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.

Self-pity

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

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10; NIV).

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


Lord,
Self-pity is so toxic!

It saps our patience –
Tempting us to give up
Helping ourselves
As best we can.

It fosters bitterness –
Tempting us to see
Our suffering as unfair,
Rather than a normal part of life.

It encourages selfishness –
Tempting us to ignore the fact
That others suffer too,
Throughout the world.

Lord,
Help us to overcome self-pity
And to count our blessings,
Thanking you in every situation,
Good and bad.

May our hardships help us all
To comfort others,
Giving meaning
To the troubles of our lives.

Why?

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

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35; NIV).


Lord,
Why do we claim
To relish conversation,
When in truth
We want to speak,
And not to listen?

Why do we claim
To value friendship,
When in truth
We want to take,
And not to give?

And why do we claim
To care for others,
When in truth
We want to judge,
And not to serve?

Expectation

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7; NIV).

“And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!” (Luke 6:33; NLT).


Lord,
When I decide
To give time,
Attention,
Support,
Gifts,
Or money,
Please help me
To expect nothing
In return –

For then
I will never
Be disappointed!

Symbols

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NKJV).

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:10; NLT).

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38; NLT).

I am the LORD, who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NIV).


Lord,
We have monsters, ogres,
Dragons, witches,
And ghosts
Hiding in the darkness
Of our minds.

They emerge in our nightmares,
And in visions;
During contemplation;
When we’re drunk,
Or drugged,
And when we’re sick
In body,
Or in mind.

But when we meet
These symbols
Of our deepest fears,
Most painful memories,
And sharpest griefs,
We need not shrink from them –

For we can face and conquer
All our demons
If we tackle them with you –
The God who heals.

Silence

God is light (1 John 1:5; NIV).

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

God is love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29; NLT).

Lord,
Sometimes,
When I wait on you
In silence,
There is no more ‘I’,
But only you
Blazing with infinite love,
In the darkness of my soul.

Silence

“I am the LORD who heals you” (Exodus 15:26; NLT).

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).


If you long
For healing
In body, mind,
Heart or soul,
Try spending time
In contemplation
Every day.

Ask God
To help you set aside
Your worries,
Thoughts,
And fears –
Just for a while.

Then wait patiently on him
In silence –
For silence
Is profoundly healing.