United

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws (Psalm 119:79; NLT

All the believers were united in heart and mind (Acts 4:32; NLT).


Lord,
During contemplation,
May I be united
In mind,
Heart,
And spirit
With you,
And with like-minded souls
Throughout the world.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Stay alert!

Stay alert! (Mark 13:33; NLT).

Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 14:4; NLT).

The King will reply, ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).

I will praise the LORD at all times (Psalm 34:1; NLT).

And pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion (Ephesians 6:18; NLT).

Lord,
Help me to stay alert –

Always aware of your presence,
And listening for your voice.

Always following your Son,
And seeing him in everyone I meet.

Always speaking the truth with love,
And thanking you in all circumstances.

Always being joyful,
And praising you.

Always praying in the Spirit,
And clinging to you.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Self-pity

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; NLT).

Self-pity is so toxic –
To ourselves,
And others.

It deters us
From taking responsibility
For our situation.

It makes us bitter,
Driving away
Those who try to help.

And it makes us selfish,
So we forget that others suffer too,
Throughout the world.

Lord,
Please help us to resist
And overcome self-pity,
So we can make the most
Of what we have,
Whilst offering comfort
And support
To those who suffer
Alongside us.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Resentment

If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone (Matthew 18:15; NRSV).

So then, putting away all falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:25-6; NRSV).

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).


Lord,
How swiftly
Our unexpressed resentment
Turns to bitterness,
Dislike,
Anger,
Avoidance
And fear!

Instead,
Please help us
To speak the truth
In love,
So we grow
More and more
Like you,
In every way.

Amen.

Anxiety

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’ s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).

The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me (Job 30:27; NIV).

‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12; 31; NLT).


Lord,
Thank you for my anxiety.

Even though it’s hard to bear,
I welcome it as a friend.

Help me to listen
To its warning voice,

And to learn
Everything it has to teach me –

About my boundaries,
My limitations,

And how I can protect myself
From further harm.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Self-protection

How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble! (Job 14:1; NLT).

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 19:19; NLT).


Lord,
Everyone has problems.

Some are willing to work
On personal change.

I can support them
As they grieve,
Accept,
And adapt to
Their new reality.

But others
Don’t want to change.

They only want
To complain bitterly
About what they’ve lost,
Revelling in self-pity
And resentment.

Their company
Is toxic.

Their behaviour
Makes me very anxious,
Ringing all my warning bells
From childhood.

So I stay away from them,
Because I must protect myself,
By listening to my body,
And remembering
My own deep-rooted limitations.

Debt

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid” (Luke 6:35; NLT).

“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-15; NLT).

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:12; NIV).


Lord Jesus,
I lent someone thirty pounds,

But it’s clear that they’ve forgotten
All about it.

I’ll never get my money back,
Unless I ask.

But you teach us to lend
Without expecting a repayment,

So to ask would be
To disobey your words.

And that would mean
Betraying you once more –

All for the sake
Of thirty silver coins.

Lord,
Please forgive my debts,
And help me to forgive
My debtors, too.

For your name’s sake,
Amen.