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).

Completion

Image: Gamopy, Pixabay


🤎

No one knows when their hour will come
(Ecclesiastes 9:12; NIV).

1. Lord,
When we die,
You call us home,
Whether or not we think
Our work is done –

For, long, or short,
Our exile is complete,
The moment you decide
Our end has come.

2. Lord,
When we die,
You take us back,
Whether or not we think
The time is right –

For, good, or bad,
Our record is complete,
The moment we face judgement
In your sight.

3. Lord,
When we die,
You claim our souls,
Whether or not we’ve tried
To do our best –

For, rough or smooth,
Our journey is complete,
The moment you conclude
Our earthly test.

🤎


References

1. Soon I must go down that road from which I never will return (Job 16:22; NLT).

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

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

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

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).

In everything

There is […] one God and Father,
who is over all and in all and living through all
(Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

1. Lord,
You are in everything around us:
All we touch, and taste,
And hear, and see.

2. Lord,
You live in everyone beyond us:
Each neighbour, stranger,
Those from whom we flee.

3. Lord,
You dwell in everything above us:
Every star and planet,
Moon, and sun.

4. Lord,
You are for evermore within us:
In exile, then in heaven,
When life is done.


References

1. Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! (Genesis 28:16; NLT).

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8; NLT).

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

Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).

Love your enemies! (Matthew 5:44; NLT).

3. Our God is in the heavens (Psalm 115:3; NLT).

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

He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6; NIV).

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

You alone are the God who is in heaven (2 Chronicles 20:6; NLT).

Free gifts


Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires
(Psalm 37:4; NLT).

1. God’s love
Is within, for the taking,
His light
Is as free as the air.

2. His peace
Heals each heart that is aching,
His truth
Is both upright and fair.

3. God’s Son
Is his gift of salvation,
His Spirit
Is gracious and sweet.

4. His mercy
Is for all creation,
His joy
Makes our exile complete.


References

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

You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

The teaching of your word gives light (Psalm 119:130; NLT).

2. The Lord blesses them with peace (Psalm 29:11; NLT).

I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:27; NIV).

He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth (Psalm 96:13; NLT).

3. 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).

May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing (Psalm 143:10; NLT).

4. He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11; NIV).

The way

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

1. Lord Jesus,
May I hear your voice
Throughout my exile here.
Please guide me on the way of faith,
So I may feel you near.

2. Lord Jesus,
May I talk with you
Each day, in quiet prayer.
Please guide me on the way of peace,
Then I will know your care.

3. Lord Jesus,
May I see your face
In everyone I meet.
Please guide me on the way of love,
Though I am base and weak.

4. Lord Jesus,
May I follow you
Along the path you trod.
Please guide me on the way of truth
That leads me back to God.


References

1. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you, a voice will say, “This is the way you should go” (Isaiah 30:21; NLT).

This way of faith is very different from the way of law (Galatians 3:12; NLT).

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

The Lord is near to all who call on him (Psalm 145:18; NIV).

2. Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

The Dayspring from on high has visited us […] to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78-9; NKJV).

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7; NLT).

3. Seek his face always (1 Chronicles 16:11; NIV).

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

Follow the way of love (1Corinthians 14:1; NIV).

God, have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13; NIV).

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak (Psalm 6:2; NLT).

4. Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23; NIV).

I have chosen the way of truth (Psalm 119:30; NKJV).

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

Death isn’t a disaster

When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,
this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory”
(1 Corinthians 15:54-5; NLT).

1. Death isn’t a disaster:
It’s the final trip we make
When our exile here is done,
The road that all must take.

2. Death isn’t a disaster,
For it brings us back to God
Along the way that all must walk:
The path that Jesus trod.

3. Death isn’t a disaster;
Whether life is short or long
It brings us to his Kingdom,
Where the weak will be made strong.

4. Death isn’t a disaster;
When our pilgrimage is through,
It brings us to eternal life:
United, Lord, with you.


References

1. I am your guest – a traveller passing through, as my ancestors were before me (Psalm 39:12; NLT).

2. He [Jesus] humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Philippians 2:8; NLT).

3. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever (Revelation 21:4; NLT).

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