Prayer to the Holy Spirit as Breath

As part of our series through the book of acts at Hope College a few of my colleagues are writing prayers meditating on the various images of the Holy Spirit in scripture.  Here is my prayer based on the image of the Holy Spirit as Breath, Wind, and Life.

Acts 2:1-2 (ESV)

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Holy Spirit,
Holy Breather,
moving this way and that
invisible to our broken, adamic eyes.
Come Breathe on us.
Come breathe and lift and swirl and fill
Perforate our lives with your holy breathe and
enliven these cold forsaken bones
…winnow away death that life might spring up.
Wind of God,
blow far from us
all dark despair, all deep distress, all groundless fears,
all sinful desires, all Satan’s snares, all false values,
all selfish wants, all wasteful worries.
Breath of God,
Blow into us your holy presence,
your new creation, your living love, your healing touch,
your unearthly courage, your mighty strength,
your perfect peace, your boundless concern
your divine grace, your neverending joy.
Wind of God, blow strong, blow fresh, blow on us now.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen.
adapted from a prayer in the Worship Sourcebook, page700, 2nd Ed.

Resources for a Series in the Book of Acts

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Hope College has been worshipping their way through the book of Acts this year and I’ve been collecting and curating resources to support and encourage our journey. Many of these resources, especially music, is geared specifically towards my current context but I’ve also found some liturgical gems as well.  Especially powerful have been the prayers we’ve been writing around the major scriptural metaphors of the Holy Spirit.

Our staff read JI Packer’s illuminating little book Baptism And Fullness: The Work of the Holy Spirit Today to begin the year.

Our Song List:

Holy Spirit – Jesus Culture
Light a Fire – The Royal Royals
Spirit Break Out – Worship Central
Let the Spirit of the Lord Come Down – Nigerian Traditional
Breathe – The Brilliance
Come Holy Ghost – Bruce Benedict

Prayers to/for the Spirit

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit (St. Augustine)

Breathe in me O Holy Spirit
that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit
that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit
that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit
to defend that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit
that I always may be holy.

Holy Spirit as Dove – Grace Claus
Holy Spirit as Breathe/Wind – Bruce Benedict
Holy Spirit as Re:Creator – Grace Claus
Holy Spirit as Fire – Trygve Johnson

Prayer of an Artist – David Taylor

Liturgy and the Holy Spirit

Confession (worship sourcebook)

Spirit of the Living God,
All nations, tribes, and tongues belong to you.
All glory, honor, and praise are due your name.
Therefore, we confess that we have been a divided people—
Mother from child, Brother from sister, And neighbor from friend.
Have mercy on us and send your power upon the church,
That we may know, once more, that you have
Baptized us in one baptism, one faith, one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Tear down the walls of hatred and the towers of sin in our lives.
May your Spirit descend upon our lives and make us holy and one.
In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Epiclesis – Prayer of Richard Baxter

Collect – Prayers for Pentecost

Collected Prayers for the Feast of Pentecost

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.”
- Saint Augustine

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit – St. Augustine

Here are some prayers attributed to St. Augustine [LINK]

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.


Holy Spirit, powerful Consoler, sacred Bond of the Father and the Son, Hope of the afflicted, descend into my heart and establish in it your loving dominion. Enkindle in my tepid soul the fire of your Love so that I may be wholly subject to you. We believe that when you dwell in us, you also prepare a dwelling for the Father and the Son. Deign, therefore, to come to me, Consoler of abandoned souls, and Protector of the needy. Help the afflicted, strengthen the weak, and support the wavering. Come and purify me. Let no evil desire take possession of me. You love the humble and resist the proud. Come to me, glory of the living, and hope of the dying. Lead me by your grace that I may always be pleasing to you. Amen.

Bits and Bobs – Winter 2015

Liturgy of Seasons - Vol. II: Winter's Woe cover art

There has been some great music released already this year..and good for us as we crunch our way through Winter up here in western michigan!

Here are a few CD’s and projects to check out:

a group of sacred songwriters writing from community up in Seattle, WA.  They contributed a track to our Incarnation Songs comp. Good stuff from Kyle Turver, Jess Alldredge, etc. Support before March 25.

The Crossing Music - Liturgy of the Seasons Project
Scott Johnson and co from The Crossing in Columbia, MO were awesome enough to send me LP’s of a current songwriting project using hymns to tell the story of the christian year. Produced by Dave Wilton & David A. Cover.

Sojourn MusicNew Again
New album from Sojourn Music featuring a great collection of original songs, retunes, and covers. Especially love Let Justice Roll and their cover of Bifrost Arts Psalm 126. Here is a great write up on “Let Justice Roll” by Bobby Gilles.

Early Christian Prayers (Hamman, Trans. Mitchell) – PDF
This is a fantastic and exhaustive collection of prayers from the early church.  A great introduction to writers, texts, themes, and approaches to prayer in the first couple hundred years of the church!

Carl Gladstonethe abolitionist hymnal
With the support of our friends, backers, and fellow abolitionists we were excited to launch this anti human trafficking hymn project!  Proceeds from sales of the cd and hymnal go to fight modern day human slavery.  The 27,000,000 people held as child soldiers, bonded laborers, and sex workers need the church to wake up, and these songs will hopefully help in that effort!

Zac Hicks – Come and Make Us Free (EP Feb 2015)

Come and Make Us Free cover art

New album from Zac Hicks and Coral Ridge Worship

Here is the title track! 

You can check out the rest on Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon 

You can read Zac’s blog post HERE:

Here is Zac’s notes from bandcamp for the album:

“Come and Make Us Free is our latest five-track EP exploring our cage-making obsession, entertaining every theme that sits between its diagnosis and deliverance. To get right to the point, the album is about the slavery of sin and the freedom of the gospel. It plays like a mini worship service:

Invocation: “Come Witness this Gospel to Me”

Confession of Sin: “Come and Make Us Free

Confession of a Savior: “Christ Surrendered All”

Assurance of Salvation: “It is Finished”

Summary & Praise: “Gospel Doxology”

Sufjan Stevens – The Transfiguration

There aren’t a lot of songs that wonder on the transfiguration (Matt 17).  Sufjan Stevens has a wonderful one and I’ve heard that a few churches have used this in worship.  David Crowder covered the song and I just heard there is an EP coming out soon from City Church with a symphonic/choir version of it.

More related texts from the Hymnary. Some more worship resources on The Transfiguration from Luke Brodine.

Transfiguration – Leadsheet

When he took the three disciples
to the mountainside to pray,
his countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame.
Two men appeared: Moses and Elijah came;
they were at his side.
The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die.

Then there came a word
of what he should accomplish on the day.
Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place.
A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade.
They fell on the ground.
A voice arrived, the voice of God,
the face of God, covered in a cloud.

What he said to them,
the voice of God: the most beloved son.
Consider what he says to you, consider what’s to come.
The prophecy was put to death,
was put to death, and so will the Son.
And keep your word, disguise the vision till the time has come.

Lost in the cloud, a voice: Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Turn your ear!
Lost in the cloud, a voice: Lamb of God! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Son of God!

by Sufjan Stevens
© 2004 New Jerusalem Music

Zac Hicks Greatest Hits Overview

I’ve been a fanboy of Zac Hicks since we first started swapping encouragements more than 10 years ago.  I love the work that Zac has done and continues to do to build bridges and wrestle with care, love, and theological acumen on the church and worship.

Below is a brief guided tour to some of my favorite Hicks musical productions with a few notes on the significance of the tunes for the uninitiated.  From Arena Rock to New Orleans Jazz, from simple folk to EDM Zac has covered more musical territory in worship music than ANYONE I know.  Not to mention some crazy contributions to our Cardiphonia compilations! You can see and sample his whole discography HERE. I’m especially enjoying the themed EP’s he is releasing right now over at Coral Ridge Worship.

[]Retuned Hymns that ROCK:
Zac is one of the few people that i know that can pack an equal punch both musically and theologically. These two are my own personal faves:

Arise, My Soul, My Joyful Powers
(from 2008’s “Hark the Glad Sound”)

Wake Up Sleeper
(from 2014 “His Be the Victor’s Name”)
117 rank Ruffati organ + huge swirling guitars. Yes please.

[]Songs with a Creedal heart for Contemporary Worship:

– a song meditating on the Five Sola’s of the reformation.  A great example of creedal songwriting. Use for any sunday, a reformation Sunday celebration, or for general praise.

[]Songs for the SACRAMENTS:

Bread of the World
– a classic anglican communion hymn.  Featured on The Glad Sound album and borrowed for Cardiphonia’s Songs for the Lord’s Supper.  I’ve heard this song led in churches from California to London, England.

Lord, I Believe

Open Our Eyes
An exploration of Luke 24 and the allusions in this biblical text to the Lord’s Supper.

[]Songs with a historical, LITURGICAL underpinning:

The Lord’s Prayer
– contributed to Cardiphonia’s “Songs for Liturgy” compilation.

Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing
– A new orleans jazzy jam for your postlude fun.

Father, Only in Your Power
– an attempt at a trinitarian song of confession that borrows traditional confessional language from the anglican tradition.

[]Songs that engage the CHURH CALENDAR:
Zac has written and recorded songs for every season of the church calendar. Here is just a brief survey!

Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending
A traditional Wesley text for Advent.

Come See a Child of Low Estate
18th century text meets 21st production.  The first edm retuned hymn EVER produced I am sure!

Most Merciful God  (Lent)

Christ the Lord is Risen
A provocative retune of this traditional easter sunday text.

Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor

Away with Our Fears (Pentecost)

[]Modern adaptations of PSALMODY:
Zac cares greatly about THE songbook of the church and has contributed a few retunes of classic psalter texts.

Psalm 100 All People that on Earth Do Dwell
– Zac won the first annual new Psalmody contest at Church of the Servant (Grand Rapids, MI) with His retune of the classic text.

Psalm 125 (Firm and Unmoved are They)
– originally commissioned for Christ the King’s Psalms of Ascents Worship Grant.