Suffering and loss

Pray for all people. Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf
(1 Timothy 2:1; NLT).

1. Lord,
I pray for all of us
Who suffer:

2. Those yearning for a home,
A job,
A child;

3. Those thirsting for freedom
From fear, abuse,
Or exploitation;

4. Those longing for better health
For others,
Or themselves;

5. And those who ache
For the presence
Of the dead.

6. Please strengthen us
To face each loss;
Console us when we mourn.

7. Help us to find
New hope in you,
And to rebuild our lives

8. By following your much-loved Son,
Who gave up all he had
For us.

Through his dear name,
Amen.

References

1. Pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf (1 Timothy 2:1; NLT).

2. Forget not your servant but give her a son (1 Samuel 1:11; NIV).

3. The oppressed will be set free (Luke 4:18; NLT).

4. He will heal us (Hosea 6:1; NLT).

5. You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

6. Even when I walk in the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

7. “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11; NLT).

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me!” (Matthew 4:19; NLT).

8. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7; NLT).

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us (1 John 3:16; NLT).

Foundations

Image: Katja, Pixabay

Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3; NLT).

It would be better to be thrown into the sea
with a millstone hung around your neck
than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin
(Luke 17:2; NLT).

1. All parents groom their children
To accept what they receive.
Abuse, control, and punishment
Will teach them to believe

2. That they are stupid, weak and bad,
For all they do is panned –
Children given this foundation
Build their lives on sand.

3. All parents groom their children
To accept what they receive.
Encouragement, support and praise
Will teach them to believe

4. That they can tackle all life brings
Accepting every knock –
Children given this foundation
Build their lives on rock.

Image: Pexels, Pixabay

References

1. Parents, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them (Ephesians 6:4; NLT).

2. A broken spirit saps a person’s strength (Proverbs 17:22; NLT).

I have cried until tears no longer come; my heart is broken (Lamentations 2:11; NLT).

Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb? (Job 3:11; NLT).

[They are] like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash (Matthew 7:26-7; NLT).

3. Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (Proverbs 16:24; NLT).

4. [They are] like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built (Luke 6:48; NLT).

Wake from the nightmare

Image: Johannesburg Plenio, Pixabay

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows
(John 16:33; NLT).

1. Let’s wake from the the nightmare
Of childhood,
And think of the mountains
We’ve crossed.

2. Let’s cast off the hell
Of our parents,
And rise above all
We have lost.

3. Let’s wake in the light
Of God’s kingdom
To think of his Son,
And forgive.

4. Let’s cast off depression
And darkness,
And rise in his strength –
Then we’ll live!

Image: nonmisvegliate, Pixabay

References

1. Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you (Ephesians 5:14; NIV).

The gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult (Matthew 7:14; NLT).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

2. Banish anxiety from you heart and and cast off the troubles of your body (Ecclesiastes 11:10; NIV).

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

3. [Give] joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:12; NIV).

If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14; NIV).

4. Those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired (Isaiah 40:31; NET).

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

After death


1. After death, Lord,
All of us will meet
Those we abused,

2. And we will grasp
How much we damaged
Those we have misused.

3. We will face
Our callous deeds,
The hurtful words we spoke,

4. Until we beg forgiveness
From all those
Whose hearts we broke.

5. Help us now, instead, to change,
Say: Sorry, Lord,
And try

6. To live more like
Your only Son, on earth,
Before
we die.


References

1. The time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgement (John 5:29; NLT).

2. Now I will pour put judgement on you for the evil you have done to them (Jeremiah 23:2; NLT).

3. Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the Lord will be exalted on the day of judgement (Isaiah 2:17; NLT).

4. You should fear punishment yourselves, for your attitude deserves punishment. Then you will know that there is indeed a judgement (Job 19:29; NLT).

5. If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-4; NIV).

6. As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world (1 John 4:17; NLT).

Choice


Today I have given you the choice between life and death (Deuteronomy 30:19; NLT).

1. Lord,
You give us all
A choice:
To follow you,
Or walk away.

2. Lord,
You give us all
A choice:
To stay with you,
Or to betray.

3. Lord,
You give us all
A choice:
To ask forgiveness,
Or refuse.

4. Lord,
You give us all
A choice:
To love our neighbour,
Or abuse.

References

1. Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions (Matthew 19:21-2; NLT).

2. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Mark 14:34; 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?” (Matthew 26:15-16; NLT).

Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him (Matthew 26:50; NIV).

3. Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the Lord’s forgiveness before it is too late (Jeremiah 36:7; NLT).

If you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you (Genesis 4:7; NLT).

4. Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Elijah has already come, but he wasn’t recognised, and they chose to abuse him (Matthew 17:12; NLT).

You have blessed my life

Give thanks in all circumstances
(1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

1. Father,
You have blessed my life
With hardship and abuse;
You’ve given me so much to learn:
Lord, thank you for each truth.

2. Father,
You have blessed my life
With suffering and pain;
You’ve given me so much to learn:
Lord, thank you for each gain.

3. Father,
You have blessed my life
With sorrow, grief and loss;
You’ve given me so much to learn:
Lord, thank you for each cross.

4. Father,
You have blessed my life
With guilt, regret, and shame;
You’ve given me so much to learn:
I praise your glorious name.

References

1. God has seen your abuse (Genesis 31:42; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT).

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you (Psalm 25:5; NLT).

2. You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and life me up from the depths of the earth (Psalm 71:20; NLT).

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

4. I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me (Psalm 51:3; NIV).

O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! (1 Chronicles 29:13; NLT).

Letting go

When you were young, you were able to do as you liked;
you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go.
But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands,
and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.
(John 21:18; NLT).

1. Lord, as I get older,
I find I must let go
Of all I take for granted,
But, instead, you make me grow.

2. I’ve had to let my looks go,
My vanity and pride;
My status and my ego,
But, instead, you are my guide.

3. I’ve had to let my strength go,
My energy and health;
My work and independence,
But, instead, you give me help.

4. I’ve had to let my past go,
My childhood, my abuse;
My bitterness and hatred,
But, instead, you teach me truth.

5. And I will have to give up more:
My body, life, and breath;
But I will gladly let them go,
To merge with you, in death.

References

1. Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong (Ephesians 3:17; NLT).

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

2. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die (Psalm 48:14; NLT).

3. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2; NLT).

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

Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth (Psalm 86:11; NLT).

5. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).