This year Pentecost Sunday, the time when we remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church, comes on May 24. However, throughout the history of the Church there has always been a period of prayer in preparation for Pentecost.
Jesus told the believers to return to Jerusalem to be baptized with the Holy Spirit when He ascended to Heaven after appearing to them for 40 days. About 120 believers prayed for nine days in the Upper Room, and on the tenth day, the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came on them. That day 3000 members were added to their number, and the Church was born.
Toward the end of the ninetieth century Christians began to seek God for a new Pentecost to regain the passion and power of the early Church. On May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII declared that the Catholic Church would spend nine days in prayer prior to Pentecost every year, seeking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Unity in Christianity. The initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit fell on Protestants soon afterward, but in 1967 the Pope’s desired outpouring fell on the Catholic Church, bringing the Charismatic revival.
This year Anne Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, has asked the Christians pray during the nine days before Pentecost for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. She has also asked the Church to pray for Church and National repentance, evangelism, and turning away of God’s judgment for our sins.
Mrs. Lotz refers to the recent signs in the Heavens, the Blood Moons, as indicating an out pouring of the Holy Spirit. (Joel 2:29, 31). We agree that the Blood Moons signal a revival (See our Blog of 10/15/14 “Blood Moons During the Church Age). It is interesting to us that the Blood Moon revival of 1949-50 was focused around her father (See our Blog of 10/6/14 “Billy Graham’s Blood Moon Crusade”). We believe that this revival of the 2014-15 Blood Moons will be based on Christian unity in Christ (See our Blog of 3/5/14 “Pope’s Unity Message Goes Viral”).
Let us then join with Anne Graham Lotz and the Catholic Church to pray for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the nine days prior to Pentecost, May 15-23. Pray for the visible unity of the Church, such as that which will be experienced at the “John 17” unity meeting to be held in Phoenix Arizona on May 23.
This year, let us pray in preparation for a historic new Pentecost.