Life

You will soon return from exile (Lamentations 4:22; NLT).

Life is an exile,
Our time here, our quest;
Our classroom, our desert,
Our struggle, our test.

Christ is our Teacher,
Our way, and our guide;
Our friend, our example,
Our help, by our side.

His Spirit, within, is our light,
And our strength;
Our Counsel, our Comfort,
Our truth, our defence.

God is our Maker,
Our life, and our goal;
Our Lord, our Redeemer,
Our spirit; our soul.

🖤

There is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them.
(Job 32:8; NLT).

The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; WEB).

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

 


Oneness

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
(Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

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

1. Father,
We are always one with you.

However long
Or short our lives,
We come from you,
And must return to you.

2. While we are on this earth
You wait within:

Longing for us
To seek your presence;
Yearning for us to change,
And turn from sin.

3. During our exile here,
We have a choice:

Learning to love you, Lord,
In all,
Or stopping our ears,
So we can’t hear your voice.

4. But, when our lives are done,
We meet again.

Then, as we kneel
Before your glory,
Will our hearts leap with joy –
Or burn with shame?

🖤

The day is coming when God will judge all of us. In the Scriptures God says, “I swear by my very life that everyone will kneel down and praise my name!” And so, each of us must give an account to God for what we do.
(Romans 14:10-12; CEV).   

Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy (Isaiah 60:5; NLT). 

Their faces will burn with shame (Isaiah 13:8; GNT).


God of silence

O God, do not be silent!
(Psalm 83:1; NLT). 

God of silence, speak to me:
Tell me where I’m going wrong.

God of stillness, shake me up:
Show me how I need to change.

God of exile, pain, and fear:
Draw my heart to you, in need.

God of darkness, light my way:
I will follow where you lead.

✝️

If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God (Isaiah 50:10; NLT).

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

 


No longer (for K.B.)

The eternal God is your refuge,
and his everlasting arms are under you.
(Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

1. Abba,
When I can no longer cling to you
With all my might,
Take me in your loving arms, Lord,
Carry me,
And hold me tight.

2. Abba,
When I can no longer hear your voice
Or see your face,
Pardon all my sins and faults, Lord,
Pity me,
And end my race.

3. Abba,
When I can no longer serve you,
And my exile here is done,
Leave my body far behind, Lord,
Marry me,
And make us one.

🖤

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

 


References

1. Cling tightly to the Lord your God (Joshua 23:8; NLT).

Praise the Lord; praise God our saviour! For each day he carries us in his arms (Psalm 68:19; NLT). 

2. They will hear my voice (John 10:16; NKJV). 

They will see his face (Revelation 22:4; NLT).

He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2; NLT).

Have pity on me, according to the abundance of thy kindness (Nehemiah 13:22; YLT).

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

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said.  “Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4; NLT).

I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24; NIV). 

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

You will soon return from exile (Lamentations 4:22; NLT).

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

God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride (Isaiah 62:5; NLT).

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one (John 17:22; NLT).

 


 

In your hands

I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands.

(Psalm 31:14-15; NIV).

Lord,

1. Before you form us all,
Our souls are in your hands,

2. And as you give us birth, Lord,
You keep us in your hands.

3. While we live in exile,
You bear us in your hands,

4. And, when we are dying,
You hold us in your hands.

5. Then, beyond our death, Lord,
We never leave your hands,

6. So, no matter what we face,
We’re always in your hands.

♥️

Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
(Romans 14:8; NIV).

 


References 

1. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

2. The life of every living creature and the spirit in every human body are in his hands (Job 12:10; GWT). 

3. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them (Isaiah 63:9; NKJV). 

My future is in your hands (Psalm 31:15; NLT). 

4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV). 

Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands (Luke 23:46; NLT). 

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

6. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. 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. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, 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 8:38-9; NLT).

 


 

On loan

He himself gives life and breath to everything,
and he satisfies every need
(Acts 17:25; NLT).

Lord God,

1. When you created us,
You furnished everything we need:
A body; breath; a mind; a heart;
Your Spirit, Lord, to help us plead.

2. But all we are, and all we have,
Is only lent, for life, on trust,
And bit by bit, you take it back,
Till all that’s left of us is dust.

3. Yes, all we are, and all we have,
Belongs to you, Lord God, we know,
So help us, please, to face each loss:
To grieve; endure; accept; let go.

4. For exile is a journey
To reunion, in bliss, with you:
From paradise to earthly life,
Then back, once more, to be made new.

5. Yes, exile is a journey
On which losses are a precious gain:
When all you lent has been returned, Lord God,
We will be whole, again.


He will take our weak mortal bodies
and change them into glorious bodies
like his own (Philippians 3:21; NLT).


References

1. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; KJV).

Thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things (Wisdom of Solomon 12:1; KJV).

The Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; RSV).

2. He is a human being who was himself formed from earth only a short while earlier, and after a little while, when he must return the soul that was lent to him, he will go back to the same earth (Wisdom of Solomon 15:8; GNT).

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

You were made from dust, and to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19; NLT).

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

3. Everything we have has come from you (1 Chronicles 29:14; NLT).

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

5. He wounds, but his hands make whole (Job 5:18; NKJV).

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).


Growth (dedicated to A.K.)

Image: truthseeker08, Pixabay


❤️

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

1. Lord,
May I accept my lot,
For you, alone, send joy, and pain.
Then I will grow, in exile here,
Until we meet in heaven, again.

2. Lord,
May I accept my lot,
For you, alone, bring good from ill.
Then I will grow through suffering,
And never fail to love you, still.

3. Lord,
May I accept my lot,
For you, alone, send hurt, and loss.
Then I will grow in care for all,
And comfort those who bear their cross.

4. Lord,
May I accept my lot,
For you, alone, send every test.
Then I will grow in humble faith,
And gain, at last, eternal rest.

💙


References

1. Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realise that both come from God (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NLT).

2. We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28; NLT).

When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3; NLT).

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

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 1:4, NLT).

4. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NIV).

Then we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17; NLT). 

I belong to you (#1 of 2 linked prayers)

Image: Bronisław Dróżka, Pixabay


🤎

1. Father,
May I praise your name,
Serving in all I do;
Then we will share my exile here,
For I belong to you.

2. Jesus,
May I face each day
Bearing my cross anew;
Then we will share each heavy load,
For I am part of you.

3. Spirit,
May I hear your voice
Teaching me all that’s true;
Then we will always live in love,
For I am one with you.

🤎


References

1. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8; NLT).

You and I both belong to God (Job 33:6; NLT).

2. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? (1 Corinthians 6:15; CSB).

3. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth (John 14:17; NLT).

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).

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; NLT).

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

Separation and reunion

Image: Sanjasy, Pixabay


💙

May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven
(Matthew 6:10; NLT).

Lord,

1. At birth
We separate from you –
Living in exile,
Far from heaven above.

2. Each day,
We search for you as best we can –
Bearing our burdens;
Growing in your love.

3. Throughout our lives
We strive to do your will –
Serving your kingdom;
Following your Son.

4. In death,
We reunite with you at last –
Dwelling beyond all time,
For we are one.

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love
(Romans 8:38; NLT).

Image: jplenio, Pixabay


References

1. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13; NIV).

You brought me out of the womb (Psalm 22:9; NIV).

I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile (Ezekiel 11:16; NLT).

2. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 29:13-14; NIV).

Then he [Jesus] said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT).

May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NLT).

3. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God (Psalm 143:10; NLT).

I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

Since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28; NKJV).

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

4. Then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).

I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23:6; KJV).

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one (John 17:21; NLT).

All glory to him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen (Jude 1:25; NLT).

God alone (with thanks to A.K.)

Image: falco, Pixabay


🤎

Be sure that your faith is in God alone
(James 1:6; NLT).

1. God, alone,
Turns anguish into joy.

2. God, alone,
Turns darkness into light.

3. God, alone,
Turns hatred into love.

4. God, alone,
Turns blindness into sight.

5. God, alone,
Turns sickness into health.

6. God, alone,
Turns weakness into might.

7. God, alone,
Turns exile into home.

8. God, alone,
Turns dying into life.

🤎


References

1. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labour. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world (John 16:21; NLT).

2. The Lord turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29; NIV).

3. Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27; NLT)

4. The Lord gives sight to the blind (Psalm 146:8; NLT).

5. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

6. To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh. […] Three times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me […] for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; NLT).

7. Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).

8. Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).