Prayer

Face to face

Greetings to every reader. No matter how we look at it, it’s our sins that separate us from God. Today’s prayer explores how this has altered our relationship with him over time…

Face to face
* …your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear (Isaiah 59;2; NIV).
* If we disown him, he will also disown us (2 Timothy 2:12; NIV).
* My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek (Palm 27:8; NIV).
* Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8; NIV).

Father,
In the beginning
We saw you face to face,
And talked with you each day.

But now,
We are separated from you by our sins.

They hide your face from our eyes,
And close your ears to our prayers.

Worse still,
We casually disown you
Of our own free will,
Making life meaningless.

Look on us with mercy, Lord,
And hear our prayers.

Help us to turn away from sin,
And seek your face.

Then,
Will you walk with us in the garden,
Enjoying the cool of the day,
And talking with us face to face again,
As you did in the beginning?

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Prayer

Abuse

Hello to every reader. I wonder how many of you have been abused, either in childhood, or as an adult? Did you suffer physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or were you neglected? Maybe different types of abuse were combined… I was emotionally abused throughout my childhood and well into adulthood, so I know from long experience that living with the consequences is painful, difficult and challenging. It can take a lifetime to come to terms with abuse, to learn to pray for yourself, and even for your abuser. It can also take a lifetime to forgive. Meanwhile, misuse continues all around the world, as those with power and authority continue to abuse those weaker than themselves – parents, bullies, partners, bosses, priests, jailers, teachers, politicians – the list is endless. These people need prayer too, if they are ever to change.

Abuse
* But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Father,
Please help and heal
All who suffer physical abuse –
And have to live with the consequences.

Please help and heal
All who suffer emotional abuse –
And have to live with the consequences.

Please help and heal
All who suffer sexual abuse –
And have to live with the consequences.

Please help and heal
All who suffer neglect –
And have to live with the consequences.

Lord,
Please help and heal
All who inflict abuse on others –
For they, too, have to live with the consequences.

I ask this in Jesus’ holy name,
Amen.

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Prayer

My sins

Greetings to every reader. I’ve been thinking about the damaging consequences of our sins, both for others, and for ourselves. Sin is perhaps a subject that receives rather little attention these days:

My sins

* Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (James 4:10; NIV).
* For our offences are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us (Isaiah 59:12; NIV).
* The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-10; NIV).
* Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always (1 Chronicles 16:11; NIV). 

Lord,
In your compassion,
Look away from my all sins,
But let me always look toward you
And seek your face.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

 

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Prayer

Healing

Hello, everyone. This has been a hard piece to write. it relates back to what I said a few days ago about the realisation that perhaps we are healed through loving others…

Healing
* [Jesus] answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ ” (Luke 10:27; NIV).
* …remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’
 (Acts 20:35; NIV).
* I am the LORD, who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NIV).

Father,
Why does it take a lifetime to be healed?

Well, first we need to follow your dear Son
As his disciples,
Learning to accept his loving-kindness,
Slowly becoming more like him –
And this takes time.

Next, we need to accept ourselves
Just as we are,
Treating ourselves with loving-kindness –
And this, too, takes time.

Then, our own acceptance, love and kindness
Will naturally overflow to everyone we meet,
Until we see, at last, 
That healing only comes through loving God
And loving other people as ourselves –
So that’s why it takes a lifetime to be healed!

 

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Prayer

A paradox

Hi to every reader. Today’s prayer may be short, but when it came to me a few days ago, its directness and simple truth took me very much by surprise…

A paradox
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
(Deuteronomy 4:7; NIV).
* God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27; NIV).

Lord,
I wander in the wilderness,
Seeking you;
But even as I search,
You are always with me.

I wander in the darkness,
Seeking you;
But even as I search,
You are always with me.

I wander in my suffering,
Seeking you;
But even as I search,
You are always with me.

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Prayer

Evil

Hi, everyone. I’ve never believed the devil to be anything other than a metaphor – an externalised personification of the potential for evil that exists in every human being. This is an aspect of ourselves many find it more comfortable to ignore, deny or disown. However, because we have free will, we always have a choice between actions that hurt, or help, others, and ourselves. Sadly, selfishness, ignorance, corruption, greed, deceit and violence are rife in all societies, causing terrible suffering for many around the world. However, we can counteract this by working steadily to change our own thoughts, words, actions and behaviour in line with Jesus’ teaching. This helps us to set an example as best we can in all our relationships, with the good effects rippling out into society. Furthermore, we can pray for those inflicting suffering, and for those on the receiving end, in all societies.

Evil
* Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20; NIV).
* I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless (Isaiah 13:11; NIV).
* Do not be angry beyond measure, LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people (Isaiah 64:9; NIV).

Father,
Despite the coming of your glorious Son,
Our world is dark,
For when we turn our backs on you
Our propensity for evil
Runs unchecked.

Greed, arrogance and ruthlessness –
Nothing is too vile to be inflicted
On those weaker than ourselves.
The thought of loving our enemies
Never enters our minds.

Lord, help us all to grasp
The suffering we cause to others
Through our sinful thoughts, words and deeds.

Help us to repent,
To beg your forgiveness,
And to change our lives –
Before your patience finally runs out.

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Prayer

Sickness

Hello, everyone. Yesterday, it struck me that there are more ways of being sick than just the physical and mental illnesses we generally recognise. Our hearts, souls and lives can also be sick. So it’s not surprising that so much of the news about our governments and societies all around the world is characterised by the inevitable consequences of such sickness, for example: unkindness, corruption, self-righteousness, selfishness, cruelty, abuse and violence. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by these things, to wring our hands and feel there is nothing we can do about them. However, we can all pray. Plus, we can set an example, by trying to live up to our Christian principles in every contact we have with others, every single day.  

Sickness
* The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the LORD (Psalm 14:2-4; NIV).
* You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17; NIV).
* I am the LORD, who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NIV).

Father,
I pray for all mankind,
For we are sick –
Our bodies and minds,
Hearts and souls, 
Relationships, lives
And societies
Are sick.

Please help us all 
To turn to you –
The Lord who heals.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

 

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