At the heart of our faith

Photo: TheDigitalArtist

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

1. At the heart of our faith, Lord:
Your way to the cross.

2. At the heart of our sorrow:
Your truth, and its cost.

3. At the heart of our worship:
Your body and blood.

4. At the heart of our mourning:
Your death, and your love.

Photo: geralt

5. At the heart of our hope, Lord:
Your rising again.

6. At the heart of our gladness:
Your kingdom, and reign.

7. At the heart of our purpose:
Your gospel and grace.

8. At the heart of our yearning:
Your kiss, and embrace.

Photo: sthelenachurch.net

References

1. He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Philippians 2:8; NLT).

2. Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes” (Luke 23:4-5; NLT).

3. He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19-20; NIV).

4. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us (1 John 3:16; NLT).

5. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world (Revelation 1:5; NLT).

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

7. My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God (Acts 20:24; NLT).

We are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus (Acts 15:11; NLT).

8. 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).

Photo: suju

Nothing is wasted

Photo: MichaelGaida

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Gather up the broken pieces that are left over,
so that nothing is wasted”
(John 6:12; NET).

1. Nothing, Lord, is wasted
In your kingdom –
All things work together
For our gain.

2. May we accept what comes,
Both good and bad, Lord,
With thanks for every pleasure,
Loss, and pain.

3. Help us to learn
From all our trials and sorrows,
Rejoicing in your wisdom
And your name,

4. Then, even that which breaks us
Won’t be wasted,
For we will comfort those
Who share the same.

References

1. The Kingdom of God is already among you (Luke 17:21; NLT).

We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28; NLT).

2. Should we accept only good from the hand of God, and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

3. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name (Psalm 33:21; NLT).

4. I am like a broken vessel (Psalm 31:12; NKJV).

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

Listening

Photo: falco

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

Lord,

1. I’m neither strong,
Nor energetic.

2. There’s very little
I can do for others.

3. But I can listen patiently,
Offering love and comfort,

4. Sharing the load
Of those I meet

5. Who struggle with life’s
Burdens, trials, and sorrows.

References

1,2. He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103:14; NLT).

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

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

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble (2 Corinthians 1:4; NIV).

4. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles (Matthew 5:4; NLT).

As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus (Luke 23:26; NLT).

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

5. Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

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

Shadow

Hello everyone. I’ve been thinking a lot about our shadow side recently – all the parts of ourselves we prefer to hide, ignore and forget. If we are to become whole, we need to face and accept them all, sharing them with God, who already knows everything about us. I find it fascinating that even Jesus had a shadow side, which he had to face and accept during his time on earth – hence today’s prayer.

1. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Anger, tears, temptation.

2. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Fears you couldn’t share.

3. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Sorrow, grief, impatience.

4. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Anguish, dread, despair.

References

1. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples (Mark 10:14; NLT).

Jesus wept (John 11:35; NLT).

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil (Matthew 4:1; NLT).

2. He was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

3. Then he [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38; NIV).

Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? (Matthew 17:17; NLT).

4. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

Contemplation

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love
(Romans 8:38; NLT).

1. To contemplation, Lord,
I bring my body –
My weakness, tiredness,
Restlessness and pain.

2. To contemplation, Lord,
I bring my thinking –
My hidden judgements,
Envy and disdain.

3. To contemplation, Lord,
I bring my feelings –
My sorrow, longing,
Anger, guilt, and fear.

4. To contemplation, Lord,
I bring my spirit –
My faith, and hope, and love,
For you are here.

References

1. The flesh is weak (Mark 14:38; NIV).

2. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away (Psalm 139:2; NLT).

3. The Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; NIV).

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

God is with us (Matthew 1:23; NLT).

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

Ever deeper

1. Jesus,
Draw me ever deeper –
Deep into your flesh,
So I may share your sorrow
And your reign.

2. Mary,
Draw me ever deeper –
Deep into your mind,
So I may share your gladness
And your pain.

3. Father,
Draw me ever deeper –
Deep into your heart,
So I may share your kingdom
And your feast.

4. Spirit,
Draw me ever deeper –
Deep into your soul,
So I may share your sighing
Without cease.

References

1. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe! (John 20:27; NLT).

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death (Mark 14:34; NIV).

If we endure hardship, we will reign with him (2 Timothy 2:12; NLT).

2. Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often (Luke 2:19; NLT).

How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour! (Luke 1:47; NLT).

A sword will pierce your very soul (Luke 2:35; NLT).

3. The unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart (John 1:18; NLT).

He called you to share in his Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12; NLT).

You prepare a feast for me (Psalm 23:5; NLT).

4. God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT).

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).

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

Around me and within

1. Lord,
You are around me
And within,
Releasing me from sorrow,
And from sin;

2. Healing me
In body, heart and mind,
And saving my poor soul,
For you are kind.

3. Lord,
You are within me
And around,
Suffusing me with joy
Through sight and sound;

4. So I worship you, Lord,
And extoll
Your love, in heaven on earth,
And in my soul.

References

1. You, Lord, are a shield around me (Psalm 3:3; NLT).

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

2. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies (Psalm 103:2-4; NLT).

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

3. I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7; NLT).

4. I worship the Lord (Jonah 1:9; NLT).