To sit alone

Image: Free-Photos, Pixabay

1. To sit alone
With you
Is to be one, Lord.

2. To walk with you
In darkness
Is to see.

3. To live with you
In silence
Is to pray, Lord.

4. To rest with you
In stillness
Is to be.


References

1. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray (Mark 1:35; NLT).

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

2. If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God (Isaiah 50:10; NLT).

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29; NLT).

To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you (Psalm 139:12; NLT).

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

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

I know everything that comes into your minds (Ezekiel 11:5; NLT).

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

4. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10; NIV).

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1; NLT).

“Self”


In him we live and move and have our being
(Acts 17:28; NIV).

1. Help me, Lord, to seek
My inner “self” –
The hidden light
That always guides my way.

2. Help me to discern
My shadow “self” –
The honest truth
That talks with me each day.

3. Help me to explore
My silent “self” –
The secret peace
That brings me such great joy.

4. Help me to accept
My inmost “self” –
The healing love
That nothing can destroy.

5. Help me, then, to shed
My fragile “self” –
It’s only an illusion, Lord,
A breath,

6. For I am one with you,
And you with me –
So nothing will remain of “self”
In death.


References

1. You will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all soul (Deuteronomy 4:29; NIV).

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

2. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32; NLT).

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


3. You will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand (Philippians 4:7; NLT).

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

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

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

5. We ourselves are like fragile clay jars (2 Corinthians 4:7; NLT).

Common people are only a vapour; important people, an illusion (Psalm 62:9; CSB).

They will fade like a dream and not be found (Job 20:8; NLT).

6. 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).

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

In contemplation

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you
(James 4:8; NKJV).

1. Lord,
In contemplation,
I watch my thoughts arise;
Wrapping them in love, I lay them down,
With soft goodbyes.

2. Lord,
In contemplation,
I watch my thinking fade,
Waiting, still and silent, as your glory
Is unveiled.

3. Lord,
In contemplation,
I watch my thinking cease;
Slowly coming closer, till we meet
In joy and peace.

4. Lord,
In contemplation,
I’m drawn into your gaze;
At last, our souls unite, and I am lost
In wordless praise.


References

1. When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

Leave all iniquity behind you (Job 11:14; NLT).

He told them to take nothing for the journey except a walking stick (Mark 6:8; NLT).

They left everything and followed Jesus (Luke 5:11; NLT).

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

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10; NIV).

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

We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image (2 Colossians 3:18; NIV).

3. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8; NKJV).

While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NIV).

4. The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love (Psalm 33:18; NIV).

Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26; NIV).

In solitude

1. In solitude, be silent,
Still,
And wait upon the Lord,
Until

2. You’re overwhelmed
With waves of light:
Intense, majestic,
Golden, bright.

3. Absorb God’s love
As you breathe in:
Forget your cares,
Your pain, your sin.

4. Then talk to him
As you breathe out:
Share every longing,
Fear, and doubt.

5. Listen to
His still, small voice;
Accept his remedies;
Rejoice

6. And learn from him
With humble grace,
For, one day,
You will see his face.


References

1. When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

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

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).

2. God shines in glorious radiance (Psalm 50: 2; NLT).

Golden splendour comes from the mountain of God. He is clothed in dazzling splendour (Job 37:22; NLT).

3. Unfailing love, O Lord, is yours (Psalm 62:12; NLT).

Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28; NLT).

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

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

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

After the fire [came] a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12; NKJV).

God talks with man (Deuteronomy 5:24; DBY).

Wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy (Proverbs 2:10; NLT).

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy (Psalm 28:7; NLT).

6. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle (Matthew 11:29; NIV).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

Remember, we will all stand before the judgement seat of God (Romans 14:10; NLT).

Empty

1. Father God,
I want to pray,
But my mind is empty.

2. Father God,
I want to pray,
But nothing’s in my heart.

3. Father God,
I want to pray,
But my soul is silent.

4. Holy Sprit,
Sigh for me,
And pray on my behalf.


References

1. We do not know how to pray as we ought (Romans 8:26; NRSV).

2. His heart became numb (Genesis 45:26; ESV).

3. Toward God my soul is silent (Psalm 62:1; YLT).

4. 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).

Christian contemplation made simple

Photo by Rawdon Hayne, with many thanks.

We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image (2 Colossians 3:18; NIV).

Contemplation is the slow, patient repetition of these steps:

1. Make yourself comfortable, sitting or lying in a place where you will not be disturbed.

2. Ask God to bless your time of contemplation.

3. Rest in God’s presence within and around you.

4. Focus your mind, heart and soul on loving God, drinking him in with every in-breath.

5. Repeat, ‘Abba’, or ‘Father’, silently, on every out-breath.

6. When anything comes into your mind, pray about it briefly and simply. Just a sentence or two is all that’s needed.

7. Then leave the matter in God’s hands, letting it go completely. He knows all about it.

8. Return to resting quietly in him, as before.

9. When you are ready to stop, thank God for your period of contemplation, then continue with your day.

References

1. Sit alone in silence (Lamentations 3:28; NIV).

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

3. You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it (Genesis 28:16; NLT).

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

5. God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6; NLT).

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

When you pray, don’t babble on (Matthew 6:7; NLT).

7. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord (Psalm 139:4; NLT).

8. Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength (Isaiah 30:15; NLT).

9. Thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

When I sit alone

I will give you treasures hidden in darkness – secret riches.
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord
(Isaiah 45:3; NLT).

1. When I sit alone, Lord God,
To register my thoughts,
I face, at last,
My suffering, within.

2. When I sit in silence, Lord,
To ponder all I’ve said,
I glimpse, at last,
My enemy, within.

3. When I sit in stillness, Lord,
To weigh up all I’ve done,
I see, at last,
My sinfulness, within.

4. When I sit in darkness, Lord,
To contemplate my life,
I find, at last,
Your presence, deep within.

References

1. When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? (Psalm 13:2; NLT).

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

Love your enemy (Matthew 5:44; NET).

3. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10; NIV).

God have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13; NIV).

4. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light (Micah 7:8; NLT).

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

Christ lives within you (Romans 8:10; NLT).

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).