contemplation, Faith, hope, love, God, honesty, oneness, Prayer

Balance

 

May I find the balance, Lord,
As I relate to you –
To speak, but also listen,
For we are not one, but two.

May I talk things through with you,
As we share every day;
Then spend a while in silence 
When there’s nothing more to say.

Thus, may we live together,
Dearest Father, Spirit, Son, 
Rejoicing in communion –
For we are not two, but one. 

 

References 

Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God (Romans 5:11; NLT).

As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty (Job 13:3; NL).

Listen to his voice (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

God talks with man (Deuteronomy 5:24; DBY).

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

The godly will live in your presence (Psalm 140:13; NLT).

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14; NKJV).

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

 

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Burn our sins

 

Burn our sins, Lord,
In your fire,
And heal us
With your endless light.

Lead us 
To your holy truth,
And guide us 
Though our souls’ dark night.

Share with us
Your perfect peace,
And help us grasp
Your peerless love.

Show us, Lord,
Your only Son,
And sanctify us
With his blood.

 

References

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

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT). 

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).

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

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16; NIV).

Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood (Hebrews 13:12; NLT).

 

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Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,, healing, Lent, love, Prayer

Mirror-image Lent reflections

 

1. We have hurt others

Heal them, Lord,
The people we have damaged.

Heal them, Lord,  
Until they can forgive.

Heal them, Lord,
Till they no longer hate us.

Heal us, Lord, 
So all may fully live.

 

2. Others have hurt us 

Heal us, Lord,
Till we love those who’ve hurt us.

Heal us, Lord, 
Until we can forgive.

Heal us, Lord,
Till we no longer hate them. 

Heal us, Lord,
So all may fully live.

 

References

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:28; NLT).

Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7; RSV).

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

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With constant praise

 

Lord,
With constant praise and thanks, 
May I rejoice in you today.

Lord,
With steady faith and hope,
May I delight in you today. 

Lord, 
With ceaseless awe and trust, 
May I exult in you today.

Lord,
With steadfast love and prayer, 
May I serve you, throughout today. 

 

References

Praise him, you who serve the Lord (Psalm 135;1; NLT). 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; RSV).

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).

Take delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4; NLT).

Trust in God (John 14:1; NLT).

Exult in his holy name (Psalm 105:3; NLT).

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly (Joshua 24:14; NLT).

 

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honesty, Personal growth, faith, prayer, contemplation, love, oneness,

Prayer: five steps toward God

 

Introduction

God gives us prayer so that we can communicate with him, and he with us. There are five main ways of praying:

Speaking: Using words to talk to God. 

Listening: Being silent, so we can hear God’s voice.

Conversing: Having an ongoing, two-way dialogue with God.

Communing: Letting words go, dwelling in God’s presence.

Uniting: Experiencing oneness with God.

Each of these ways of praying has its part to play in helping us draw closer to God. They form a series of steps towards him, through which our relationship gradually becomes more intimate. Let’s consider them briefly, one at a time.

 

1. Speaking 

We begin with the most basic kind of prayer: speaking. Here we use words, either aloud, or in our heads, to talk to God. In this way, we can, for example, praise or thank him, ask for his help or forgiveness, pray for others, and forgive those who hurt us. Spoken prayers may be very brief, whilst we are busy, or longer, during times set aside for the purpose. Spoken prayers can also be shared with other people, for example, at home, with friends, online, or during church services.

With practice, we can develop the habit of speaking to God fairly constantly whilst going about our daily lives. This helps us to become aware of, and to share with him, the stream of unbidden thoughts, temptations, emotions and fantasies which continually rise into consciousness from our shadow selves. Only by recognising these aspects of ourselves can we incorporate them into our spoken prayers, and share them honestly with God, as he desires.

However, although there is a lot to be learned about ourselves through spoken prayer, we will not discover much about God if we do all the talking. So, in order to progress towards a deeper relationship with him, we must add the second step, by beginning to listen. 

 

2. Listening 

Learning to listen to God means setting aside time to be alone with him, in silence and stillness. During these periods we practice fixing our minds, hearts and souls on him as steadily as possible. Keeping our own words to a minimum, we wait to discover what he wants to say to us. This process is often known as contemplation.

As we listen for God’s voice, our internal stream of thoughts, feelings and fantasies inevitably continues. I have already written about how we can handle these aspects of ourselves, some of which can be very challenging. If you would like to read the relevant posting, please click on this link: https://wp.me/p45bCr-3F9

 

3. Conversing

Over time, the twin processes of talking and listening to God evolve into an ongoing, two-way conversation, and this forms our third step towards him. Day and night we are, to a greater or lesser extent, aware of his presence, and our dialogue continues, no matter what else is happening around us. 

 

4. Communing 

As our relationship with God deepens though this constant conversation, we reach the next step in prayer: communing. This is the point at which words become inadequate, and unnecessary. Letting them go, we pass beyond them to spend time with God in silent togetherness. To begin with, this is most likely to happen during contemplation, but as we progress, it can occur at any time, as long as we remain aware of God’s presence.

 

5. Uniting

Beyond the stage of togetherness, there is one more step we can take during our time on earth. Here we unite with God, experiencing an indescribable oneness with him, though of course, we are always one with God, whether we are aware of it or not. In life, we generally have to return to the demands of everyday life after each such experience. After death, however, this state is changeless, timeless, and eternal.

 

Conclusion

Although they can be separately described, these five ways of praying work best in combination. As each new step is combined with those that came before, our intimacy with God becomes broader, deeper, more honest, and more continuous. This, I believe, is what Saint Paul was referring to when he encouraged us to “Pray constantly.”

 

References 

Pray about everything. Tell God what you need (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NLT).

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

Listen to his voice (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT). 

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

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

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

After the fire [came] a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12; NKJV).

God talks with man (Deuteronomy 5:24; DBY).

You are close beside me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

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

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; RSV).

 

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The Holy One

Lord God, 

You sent 
Your only Son, 
To save us from
The wrong we’ve done.

So, when we turn to you,
And run,
The battle of our lives   
Is won,

For you are God,
The Holy One,
Who loves us,
And refuses none.

 

References 

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).

Repent of your sins and turn to God (Matthew 3:2; NLT).

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it, and are safe (Proverbs 18.10; NKJV).

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved (Isaiah 30:15; NLT).

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14; NIV).

I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you (Hosea 11:9; NLT).

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Psalm 145:9; NIV).

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All is well

Here in your hand
How safe I am,
Almighty God, 
At your command.

Well or ill,
Just as you please,
Loving you, 
And praising still.

So may I stay
To serve you, Lord,
And pray to you
All night and day.

Here may I dwell
At one with you,
Your temple, Lord, 
Where all is well.

 

References

The life of every living thing is in his hand (Job 12:10; NLT).

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT). 

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

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only (Luke 4:8; NIV).

Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

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

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer (Luke 2:37; NLT).

All is well (1 Kings 5:4; NLT).

 

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