Conference.
Though not originally written for Pentecost Sunday, the prayer is certainly fitting for that occasion.
Eternal God, by the outpouring of your Holy Spirit you have established your church to be the visible body of Jesus Christ on earth and chosen us to be members of Christ’s body.
Build up your church in faith upon the foundation of the teaching of the apostles, with the proclamation of Christ as the cornerstone.
Deliver your church from the blindness of heresies and from the cowardice of acquiescing to the principalities and powers of this present age.
Give us courage to raise the sails of the ark of salvation, which is your holy church, so that we may be blown forward in mission by the wind of your Holy Spirit.
Deliver us from the temptation to steer your ship into safe harbors to protect ourselves from the bracing breezes of that Spirit who would send us into uncharted waters where we do not want to go.
Preserve your assemblies from profane strife, weariness of spirit, and fear of holy boldness.
May your church experience anew the freedom of obedience, the joy of adventure, and the satisfaction of being employed in your great work in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Bishop Timothy Whitaker’s blog is here.