Start afresh

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Lord,

1. May I start afresh today,
And leave my setbacks
Far behind.

2. May I try again, Lord,
To be patient, frank,
And kind.

3. May my heart and mind
Commune with yours, Lord:
Silent, still,

4. As I listen for your quiet voice,
So I may do
Your will.


References

1. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:23; NLT).

Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you (Job 11:4; NLT).

2. Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city (Proverbs 16:32; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people (2 Timothy 2:24; NLT).

Love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish (Luke 6:35; RSV).

3. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

Be still in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 37:7; NLT).

4. After the fire came a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12; NIV).

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

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing (Psalm 143:10; NLT).

God is fire

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1. God is fire,
Blazing in darkness.

2. God is light,
Showing the way.

3. God is peace,
Reigning forever.

4. God is truth,
Helping us pray.

5. God is strong,
Knowing our weakness.

6. God is good,
Cleansing our sin.

7. God is kind,
Sharing our sorrows.

8. God is love,
Waiting within.


References

1. God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV). 

2. God is light (1 John 1:5; NIV).

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

4. The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).

5. God is mighty (Job 36:5; NLT).

6. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good (1 Chronicles 16:34; RSV).

7. How kind the Lord is (Psalm 116:5; NLT).

8. God is love (1 John 4:16; NIV).

The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

The Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

To pray

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Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; RSV).

1. To pray
Is to stand in God’s presence.

2. To pray
Is to walk in his light.

3. To pray
Is to glimpse his transcendence.

4. To pray
Is to share his delight.

5. To pray
Is to know his forgiveness.

6. To pray
Is to learn what is good.

7. To pray
Is to savour his kindness.

8. To pray
Is to live in his love.


References

1. Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NLT).

2. I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light (Psalm 56:13; NLT).

3. Transcendent power belongs to God (2 Corinthians 4:7; RSV).

4. He will take great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17; NIV).

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

6. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees (Psalm 119:68; NLT).

7. How kind the Lord is! (Psalm 116:5; NLT).

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

It’s not just what we say

1. It’s not just what we say
That counts,

2. Nor is it only
What we do;

3. It’s what goes on
Within our minds,

4. And in our hearts,
Lord, too.


References

1. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

2. Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

3. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:4; NIV).

4. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; NIV).

Enlightenment

Photo: ESTIPINCHASI

The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world (John 1:9; HNV).

He is a light to reveal God to the nations (Luke 2:32; NLT).

1. Jesus,
You’re a candle
Enlightening my mind,
Showing me God’s narrow way:
Love everyone; be kind.

2. Jesus,
You’re a lantern
Shining in my heart,
Showing me God’s narrow way:
Help those whose lives are dark.

3. Jesus,
You’re a beacon
Blazing in my soul,
Showing me God’s narrow way:
Befriend; support; console.

References

1. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12; NIV).

The gateway to life is very narrow and the road difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14; NLT).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT).

Be kind to everyone (2 Timothy 2:24; NLT).

2. O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness (2 Samuel 22:29; NLT).

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light (Isaiah 9:2; NLT).

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

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

Trust in the Lord, and do good (Psalm 37:3; NLT).

You are my friends (John 15:15; NLT).

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4; NLT).

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

Follow Christ

1. Lord,
Give us love for everyone,
And patience, each new day,
And faithfulness, so we may follow Christ,
Who is the Way.

2. Lord,
Give us joy, whatever comes,
And kindness, from our youth,
And gentleness, so we may follow Christ,
Who is the Truth.

3. Lord,
Give us peace within our hearts,
And goodness, free from strife,
And self-control, so we may follow Christ,
Who is the Life.

4. Lord,
Pour your Spirit on us all,
So we bear fruit, like Christ,
For then we will grow more like him,
The perfect sacrifice.

References

1. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12.9; NLT).

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).

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

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

4. I will pour out my Spirit upon all people (Joel 2:28; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

By the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:14; NLT).

Distress

My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out (Psalm 40:12; NLT).

1. Father,
You forgive my sins
As soon as I confess,
But I cannot forgive myself,
So I am in distress.

2. Father,
You wipe out my sins
Once I have made amends;
But I cannot forgive myself,
For I have hurt my friends.

3. Father,
You forget my sins;
You’re merciful and kind;
But I cannot forgive myself,
Or leave them far behind.

4. Father,
You remove my sins;
You love to heal, and give;
Please help me to forgive myself,
Then I’ll be free to live.

References

1. He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).
I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone (Psalm 32:5; NLT).
I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me (Psalm 51:3; NIV).

2. The blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7; NLT).
If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God (Matthew 5:23-4; NLT).

3. I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins (Jeremiah 31:34; NLT).
How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! (Psalm 11:6; NLT).

4. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12; NLT).
He heals the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3; NIV).
He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy (Psalm 68:6; NLT).
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NIV).

Exile

I sent them away to exile and brought them home again
(Ezekiel 39:28; NLT).

1. Father, we are part of you,
Till, one by one, you give us birth,
Then we must leave your glory
To be exiled on this earth.

2. Here, you give us much to learn –
Faith, forgiveness, kindness, peace –
By following your only Son,
And praying without cease.

3. When it’s time, you bring us home,
There’s nothing left for us to do
Except to be re-born in love,
And reunite with you.

References

1. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).
He chose to give birth to us (James 1:18; NLT).
I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile (Ezekiel 11:16; NLT).

2. Put on your new nature, created to be like God (Ephesians 4:24; NLT).
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).
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me” (Mark 1:17; NLT).
Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

3. You do not know the day or hour of my return (Matthew 25:13; NLT).
The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Your kingdom

 

When love reigns, Lord, instead of hate,
And trust, instead of fear;
When peace prevails instead of war,
Your kingdom will be near.

When kindness dwells in every heart,
And we care every day
For people, creatures, and this world,
Your rule, Lord, will hold sway.

When your light shines from every soul
And brings an end to sin;
When hope dries every bitter tear,
Your realm will be within.

Lord, when we share more equally,
And all of us are one
With you, and with the earth, our home,
Your kingdom will have come.

 

References

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)

Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 3:2; NLT).

Show mercy and kindness to one another (Zechariah 7:9; NLT).

He will rule with fairness and justice (Isaiah 9:7; NLT).

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness (Isaiah 58:10; NLT).

The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help (Isaiah 58:7; NLT).

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

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

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; NIV).

Communion

 

Father,
May this sacred Host
Stay on my tongue today,
Then I will grow more like your Son
In everything I say.

Father,
May this precious Host
Become part of my mind,
Then I will grow more like your Son,
For my thoughts will be kind.

Father,
May this blessed Host
Be drawn into my heart,
Then I will grow more like your Son,
And choose the better part.

Father,
May this perfect Host
Remain within my soul,
Then all I think, and say, and do
Will help make others whole.

 

References

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

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

We will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT).

Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41-2; NRSV).

Remain in me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4; NLT).

We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord (Romans 15:2; NLT).