19.9.22: The state of our world

  • Whilst praying this morning, I reflected on the severely unsettled, and unsettling, state of our world:

Those who hold power are taking their stand, gathering their forces against YHWH (Psalm 2:1; TIB).

  • But then I saw that God is just as unchanging, powerful and loving as ever:

I am the LORD, and I do not change (Malachi 3:6; NLT).

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all (1 Chronicles 29:11; KJV).

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

  • God waits for us to repent, so we can be forgiven, and start to change:

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

Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

  • So I prayed that we will all repent, turn to God, and start changing our lives before it’s too late: before we destroy the earth, our only home, and all her plants, creatures and people, through our foolish wars, hatred, selfishness, greed and ignorance:

Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the LORD’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the LORD has threatened them with his terrible anger (Jeremiah 36:7; NLT).


Reading: Psalm 2, The Inclusive Bible 

Why are the nations creating such an uproar?  Why all this commotion among the peoples? 

Those who hold power are taking their stand, gathering their forces against YHWH, against God’s Anointed One. “Let’s break their chains!” they say. “Let’s throw off their shackles!” 

But the One who sits enthroned in the heavens laughs; the Sovereign One derides them, then rebukes them in anger and, enraged, terrifies them: “It is I who installed my ruler on Zion, on the mountain of my holiness!” 

I will proclaim God’s decree – YHWH said to me: “You are my own; I’ve given birth to you today. Just ask – I’ll give you the nations as your inheritance! I’ll give you the ends of the earth as your possession! You’ll break them with an iron scepter; you’ll shatter them as easily as a clay pot.” 

So, you rulers, be wise! And you who hold power, stand warned! Serve YHWH and rejoice – but do so with fear and trembling. Pay homage to God’s Own lest you be destroyed on your way in a blaze of anger – for God’s passion can flare up without warning. 

Happiness comes to those who make God their refuge! 

13.9.22: Call me

Context: At the end of an eventful day, I was thanking God for all I had experienced, when suddenly this little prayer began to rise in my mind. Each line led to the next, until it was finished almost before I knew it. I’m so grateful to God for offering me a fresh start every day, bringing new opportunities for prayer, praise, thanks, rejoicing, comfort, repentance, forgiveness and service.

I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name (Isaiah 45:3; NLT). 

Call me to your path each day, Lord,
Draw me to your side.

Take me in your arms each day,
Forgive my foolish pride.

Bind me to your heart each day, Lord, 
Keep me close to you.

Merge my soul with yours each day, 
Then help me start anew.

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


References 

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:15-18; NIV).

Then he 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).

New life

Context: All I can say about today’s poem is that it arrived on its own. I know I wrote it on Saturday 27.8.22. because it’s there in my word-processor, and every piece is dated sequentially. However, I have no memory of writing it. All I can do is to accept it with gratitude. Fortunately, it needed very little work to reach its final form.

Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT). 

You lead us to sorrow,
Repentance and tears,

To faith and forgiveness,
The end of our fears;

To healing, and growing,
To hope, and delight,

To giving, and service –
To love, and new life.

You have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God (1 Peter 1:23; NLT).


References 

Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone (Romans 5:18; NLT). 

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17; NLT). 

In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NKJV). 

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

I’m sorry, Lord

Repent and turn to me again (Revelation 3:3; NLT). 

1. I’m sorry, Lord,
For all my sins.
Forgive me –
Let me try again

2. To think, and speak, and act
With love,
So I will cause
No pain.

3. Lord, you live
In everyone.
Please heal me –
Then I’ll start again,

4. Discarding
All my selfishness,
Till you, alone,
Remain.

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less
(John 3:30; NLT).

 I am nothing (Genesis 18:27; NIV).


References 

1. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me (Psalm 51:1-3; NIV).

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

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

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

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

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

Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you (Psalm 41:4; NIV). 

4. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; 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).

Christ is all that matters (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Questions

1. Jesus,
How can I be healed
In flesh, mind, heart and soul?

Repent, and give your life to me,
For I will make you whole.

2. Jesus,
How can I be healed?
Please tell me what to do.

Accept forgiveness, be baptised,
Receive my Spirit, too. 

3. Jesus,
How can I be healed,
And where should I begin?

Forgive those who do wrong to you;
Hold fast to me within.

4. Jesus,
How can I be healed,
And worthy of your name?

Give up your greed and selfishness;
Love everyone the same.

5. Jesus,
How can I be healed?
Please help me, Lord, I pray.

Take up your cross, and follow me 
Your life, your truth, your way.

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6; NLT).


References 

1. Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

Upon him was the punishment that made us whole (Isaiah 53:5; NRSV).

2. Be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

3. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13; NIV).

Hold fast (Deuteronomy 30:20; NIV).

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

4. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:41; NLT).

Turn from your selfish ways (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (James 2:8; NLT).

Love ye therefore the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; KJV).

You, too, must show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

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

5. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38; NIV).


 

Turn to God

Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

Turn to God,
And start afresh:
Repent of all your sin.
Accept forgiveness,
Bless your foes,
And welcome Christ within.

Turn to God,
And start again:
Be Spirit-filled, and pray.
Take up your cross,
Put others first,
And follow Christ each day.

Turn to God,
And start anew:
Accepting all he sends.
Through good and bad
Love everyone,
Until your journey ends.

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


World-wide justice

Don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.
(1 Peter 2:16; NLT). 

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

1. 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.

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

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

4. 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).  

You have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:4-7; NIV).


Are you weary?

1. Are you weary? Do you suffer?
Burdened with fear, or care?
Come to God, who longs to help.
Lean on him; let him share.

2. Weep, and repent, and turn to him:
He will forgive your sin.
Then, be baptised in Jesus’ name.
Take up your cross, like him.

3. Welcome his Holy Spirit now.
He will reveal the way:
Living within to comfort you,
Guiding you every day.

4. Whatever God gives or takes from you,
Thank him for good and bad.
Praise him, rejoice, pray constantly.
Give, and share all you have.

5. Put others first, and learn to serve.
Cast off each selfish whim.
Shoulder your cross, and follow Christ:
Loving all, just like him.

🖤


References

1. Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30; NLT).

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

2. Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38; NLT).

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

3. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counsellor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever (John 14:16; AMP).

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

4. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NIV).

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; RSV).

5. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else (Mark 10:42-4; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31; NLT).

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

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

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).

 


 

Pray without words

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

Pray without words;
Confess without words.

Weep without words,
And repent without words.

Teach without words;
Forgive without words.

Serve without words,
And rejoice without words.

Love without words;
Commune without words.

Praise without words,
And unite without words.

🖤

Your godly lives will speak to them without any words.
(1 Peter 3:1; NLT).

I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee.
(Exodus 25:22; KJV).

 


 

A prayer for President Putin

If you can, please join me in this prayer today:

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.

I pray that he will follow Christ, taking him as his way, truth and life, his Teacher, example and guide.

I pray that you will heal him in mind, heart and soul, and that he will be born again, and be filled with your Holy Spirit.

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

I pray that he will 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).