Faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1; NLT).

Teach us to realise the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12; NLT).

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3; NLT).


Lord,
Having faith
Means knowing
You are with us,
And that we are always safe
In your hands,
No matter what suffering
Life brings
To test us.

Whatever we experience,
Please help us to grow
In wisdom,
And endurance.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

A vision in a dream

Last night I had a vision, in a dream: I was looking down into a pool of darkness, at a seething mass of cells, growing at breakneck speed.

And as I watched, they developed into embryos, primitive faces gazing up towards me.

Then they were new-born babies, children, teens; adults, middle-aged, then old, then skulls.

Then they were gone; and all I saw was darkness. The vision in the dream was over, and I woke.

It left me stunned, for this might be how we appear to you, Lord, to whom a thousand years pass like a day.

How short, our days of constant change! How inescapable, our swift advance to death!

Teach us, dear Lord, the brevity of time,
So we may grow in wisdom,
Experiencing each moment to the full,
And staying close to you at every step –
No matter what life brings.

References

For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours (Psalm 90:4; NLT).

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

Teach us to realise the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:11; NLT).

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NLT).

Come close to God, and God will come close to you (James 4:8; NLT).

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).

Life

“They suffer painfully; their life is full of trouble” (Job 14:22; NLT).

I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me (Psalm 16:8; 8; NLT).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10; NLT).


Father,
Life is hard,
So we look for ways
Of trying to avoid
Our suffering –

Over-eating,
Smoking,
Alcohol,
And drugs;

Mindless entertainment,
Endless acquisition,
Pornography,
And promiscuity –
An endless list.

But, Lord,
If only we would face
Our challenges with you,
We could reduce
Our desperate need
For all these soul-destroying things,
And have life to the full –
No matter what it brings.

Wait patiently

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

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

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

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

Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign LORD (Zephaniah 1:7; NLT).


It’s difficult
To relax my body,
As I wait patiently
For your light –

Please help me, Lord.

It’s difficult
To calm my mind,
As I wait patiently
For your love –

Please help me, Lord.

It’s difficult
To open my heart,
As I wait patiently
For your fire –

Please help me, Lord.

And it’s difficult
To unlock my soul,
As I wait patiently
For your presence –

Please help me, Lord.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Life

“For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do” (Job 34:21; NLT).

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

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36; NIV).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10; NLT).


Lord,
You create us in your image,
Then step aside,
To let us get on
With our lives.

But you watch –
To see if we will search for you,
Listen to your voice,
And seek your face.

You wait –
To see if we will follow your Son,
Who comes to set us free,
And give us life to the full.

Contemplation

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

Be silent before the Lord, all humanity (Zechariah 2:13; NIV).

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

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

Bring your offering and come into his presence (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT).

Lord,
As I prepare
For contemplation,
I sometimes ask myself
How it can possibly work –

This way of seeking you
By being still,
Sitting in silence,
And waiting patiently?

Yet, almost every time,
It brings me to your light,
Your love, and your presence –
So I guess it works just fine!