Far away

Far away

O LORD, why do you stand so far away? (Psalm 10:1; NLT).

We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows (Isaiah 59:9; NLT).

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12; NLT).

 

Father,
You seem so very far away.

I seek you
Again and again
In contemplation,

But I can’t see your light,
Or hear your voice,
Or reach your hand.

Please help me to follow your Son,
On this dark and lonely stretch
Of the path.

In his precious name,
Amen.

Christmas

Christmas

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:11; NIV).


Father,
I’ve just watched
Some pre-Christmas adverts
On TV.

Their only purpose
Is to make money,
By persuading us
To indulge in excess food,
Alcohol,
And ‘gifts’
We don’t need.

They want us to believe
These things will make us happy,
Rather than corrupting us
In body,
Mind,
And soul.

Lord,
How have we moved
From a simple celebration
Of your birth,
To this appalling orgy
Of over-consumption
And materialistic waste?

Overdraft

Overdraft

Now I will expose your so-called good deeds. None of them will help you (Isaiah 57:12; NLT).


Lord,
It’s a relief that
We don’t have to
Earn your love
By our good deeds –
For if we did,
I would have
A massive overdraft!

Sin

Sin

Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin (Psalm 51:2; NLT).

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27; NLT).

“Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him  (Matthew 9:9; NLT).


Lord,
Please strip away
My sins,
Faults,
And weaknesses.

Wash away my guilt,
Restore me to your image,
And help me to follow
Your dear Son.

In his most precious name,
Amen.

Sadness

Sadness

“Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said (Daniel 1:4; NLT).

They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue (Ezekiel 23:6; NLT).


Yesterday,
I saw a gang of scaffolders
Working together
On a house –

Young men in the prime of life,
Tall and healthy,
Capable and strong,
Full of energy and cheerfulness.

I smiled at them,
And blessed them in my heart;
Then envied them,
For being everything I’m not;

Then wept,
Because of all I’ve never been,
And never will be
In this life.

Love

Love

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16; NLT).

No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39; NLT).

 

God loves us
Steadily,
Wholeheartedly,
And unconditionally,
Every day,
In good times and bad.

But how do we
Love him?

Speak, Lord

Speak, Lord 

‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:9; NIV).

“When you pray, don’t babble on as people of other religions do” (Matthew 6:7; NLT).

Be silent before the LORD, all humanity (Zechariah 2:13; NLT).

If only you would listen to his voice today! (Psalm 95:7; NLT).


Friends,
Here is one of the most important texts
In the Bible:

Speak, Lord,
For your servant is listening.

But from the way we babble on in prayer,
Anyone would think it means:

Listen, Lord,
For your servant is speaking!

Father,
May your Holy Spirit
Help us to wait on you in silence,
Ready to hear your voice today,
And do your will.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Free

Free

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart” (John 14:27; NLT).

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

There I will go to the altar of God, to God – the source of all my joy (Psalm 43:4; NLT).


Lord,
For once,
My mind is free from care,
And full of peace.

For once,
My heart is free from woe,
And full of love.

And just for once,
My soul is free from guilt,
And full of joy.

Prayer

Prayer

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised
(Job 1:21; NIV).

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God, and never anything bad?
(Job 2:10; NLT).

May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; NLT).

Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction (Job 36:15; NIV).


Lord,
When bad things happen,
Please help me
To make the very best
Of my circumstances,
By learning all I can from them –
With you.

For Jesus’ sake,
Amen.

God’s hand

God’s hand

You place you hand of blessing on my head (Psalm 139:5; NLT).

“They no longer ask for the LORD’S guidance or seek my blessings” (Zephaniah 1:6; NLT).

My child, don’t reject the LORD’S discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects the child in whom he delights (Proverbs 3:11-12; NLT).


Lord,
May your hand
Be upon me today,
In blessing,
Guidance,
And restraint.

I ask this in Jesus’ name,
Amen.