Celtic Christianity (#2 of 2)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Psalm 19:1-4; NIV).

The sun rides high
In the silent sky;
The heavens stream
With your light.

The planets shine
Beyond space and time;
Your moon reigns
Over the night.

Lord, they rejoice
To express your voice,
But we only fear
And grieve,

For we hide in shame 
When you call our name,
As you walk in the cool
Of the eve.

They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:8-10; KJV). 

A step ahead

The Lord went ahead of them (Exodus 13:21; NLT). 

1. Lord,
You’re just a step ahead:
My hope, my strength, my wine, my bread;
I want to learn from all you said
And serve you.

2. Lord,
You’re always very near:
My help, when I am faced with fear;
I want to follow, thank, revere
And serve you.

3. Lord,
You’re just a breath away:
My light, my truth, my life, my way;
May I grow more like you each day
And serve you.

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).


References

1. My hope is in you (Psalm 39:7; CSB). 

The sovereign Lord is my source of strength Habakkuk 3 10; NET).

He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people – an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it” (1 Corinthians 11:25; NLT). 

I am the living bread that came down from from heaven (John 6:51; NLT).

Learn from me (Matthew 11:29; NIV). 

Serve only the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 13:4. NLT). 

2. We give thanks because you are near, Lord (Psalm 75:1; NLT). 

God is my help (Psalm 54:4; NIV). 

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3; NIV). 

Follow me and be my disciple (Matthew 9:9; NLT).

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

Let all the people of the world revere him (Psalm 33:8; NIV).

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35; NIV).

3. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT).

I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT).

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

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). 

Serve the Lord with all your heart (1 Samuel 12:20; NIV). 

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Prayer for the dying

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

Lord,
May *she die without fear,
Or regret;
Without pain, without anguish,
Or grief.

Lord,
May she always feel safe
In your hands,
And rest, evermore,
In your peace.

Those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die (Isaiah 57:2; NLT)
.

*Depending on who you are praying for,
you can change the pronoun she, to he, or they,
without affecting the rhythm.

Heal our unbelief

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28; GNT).

“Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-4; NLT).

Father,
You bring good from bad,
And peace from every fear we have;
Truth from lies,
And gain from loss –
Help us to overcome our unbelief.

Father,
You bring light from dark.
For growth from pain, you hit the mark;
Love from hate,
And faith from doubt –
Bring gain from all our troubles, Great High Priest. 

Father,
You bring life from death,
And comfort from each final breath;
Hope from grief,
And joy from woe –
Your resurrection, Lord our God, is sweet.

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

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies (Psalm 103:2-4; NLT).

Maundy Thursday

I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:24; NLT). 

1. Lord,
In shadow, and in grief:
Help me with my unbelief.

2. Lord,
In darkness, and in pain:
Send your light and hope again.

3. Lord,
In suffering, and fear:
Comfort me, for you are near.

4. Lord,
In facing up to death:
Hold me tight, till my last breath.

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


References

1. Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons,  James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:36-8; NLT).

2. At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock …

3. … At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:45-6; NLT).

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

4. Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture),“I thirst” (John 19:28; RSV).

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 24:46;NLT).


Prayers for peace

Many of us pray for peace, so I thought it might be helpful to group together my prayers on this subject. These posts are in date order, starting with the most recent.


Heal our hatred (10.5.22)

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you” (Psalm 31:4; NLT).

1. Lord,
Heal our hatred
With your love,
Our lies and boasting
With your breath;
Our lust for power
With your tears,
Our cruelty
With your distress.

2. Lord,
Heal our malice
With your blood,
Our greed and envy
With your pain;
Our barbarism
With your death:
Then we will all
Be whole again.

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole (Isaiah 53:5; NLT).

🖤


I pray for peace 2.5.22.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14; NIV).

I pray for peace in every mind,
In every heart, Lord,
Every soul.
May every life be filled with peace –
Forgive us;
Make us whole.

I pray that peace will reign on earth.
Lord, hear me:
Bring an end to war!
May every nation live in peace –
Today,
And evermore.

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more (Isaiah 2:4; NIV).

🖤


Sad and angry 23.4.22.

The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord (Psalm 14:2-4; NIV).

How sad and angry
You must be
To witness
All our cruelty,
Our hate,
And inhumanity –
Our lack of love,
Lord God.

I beg you
For a halt to strife,
Respect
For every human life,
Forgiveness,
And an end to war –
Then peace will reign
For evermore.

The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war any more (Isaiah 2:4; NLT). 

His government and its peace will never end (Isaiah 9:7; NLT).

🖤


Easter Saturday 16.4.22


The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NLT). 

Lord,
I pray for peace, not war,
For kindness, Father, evermore,
For self-control in every mind:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done. 

Lord,
I beg for joy, not war,
For patience, Father, evermore,
For gentleness in every heart:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done. 

Lord,
I plead for love, not war,
For goodness, Father, evermore,
For faithfulness in every soul:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done. 

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done (Matthew 6:10; KJV).

🖤


Good Friday 15.4.22.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Beyond all torment, come what may,
Is Christ,
Who shows us how to pray.

Beyond all darkness and distress
Is Christ,
Who teaches us to bless.

Beyond all anguish, hate, and blood
Is Christ,
Who teaches us to love.

Beyond all hunger, thirst, and pain
Is Christ,
Who died, and rose again.

Beyond all terror, grief, and war
Is Christ,
Who lives for evermore.

I died, and behold I am alive for evermore (Revelation 1:18; RSV).

🖤


Hearts of stone 6.4.22.

Surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins (Jeremiah 4:4; NLT).

Take away our hearts of stone,
Our foolishness and pride:
Please give us tender hearts of flesh –
Your teaching, Lord, our guide.

Take away our hearts of flint,
Our anger, hate and greed:
Then give us gentle, loving hearts –
Your pattern, Lord, our creed.

Take away our hearts of ice,
Our senseless use of force:
And give us warm, responsive hearts –
Your gospel, Lord, our source.

I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart (Ezekiel 36:26; NLT).

🖤


 Even when… 4.4.22.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you …

Even when we don’t trust others,
Father, may we offer peace.

Even when they hate and curse us,
May we serve them, doing good.

Even when we fear them deeply,
May we help and bless them all,

And even when they treat us badly,
May we pray for them, with love.

… pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

🖤


World-wide justice 3.4.22.

Let true justice prevail (Deuteronomy 16:20; NLT).

We pray for world-wide justice, Lord:
For shame about the lies we’ve spun;
For confession, and contrition
As we weep for what we’ve done.

We pray for widespread mercy, Lord:
For sorrow that we’ve used brute force;
For repentance, and forgiveness
As we face our deep remorse.

We pray for global fairness, Lord:
For readiness to love our foe;
For penance, and for reparation
As we pay back all we owe.

We pray for perfect wisdom, Lord:
For faith and hope; an end to war;
For reconciliation, truth
And peace on earth, for evermore.

The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war any more (Isaiah 2:4; NLT). 

🖤


Beyond all weariness 27.3.22.

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! (Jude 1:25; NLT).

Beyond all weariness and pain
Is Christ, who died, and rose again.

Beyond all worry and dismay
Is Christ, who teaches us to pray.

Beyond all anguish and despair
Is Christ, who shows us how to care.

Beyond all fear and loss of hope
Is Christ, who always helps us cope.

Beyond all ignorance and sin
Is Christ, the Lord, who dwells within.

Beyond all darkness, war, and strife
Is Christ, who gives eternal life.

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good (Romans 2:7; NLT).

🖤


Pray for peace 19.3.22.


I will pray for peace (Psalm 122:8; CEV).

I pray for peace in every mind,
That pride and hate will always fail,
That all will turn to you at last, Lord God,
And faith prevail.    

I pray for joy in every heart,
That rage and greed will always fail,
That you will reign in every life, Lord God,
And hope prevail. 

I pray for truth in every soul,
That lies and force will always fail,
That all will grow in unity, Lord God, 
And love prevail.

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

🖤


A prayer for peace 18.3.22.

Let true justice prevail (Deuteronomy 16:20; NLT).

Father,
May your justice reign,

Your wisdom bring
An end to pain;

Your truth be praised,
Your kingdom come,

Your peace prevail –
Your will be done.

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

🖤


Save us! 17.3.22.

Lord, save us! (Matthew 8:25; NLT).

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we are ignorant and weak.
The last thing we remember, Lord, is:
Blessed are the meek.

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we are always wanting more.
The last thing we consider, Lord, is:
Blessed are the poor.

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we pursue what makes us glad.
The last thing we acknowledge, Lord, is:
Blessed are the sad.

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we are blind, and immature.
The last thing we reflect on, Lord, is:
Blessed are the pure.

I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3; NLT).

🖤


Fire against fire 16.3.22.

Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Luke 21:10; NLT). 

Fire against fire,
And hate against hate;
Fear against fear:
Lord, it’s too late!

Hope beyond hope,
And light beyond light;
Strength beyond strength:
Lord, you are life!

Peace upon peace,
And good upon good;
Truth upon truth:
Lord, you are love!

God is love (1 John 4:8; NLT).

🖤


A prayer for us all 12.3.22.

I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26; NIV).

Lord,
Remove our stony hearts –
Give us new hearts, of flesh.
Please take our greed and hate away –
Help us to start afresh.

Lord,
Remove our cold, hard minds –
Give us the mind of Christ.
Please take our selfishness away –
Show us your sacrifice.

Lord,
Remove our iron souls –
So we can share all pain.
Please take our love of power away –
May we be born again.

Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

🖤


A prayer for President Putin 8.2.22.

You do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17; NIV).

Lord,
Remove his stony heart
And give him a heart of flesh.
Take his hate and greed away –
Help him to start afresh.

Lord,
Remove his hard, cold mind
And give him the mind of Christ.
Take his lust for power away –
Show him your sacrifice.

Lord,
Remove his iron soul
So he can share our pain.
Take his ruthlessness away –
May he be born again.

Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

🖤


Truth beyond falsehood 9.3.22.

Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead (Psalm 144:11; NLT).

Truth beyond falsehood,
Hope beyond fear,
Peace beyond battle –
Lord, you are here. 

Faith beyond anguish,
Rest beyond pain,
Light beyond darkness –
Father, you reign. 

Joy beyond terror,
Wine beyond gall,
Life beyond bondage –
Love, beyond all.

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

🖤


The song of the dead 8.3.22.

No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19; NLT).

Father, brighter than the sun,
Jesus, every battle won,
Spirit, all your work is done:
We love you.

Lord, we walked the path you trod,
You, our guide, with staff and rod,
Leading us straight back to God:
We love you. 

Every enemy outrun,
Here, no hatred, fear, or gun,
All will live in union:
We love you. 

Father, we have run our race,
Jesus, we can see your face,
Spirit, overwhelming grace:
We love you. 

Lord, in paradise, at last,
Every pain and grief is past,
You have saved us, held us fast:
We love you. 

Now, our joy, Lord, has begun,
Now, we hear you say: Well done!
Now, we know you, Three-In-One,
And love you.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things (1 Chronicles 29:11; NLT).

🖤


We are wretched 4.3.22.

All the days of the oppressed are wretched (Proverbs 15:15; NIV). 

Father,
We are wretched,
Pitiful and weak,
For we have been invaded,
And the strong oppress the meek.

Father,
We are anxious,
Hungry, thirsty, poor,
For we are now blockaded,
And the strong despise your law.

Father,
We are homeless,
Distressed in heart and mind,
Yet everyone is fragile,
And all lives are intertwined.

Father,
We are battered
By hardship, bomb and gun,
But weak and strong are suffering –
For all of us are one.

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

🖤


A prayer for President Putin 2.3.22.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Father,

I pray that President Putin will come to his senses, repent and turn to you, and that you will forgive his sins.

May he follow Christ, taking him as his way, truth and life, his Teacher, example and guide.

Please heal him in mind, heart and soul. May he be born again, and be filled with your Holy Spirit.

I pray that he will come to know, accept, and return, your perfect love.

May he recognise and love you in every human being, and in this astonishing world you have created – the only place in which we, your people, can live together.

Thank you for hearing my prayer, Lord.

 I ask all this in your dear Son’s name. Amen.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8; NIV).

🖤


Hear my heartfelt prayer 28.2.22.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee (Psalm 102:1; KJV).

Hear my heartfelt prayer, Lord God:
End our greed and hatred.
Take away our minds of stone,
And make our thinking like your own:
Loving; joyous; full of peace –
Help us, I implore you.

Hear my earnest prayer, Lord God:
Turn us from all evil.
Take away our hearts of stone,
And make our passions like your own:
Patient; kindly; generous –
Till everyone adores you. 

Hear my urgent prayer, Lord God:
Forgive our sins; have mercy.
Take away our souls of stone,
And give us spirits like your own:
Faithful; gentle; self-controlled –
Then all will bow before you.  

Bow down and worship the Lord (Ezekiel 46:3; NLT).

🖤


Prayer for peace 24.2.22.

Friends, let us pray for peace in Ukraine, and for peace in President Putin’s heart:

I pray that President Putin will become a Christian through revelation, as Saint Paul did, that he will suddenly come to his senses, realise what he’s doing to his fellow human beings, repent, and experience a profound conversion of mind, heart and soul.

I ask all this in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord (Isaiah 65:25; KJV).

🖤


My failing strength

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever 
(Psalm 73:26; NLT). 

Lord,
My failing strength declares
Your kindness,
For you hear my prayers,

Lord,
My fragile mind exalts
That you forgive
My sins and faults.

Lord,
My fainting heart adores
Your holy name,
For I am yours.

Lord,
My anxious soul reveres
Your presence,
For you calm my fears.

Lord,
My weary life depends
On your great love,
Which never ends.

The life of every living thing is in his hand,
and the breath of every human being.
(Job 12:10; NLT). 

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

Even when…

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you…

Even when we don’t trust others,
Father, may we offer peace.

Even when they hate and curse us,
May we serve them, doing good.

Even when we fear them deeply,
May we help and bless them all,

And even when they treat us badly,
May we pray for them, with love. 

…pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Just like you

The Word became human
and made his home among us.
(John 1:14; NLT).

Lord,
I’m human, just like you –
Like you, may I be kind.

Lord,
I’m tempted, just like you –
Like you, may I be pure.

Lord,
I’m fearful, just like you –
Like you, may I be brave.

Lord,
I’m humble, just like you –
Your weak, unworthy slave.

🖤

Whoever wants to be first among you
must be the slave of everyone else.
(Mark 10:44; NLT).

 


Close your eyes

The Lord is full of tenderness and mercy (James 5:11; NLT). 

1. Close your eyes to seek Christ’s face:
Full of mercy, light and grace.

2. Lift your gaze to catch his smile:
He won’t censure or revile.

3. Look at him, and watch his love
Pouring down from heaven above.

4. Talk with Christ; ask him to heal:
He will know just how you feel.

5. Your faith, your doubts, your hopes, your fears,
Your suffering throughout the years –

6. He sees, and knows, and shares them all:
Each loss, each pain, each grief, each fall.

7. He sees, and knows, and shares each one:
Our Lord, who died for us – God’s Son.

8. At last, receive his healing touch:
Rejoice! He loves you very much.

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


References

1. I will see you face to face (Psalm 17:15; NLT). 

2. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-10; NIV).

3. 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 8:39; NLT).

4. I love the Lord because he hears my voice (Psalm 116:1; NLT).

5. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).  

6. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

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

God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were sinners (Romans 5:8; NLT).

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