It’s always the Beginning

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His mercies begin afresh each morning
(Lamentations 3:22; NLT).

1. It’s always the Beginning, Lord:
Each day you make me new.

2. It’s always Advent,
While you wait for me to turn to you.

3. It’s always Christmas, Lord:
You’re born again in my poor soul.

4. It’s always Holy Week,
When you face death to make me whole.

5. It’s always Easter, Lord:
You rise again to give me faith.

6. It’s always Pentecost,
When your great Spirit gives me grace.

7. It’s always Harvest, Lord:
Each night we probe the day that’s past –

8. So it’s always Judgement Day,
Lord, may I see your face, at last?

 


References

1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; NLT).

He who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5; RSV).

2. The Lord must wait for you to come to him (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

3. She gave birth to her first-born son (Luke 2:6; RSV).

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

4. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

5. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! (Mark 16:6; NLT).

I pray [that] Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:16-17; NET).

6. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (Acts 1:8; NLT).

God saved you by his grace when you believed (Ephesians 2:8; NLT).

7. You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest (Exodus 34:22; NLT).

The harvest is the end of the world (Matthew 13:39; NLT).

8. As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement (1 John 4:17; NLT).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

God’s Living Bread

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Then their eyes were opened, and they knew him
(Luke 24:31; NKJV).

1. I hold God’s Living Bread
In my cupped hands,
For in this Host
I bear Christ’s life and death.

2. I keep God’s Living Bread
In my cupped hands,
For in this Host
I know his touch, his breath.

3. I guard God’s Living Bread
In my cupped hands,
For in this Host
I see Christ’s light and love.

4. I take God’s Living Bread
From my cupped hands,
And share the feast
Awaiting me, above.

O most sacred Heart of Jesus, thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and thou beatest for us still
(J.H. Newman).


References

1. I am the living bread (John 6:51; NLT).

He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you” (Luke 22:19; NIV).

2. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” (Mark 1:41; NLT).

He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22; NLT).

3. I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12; NLT).

Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39; NLT).

4. You prepare a feast for me (Psalm 23:5; NLT).

Many Gentiles will come from all over the world – from east and west – and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 8:11; NLT).

Bright star

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1. Bright star,
Bright Son,
Bright life,
Bright light.

2. Dark dread,
Dark prayer,
Dark deed,
Dark night.

3. Black scorn,
Black pain,
Black death,
Black day.

4. New faith,
New hope,
New love:
New Way!


References

1. The star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was (Matthew 2:9; NLT).

A child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12; NLT).

2. Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

The traitor, Judas, had given them a pre-arranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss. Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him (Mark 14:44-46; NLT).

3. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him!” (Matthew 27:42; NLT).

When they came to the place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross [and] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:33-4; NLT).

Jesus called out with a loud voice […] “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” […] Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last (Mark 15:34,37; NLT).

By this time was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock (Luke 23:44; NLT).

4. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:27-9; NLT).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3; CSB).

I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other (John 13:34; NLT).

Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit (Romans 7:6; NLT).

Be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT).

May I share

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1. Father,
In my anguish,
May I share the mind of Christ.

2. Father,
In my torment,
May I share his flesh and blood.

3. Father,
In my dying,
May I share his sacrifice.

4. Father,
In my rising,
May I share his perfect love.

 


References

1. Lord, see my anguish! My heart is broken and my soul despairs (Lamentations 1:20; NLT).

Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

2. My heart is troubled and restless. Days of suffering torment me (Job 30:27; NLT).

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT).

3. Into your hands I commit my spirit (Psalm 31:5; NIV).

I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath (Psalm 146:2; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

4. Though I fall, I will rise again (Micah 7:8; NLT).

The time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again (John 5:28-9; NLT).

Perfect love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18; NLT).

Jesus is my gospel

Image: John Woodman


Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”
(John 14:6; NLT).

1. Jesus is my gospel,
My way, and my good news;
Jesus is the Word of God:
My Lord, the One I choose.

2. Jesus is my shepherd,
My truth, my sword, my shield;
Jesus is my living bread:
In him, God is revealed.

3. Jesus is my spirit,
My mind, my heart, my soul;
Jesus is my life, and death:
Through him, God makes me whole.

 


References

1. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my Gospel (2 Timothy 2:8; NIV).

Jesus told him, “I am the way” (John 14:6; NLT).

This is the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God (Mark 1:1; NLT).

His name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13; NIV).

Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

2. I am the good shepherd (John 10:14; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am […] the truth” (John 14:6; NLT).

He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword (Deuteronomy 33:29; NLT).

I am the living bread (John 6:51; NLT).

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15; NLT).

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3; NIV).

3. We all share the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; NLT).

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

I will give them one heart (Jeremiah 32:39; NLT).

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned to the Jordan River (Luke 4:1; NLT).

I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised (Luke 24:49; NLT).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

If we die with him, we will also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11; NLT).

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

Every breath

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Lord,

1. You give me every breath,
From birth, throughout my life,
Till death,

2. So may I never cease to pray,
Rejoice, and thank you
Every day

3. Beneath the shelter of your wings,
Almighty God,
My King of kings.


References

1. The breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT).

The Lord gives both life and death (1 Samuel 2:6; NLT).

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

3.  All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 36:7; NLT).

I am Almighty God (Genesis 17:1; NKJV).

He is Lord of lords, and King of kings (Revelation 17:14; NKJV).

As Christ did

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1. In joy, Lord,
May I worship you,
As Christ did
When he walked this earth.

2. In trials, Lord,
May I cling to you,
As Christ did,
With faith unsurpassed.

3. In grief, Lord,
May I cry to you,
As Christ did
When he lost all hope.

4. In death, Lord,
May I call your name,
As Christ did
When he breathed his last.

 


References

1. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendour (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT).

Jesus, full of the joy of the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Luke 10:21; NIV).

2. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil […] “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say: You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him” (Matthew 4:1,10; NLT).

3. Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer (Lamentations 2:19; NLT).

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; NIV).

4. I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord (Zephaniah 3:9; NIV).

When Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NKJV).

Oneness

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Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT).

Lord,

1. May I be one mind with you,
And share in all your joys and tears.

2. May I be one heart with you,
And share the way you faced your fears.

3. May I be one soul with you,
And share in all your pain and loss.

4. May I be one flesh with you,
And share your death upon the cross.


References

1. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15; NKJV).

2. I will give them one heart (Jeremiah 32:39; NLT).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

3. The person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

4. Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14; NLT).

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT).

One day

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

1. One day, my soul
Will leave this flesh behind:

2. I’ll take my final breath,
Get out of bed,

3. And walk away, Lord,
Into the blue beyond.

4. Then, gathering strength
With every joyful step,

5. I’ll rise into the air
On eagles’ wings

6. To meet you, Lord,
As all creation sings.


References

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

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

3. They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31; NKJV).

There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself (Exodus 24:10; NLT).

4. Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31; NKJV).

Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace (Isaiah 55:12; KJV).

5. They shall mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31; NKJV).

6. We […] will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17; NLT).

Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees (Isaiah 44:23; NIV).

Darkness (#2 of 2 linked prayers)

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If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering
(Romans 8:17; NLT).

1. I share my darkness, Lord, with you,
The One who guides me on my way.

2. I share my emptiness with you,
The One who weeps with me today.

3. I share my anguish, Lord, with you,
The One who never leaves my side.

4. I share my loss of hope with you,
The One who suffered, bled, and died.


References

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

By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock (Luke 23:44; NLT).

He guides me along the right paths (Psalm 23:3; NIV).

2. I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me (Job 7:3; ESV).

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death (Hebrews 5:7; NIV).

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

3. How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? (Psalm 13:2; NLT).

Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44; NIV).

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

4. Our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off (Ezekiel 37:11; ESV).

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Psalm 22:1; NLT).

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