27.11.22: Better than life

Context: Today’s prayer arrived early yesterday morning when I woke at around 4am with a migraine. After taking my medications, I sat propped up in bed, alternately dozing and writing. These verses slowly emerged over the course of the day, finishing late in the evening:

What is sweeter than honey? (Judges 14:18; NLT). 

What’s sweeter than honey,
And choicer than wine?
Higher than knowledge,
And vaster than time?

What’s brighter than sunlight,
And greater than wealth?
Warmer than friendship,
And finer than health?

What’s stronger than sharing,
And deeper than love?
Kinder than giving,
And richer than blood?

What’s wiser than serving,
And dearer than breath?
Simpler than worship,
And closer than death?

What’s better than living,
And makes us all one?
It’s Christ, our salvation,
God’s dearly-loved Son.

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12; NLT).

This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy (2 Peter 1 17; NLT).


References

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, 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 3:7; NLT).

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).

Your unfailing love is better than life itself (Psalm 63:3; NLT).

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).

20.11.22: Peace

Context: As I lay in bed yesterday, after praying, writing, and posting my blog, I picked up my night-cross again, wanting to pray for peace throughout the whole world. I asked God to fill every mind, heart and soul with peace, including:

  • All those who exercise any kind of power over others’ lives, for example: parents, partners, siblings, classmates, teachers, health staff, civil servants, social workers, priests, managers and supervisors
  • All those who hurt, criticise, insult, reject, exclude, dominate, bully, threaten, control, exploit, abuse and attack people weaker than themselves 
  • All those with political, military, civil, social, economic, religious and criminal power

Then this short, simple prayer emerged very gently into my mind, making me weep:

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

If you can’t be kind,
Be peaceful;
If you can’t be wise,
Seek peace.

If you can’t be fair,
Live peacefully –
Remember:
God is peace. 

If you can’t do good,
Be peaceful;
If you can’t give love,
Spread peace.

If you can’t be well,
Wait peacefully –
Remember:
God is peace. 

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).


References 

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace (Psalm 37:37; NIV).

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who proclaims peace (Isaiah 52:7; ABPE). 

Make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight (2 Peter 3:14; NLT).

Strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence (2 Peter 3:14; NET).

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14; ESV). 

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11; NIV).

Wait patiently for the LORD (Psalm 27:14; NLT). 

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27; NLT).

Through helping (#3 of 3)

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mark 9:35; NLT). 

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

Through helping others, Lord,
We help ourselves.

Forgiving others,
We forgive ourselves.

So, we beg you,
Heal and bless

Our selfish hearts
With kindliness,

Till, loving all,
We learn to love ourselves.

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 1027; 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). 

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32; NLT). 

Easter Monday (#1 of 2)

God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3; NLT). 

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

1. You’re born again
Within my mind:
Lord, please help me to be kind.

2. You’re born again
Within my heart:
Jesus, may we never part.

3. You’re born again
Within my soul:
Lord, forgive me; make me whole.

4. You’re born again
Within my flesh:
Jesus, may I start afresh.

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


References 

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

Be kind to each other (Ephesians 4:32; NLT).

2. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:16-17; NIV). 

We can live with him forever (1 Thessalonians 5:10; NLT).

3. I will put my Spirit in you (Ezekiel 37:14; NLT). 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:19; NIV). 

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

His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:23; NLT).


 

Easter Saturday


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).


 

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).

Share every thought

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

May I share every thought with you,
Until we’re of one mind,

For then my speech will be like yours, Lord:
Humble, honest, kind;

And I’ll grow more like you each day
Until, at last, we’re one –

Then it will be no longer I who lives,
But you, God’s Son.

🖤

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
(Galatians 2:20; NLT).

 


Save us!

Lord, save us! (Matthew 8:25; NLT). 

Save us, Lord! We live in thrall
To evil: please forgive us all.

Change each foolish human mind:
Lend us patience; make us kind.

Melt our hearts, Lord God, above:
Give us grace, so we may love.

Heal each fragile, human soul
And grant us wisdom: make us whole.

Give me wisdom (2 Chronicles 1:10; NIV). 

His hands make whole (Job 5:18; KJV).

 


My heartfelt prayer

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

1. 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.

2. 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. 

3. 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.  

🖤

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

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

 


References

1. 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).

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

All of you should be of one mind. Sympathise with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it (1 Peter 3:8-9; NLT).

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

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

I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever (Jeremiah 32:39; NLT).

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). 

3. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously (Isaiah 55:7; NLT). 

I will …put a new spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:26; NIV).

We have all been baptised into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13. 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). 

 


 

Praying for others

Never stop praying, especially for others.
(Ephesians 6:18; CEV).  

1. I pray for those
Who have no strength
To face their fears,
Or cope with pain:

Lord, please dry their tears,
And help them through. 

2. I pray for those
Who have no mind
For making peace,
Or giving care:

Help them to be kind,
And heal them, too. 

3. I pray for those
Who have no heart
For loving others,
Or for truth:

Lord, please help them turn to you,
And grow.

4. I pray for those
Who have no soul
For reaching out
To take your hand:

Hold them tight,
And never let them go.

🖤


References 

Your strong right hand holds me securely (Psalm 63:8; NLT). 

The life of every living thing is in his hand (Job 12:10; NLT).

If I say, “My foot is slipping,” your loving devotion, O Lord, supports me (Psalm 94:18; BSB).

🖤