Open our eyes

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

Lord,

1. Open our eyes,
So we see your face
In all we greet.

2. Open our minds,
So we know your pain
In those we meet.

3. Open our hearts,
So we share your love
With all mankind.

4. Open our souls,
So we cease, at last, Lord,
To be blind.

 

Image: Andi Graf, Pixabay


References

1. “Lord,” they said to him, “open our eyes” (Matthew 20:33; CSB).

Let me see your face (Song of Songs 2:14; NLT).

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

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

2. Then he opened their minds (Luke 24:45; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

Mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

3. The Lord opened her heart (Acts 16:14; NLT).

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

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

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

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

4. I will open the windows of heaven for you (Malachi 3:10; NLT).

He restored sight to many who were blind (Luke 7:21; NLT).

Anger


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Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires
(James 1:20; NLT).

1. Anger is so dangerous:
It makes me think I should proceed
To voice my hasty judgements,
Though I crush the weakest reed.

2. Anger is so damaging:
It makes me feel I have a right
To vent my heedless blame,
Though I put out a dying light.

3. Help me, Lord, to curb my tongue,
My rash assumptions, too,
Then I’ll treat everyone with love,
And grow much more like you.

 


References

1. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires (James 1:19-20; NLT).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Luke 6:37; NLT).

He will not crush the weakest reed (Matthew 12:20; NLT).

2. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you (Luke 6:37; NLT).

He will not […] put out a flickering candle (Matthew 12:20, NLT).

3. If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless (James 1:26; NLT).

Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions (Ecclesiastes 10:13; NLT).

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

Love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:39; NLT).

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

Praise God

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1. Praise God all day;
Worship at night;

2. Walk in his way;
Live in his light;

3. Thank him for everything;
Pray without cease;

4. Broadcast his love –
Then rest in his peace.

 


References

1. I will praise you all day long (Psalm 35:28; NLT).

She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer (Luke 2:37; NLT).

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night (Psalm 63:6; NIV).

2. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it (Jeremiah 6:16; NLT).

He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light (Colossians 1:12; NLT).

3. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

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

4. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6; NIV).

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

Together

Image: Jesus365.church, Yandex


Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul,
all your strength, and all your mind
(Luke 10:27; NLT).

1. I love you, Christ Jesus:
Let’s walk here together,
Linking our hands, Lord, as one.

2. I love you, Christ Jesus:
Let’s talk here together,
Yoking our minds, Lord, as one.

3. I love you, Christ Jesus:
Let’s pray here together,
Binding our hearts, Lord, as one.

4. I love you, Christ Jesus:
Let’s stay here together,
Bonding our souls, Lord, as one.

5. I love you, Christ Jesus:
Let’s cry here together,
Sharing our pain, Lord, as one.

6. I love you, Christ Jesus,
Let’s die here together,
Joining our Father, as one.

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you […] I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me (John 17:21-3; NLT).


References

1. I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT).

The Lord holds them by the hand (Psalm 37:24; NLT).

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

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

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

5. If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

6. Let’s go, too – and die with Jesus (John 11:16; NLT).

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

No perfect mother

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Every perfect gift is from above (James 1:17; ESV).

1. There is no perfect mother
Except Mary –
She is the Queen of Grace,
Who loves us all.

2. There is no perfect father
Except Yahweh –
He is the God who hears us
When we call.

3. There is no perfect brother
Except Jesus –
He is the great High Priest,
Who leads the way.

4. There is no perfect friend
Except his Spirit –
He is the One who helps us
When we pray.

 


References

1.  The angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Luke 1:28; DRA).

Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head (Revelation 12:1; NLT).

When Jesus saw his mother standing there [at the cross] beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home (John 19:26-7; NLT).

They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus (Acts 1:14; NLT).

2. You are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48; NLT).

I am Yahweh – the Lord (Exodus 6:2; NLT).

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help (Psalm 34:17; NLT).

3. Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father is heaven is my brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:48-50; NLT).

God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever (Hebrews 7:28; NLT).

It was only right that he [God] should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation (Hebrews 2:10; NLT).

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

4. You are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me (John 15:15; NLT).

Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God (Romans 5:11; NLT).

I will send you the Advocate [or Comforter, or Encourager, or Counsellor] – the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me (John 15:26; NLT).

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; NRSV).

Contemplation: a different approach

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Introduction

Do you find contemplation difficult, or even impossible? Does your mind constantly slip away from observing the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations bubbling up within you, becoming caught up with them, instead? If so, you might like to try a different approach.

A fresh approach

1. Sit, lie, or stand comfortably, or walk, if you feel restless.

2. Ask God to help you with everything you are going to share with him.

3. Let your breathing be however it is. If you are still, you can close your eyes if you wish.

4. Notice the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations arising within you, and share them honestly with God. You can do this silently, or aloud, whatever suits you best. Tell him anything you want to, even if you think you shouldn’t feel, or think, that way.

5. Ask God to help you with each issue you tell him about, listening for his still, small voice in response. It doesn’t matter if you move on to a new concern before you have finished talking to him about something else. It doesn’t matter if you fall asleep. You are always in God’s arms, like a little child, and he already knows everything you are experiencing and sharing with him. This kind of contemplation is about being yourself, and being honest with God.

6. Do this for whatever amount of time you wish, long or short; again, it doesn’t matter. Thank God for listening, understanding, caring, and helping you. Then continue with your day.

Conclusion

With practice, you may find that you can continue sharing your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations with God whilst you are doing simple tasks. He lives within you, so you can commune with him in your heart whenever, and wherever, you want.

In time, always aware of his presence, you will unhesitatingly share everything with him, and this is a vital part of what it means to love both God and yourself.

Image: Anja, Pixabay


References

Introduction

As I stood there is silence – not even speaking of good things – the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words (Psalm 39:2-3; NLT).

A fresh approach

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

I cannot be still (Jeremiah 4:19; NLT).

2. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14; NLT).

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

4. Pour out your heart to him (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

Lord, you are searching for honesty (Proverbs 11:5; NLT).

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

5. He will be gracious if you ask for help (Isaiah 30:19; NLT).

Tell God what you need (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Listen to his voice (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

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

He knows the secrets of every heart (psalm 44:21; NLT).

6. Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help (Psalm 86:5; NLT).

Conclusion

I know the Lord is always with me (Psalm 16:8; NLT).

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

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

Commune with your own heart (Psalm 77:6; KJV).

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

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:29; NLT).

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

Jesus doesn’t ask me

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We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are –
yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15; NIV). 

1. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To go anywhere he hasn’t been,
Or to walk his narrow path alone.

2. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To face anything he hasn’t feared,
Or to cope with anguish on my own.

3. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To bear anything he hasn’t borne,
Or to suffer pain without his care.

4. Jesus doesn’t ask me
To love anyone he doesn’t love:
Instead, he waits to take my hand, and share.

 


References

1. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1; NLT).

I am with you always (Matthew 28:20; NLT).

2. He became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:37-8; NLT).

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

3. When they came to the place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross (Luke 23:33; NLT).

He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; NIV).

4. Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

We love you

Image: Roy Buri, Pixabay


1. Father, Creator,
We love you so deeply.
May all things remind us of you:
All we see, all we hear,
All we taste, smell, and touch;
All you make, Lord,
And all that you do.

2. Jesus, Redeemer,
We love you so deeply.
May we grow more like you each day:
In every emotion,
And in all our thinking;
In all that we do, Lord,
And say.

3. Spirit, Consoler,
We love you so deeply.
May we be your temple, your friend:
Praying together
With thanks and rejoicing,
Forever, Lord,
World without end.

 


References

1. Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy (Matthew 6:9; NLT).

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth (Isaiah 40:28; NLT).

I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT).

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

2. I am the Lord, your Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14; 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).

To acquire wisdom is to love oneself (Proverbs 19:8; NLT).

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

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

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

3. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, [Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor] who will never leave you (John 14:16; NLT).

As a mother consoles a child, so I will console you (Isaiah 66:13; NET).

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; NLT).

Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God (Romans 5:11; NLT).

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; RSV).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion (Ephesians 6:18; NLT).

Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20; NLT).

All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21; NLT).

Gifts

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

1. Lord,
You give us all the gift of faith:
A little seed –
But we must do our best
To help it grow, through prayer, thanks, and rejoicing,
So it becomes a tree
Where others rest

2. Lord,
You give us all the gift of hope:
A touch of yeast –
But we must make it spread,
And help it grow, through prayer, thanks, and rejoicing,
So many more can eat
Your living bread.

3. Lord,
You give us all the gift of love:
A tiny spark –
But we must fan its flame,
And help it grow, through prayer, thanks, and rejoicing,
So others burn
To praise your holy name.

Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame
(Song of Songs 8:6; NLT).


References

1. The promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it (Romans 4:16; NLT).

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches” (Luke 13:18-19; NLT).

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15; NIV).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

2. This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope (1 Timothy 1:1; NLT).

He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough” (Luke 13:20-21; NLT).

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh (John 6:51; 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).

Fan into flame the gift of God, [for] the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:6-7; NIV).

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

Let them all praise the name of the Lord (Psalm 148:13; NLT).

All the nations you made will come and bow before you, Lord; they will praise your holy name (Psalm 86:9; NLT).

My cross

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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).

1. Daily, I take up my cross,
While praying:
“Jesus,
Thank you for your gift of faith.”

2. Next, I kiss it tenderly,
While saying:
“Jesus,
May I spread your love and grace.”

3. Then I put it on with joy,
While asking:
“Jesus,
Keep me on your narrow way”,

4. For my cross tells others
I’m a Christian,
Trying hard
To follow him each day.

 


References

1. By grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; NIV).

2. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6; NIV).

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

3. Always be full of joy in the Lord (Philippians 4:4; NLT).

Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:14; NIV).

4. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said (Matthew 4:19; NIV).