Hand in hand

Introduction

Photo: Barbara Alane

Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8; NIV).

This little book of prayers and spiritual reflections was originally published in 2014. Having recently updated it, I’m delighted to make it available here, on my website. Writing these pieces helped me, so I hope they will also be useful to others.

Please feel free to use, copy, print out, or distribute, any of these prayers. If you include my name and a link to my website, other people will be able to find it more easily.

Ruth Kirk
December 2019

Abbreviations

KJV King James Version
NIV New International Version
NLT New Living Translation
NRSV New Revised Standard Version

Acknowledgements

My grateful thanks to Dr. Jules Gomes, for suggesting the inclusion of Bible quotes, and for his encouragement; to my husband, John Woodman, for his endless patience and help; and to my amazing WordPress teacher, Ber Wayde, for her exceptional skill, kindness and professionalism.


Index

1. Hand in hand

2. Pilgrimage

3. Waste

4. The lions’ den

5. Reaching out

6. Too much

7. God’s hands

8. Blind

9. Happiness

10. I lift my hands

11. Close

12. Silence

13. Condemnation

14. Repentance

15. Bone and blood

16. Anger

17. Contemplation

18. God

19. Love

20. Questions

21. Fruition

22. Faith

23. Lord

24. A paradox

25. Ten short prayers

26. Evil

27. Paradise

28. Prayer for the day

29. Healing

30. Your willing slave

31. Lost

32. Suffering

33. In Gods’ hands

34. Life and death

35. Unworthy

36. No other

37. Faith

38. The veil

39. Today

40. Forgiveness

41. God’s image

42. Self-righteousness

43. Without you

44. Pilgrimage

45. The fountain of life

46. Hand in hand


1. Hand in hand

Photo: bingngu93

Lord,
In good times,
And in bad,
May I walk hand in hand
With you.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Reference

I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you’ (Isaiah 41:13; NLT).


2. Pilgrimage

Photo: Free-Photos

Clouds and thick darkness
Surround you, Lord,
So we, your children,
Must pass through them
As we seek your face,
Calling out to you
Day and night.

Yet we do not make
This pilgrimage alone,
For your dear Son
Lights up the narrow path,
And your Holy Spirit
Comforts us along the way,
Until we see you
Face to face, at last.

References

Clouds and thick darkness surround him (Psalm 97:2; NIV).

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always (1 Chronicles 16:11; NIV).

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).

If you seek him, you will find him (1 Chronicles 28:9; NLT).


3. Waste

Photo: Paco

Lord,
When we turn our backs on you
To go our own way,
We waste our lives
In sin and selfishness.

Yet you wait for us
With arms outstretched,
Always ready to forgive,
And longing to greet us
With a kiss.

References

These wicked people are born sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way (Psalm 58:3; NLT).

A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living (Luke 15:13; NLT).

He returned to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NLT).


4. The lions’ den

Photo: adamjvarga

Lord,
When life throws me
Into the lions’ den,
Or hurls me
Into the fiery furnace,
May I fear no evil,
For you are always with me –
In life,
In death,
And for eternity.

References 

The king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions (Daniel 6:16; NLT).

Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace (Daniel 3:20; 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).

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).


5. Reaching out

Photo: TheDigitalArtist

Father,
I reach out eagerly
To you in prayer,

For if your Son
Could do nothing
By himself,

How much more
Do I need you,
My Lord and my God?

References

I stretch out my hands to you (Psalm 143:6; NIV).

By myself I can do nothing (John 5:30; NIV).

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).


6. Too much

Photo: Pexels

Lord,

You’re far too much
For me to cope with:
Too vast,
Too overwhelming,
And too strong!

I’m just a weak
And sinful soul;
I don’t deserve
To be near you at all.

Please shield me
From your awesome power,
And hide me, Lord,
Until you have passed by;

For I’m afraid
When you draw close
To listen to my prayers,
And speak to me.

References

Look now; I myself am he! There is no other god but me! I am the one who kills and gives life (Deuteronomy 32:39; NLT).

I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant (Genesis 32:10; NLT).

Come near to God and he will come near to you (James 4:8; NIV).


7. God’s hands

Photo: OmarMedinaFilms

Father,
Thank you for making me.

Whatever happens,
I am safely in your care.

Underneath me
Are your everlasting arms.

You are my God,
And my life is in your hands.

References

Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his (Psalm 100:3; NLT).

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

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


8. Blind

Photo: falco

Lord,
I am blind;
Open my eyes,
So I can see your face.

Lord,
I am deaf;
Unstop my ears,
So I can hear your voice.

Lord,
I am lame;
Strengthen my limbs,
So I can follow your Son.

Lord,
I am mute;
Open my mouth,
So I can sing your praise.

References

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy (Isaiah 35:4-6; NIV).

A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all (Matthew 15:30; NLT).


9. Happiness

Photo: skeeze

Lord,
Please help me
Not be fooled into believing
That happiness depends
On my relationships,
Appearance, clothes,
Possessions, money,
Home, or holidays;
My intellect, career,
Abilities, achievements,
Or health;

For sooner or later
Everything I think is mine
Will be taken away from me,
Except my soul –
And you.

References

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewellery, or beautiful clothes (1 Peter 3:3; NLT).

Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own (Luke 12:15; NLT).

A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God (Luke 12:21; NLT).

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found (Psalm 119:35; NLT).


10. I lift my hands

Photo: geralt

Lord,
I lift my hands to you
In prayer.

Lord,
I lift my eyes to you
In faith.

Lord,
I lift my heart to you
In love.

Lord,
I lift my soul to you
In awe.

Reference

I lift my hands to you in prayer (Psalm 143:6; NLT).


11. Close

Photo: cocoparisienne

Lord,
Help me to remember
Just how close you are:

Within and around me,
Behind and before me,
Above and below me,
On my left and my right.

Your hand is always upon me,
And you never leave me
Or forsake me,
Whatever happens.

So, no matter how I feel,
There is nothing to fear,
For no one can ever snatch me
From your arms.

References

Come close to God, and God will come close to you (James 4:8; NLT).

You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head (Psalm 139:5; NLT).

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged (Deuteronomy 31:8; NIV).

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand (John 10:29; NIV).


12. Silence

Photo: susan-lu4esm

Here I am, Lord,
Ready to seek you out
In silence.

Each time I breathe in,
I draw a little nearer
To your presence,

And each time I breathe out,
I set aside the thoughts
Distracting me from you.

Slowly,
My body grows calm,
And my mind falls silent,

Until my heart worships
Without words,
While my soul overflows with love.

None can compare with you.
How great you are:
Beyond my understanding.

References

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

All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy (Psalm 22:26; NLT).

How great is God – beyond our understanding (Job 36:26; NIV).


13. Condemnation

Photo: Free-Photos

Lord,
We are all sinners:
Our lives amount to nothing
Without you.

Forgive us,
And help us to follow
Your dear Son,

For there is no other way
To be saved from your wrath
And condemnation.

References

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; NLT).

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1; NLT).

He will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness (Romans 2:8; NLT).


14. Repentance

Photo: geralt

God loves to forgive us –
In fact,
He’s waiting to forgive!

Judgemental thoughts,
Harsh words,
And selfish deeds –

He’s always ready
To forgive our sins,

Just as soon
As we are sorry,
Turn to him,
And start to
Mend our ways,

Producing fruit
In keeping
With repentance.

References

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you (Acts 13:38; NIV).

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out (Acts 3:19; NIV).

All must repent of their sins and turn to God – and prove they have changed by the good things they do (Acts 26:20; NLT).

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Luke 3:8; NIV).


15. Bone and blood

Photo: NIKILLU

Father,
I am nothing:

Just a fragile frame
Of flesh,
And bone,
And blood,

Dependent on you
For every beat
Of my heart.

Please breathe new life
Into my barren soul,
And fill me

With your Spirit,
So I bear fruit for you
Before my death.

References

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life (Ezekiel 37:5; NIV).

This means that 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).

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).


16. Anger

Photo: 99pixel

Lord Jesus,
I often suppress my anger.
Please tell me:
How did you manage yours?

Ah! Sometimes you spoke sharply
To your followers,
With harsher admonition still
For hypocrites.

Once, in the temple,
You overturned the tables
To express your indignation.
People must have been scandalised!

But you were never ashamed
Of your anger,
Nor were you afraid
Of how others might react.

So you didn’t suppress it:
You faced it, using it
In healthy, honest ways,
As part of your ministry.

Lord,
May I learn from your example:
Please help me to be angry
Without sinning –
Just like you.

Reference

In your anger do not sin (Ephesians 4:26; NIV).


17. Contemplation

Photo: Ridderhof

Lord,
During contemplation,
You welcome me
Into your kingdom
Of infinite peace,
Light,
Space,
Timelessness,
And unity:
A realm entirely suffused
With your love.

References

May the God of peace make you holy in every way (1 Thessalonians 5:23; NLT).

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

A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8; NLT).

The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; NIV).

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


18. God

Photo: Westi2605

Heavenly Father,
Your wisdom is profound,
Your power, vast.

You are fire:
Towering,
Inextinguishable,
Blazing in infinite space.

You are light:
Dazzling,
Unquenchable,
Banishing darkness forever.

You are love:
Unfailing, unconditional,
Stretching out your hand
To heal our hearts.

You are near:
Merciful, compassionate,
And ready to forgive,
The moment we repent,
And turn to you.

Reference

His wisdom is profound, his power is vast (Job 9:4; NIV).


19. Love

Photo: TheDigitalArtist

Father,
Please forgive us
For all the ways
We misconstrue your teaching,
And for all the terrible things
We do in your name,
Thinking ourselves righteous
When we couldn’t be
More wrong:

For you are Love,
And no cruel
Or unkind deed
Can ever be done
In your name.

References

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else (Luke 18:9; NLT).

Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness (Romans 10:3; NIV).

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


20. Questions

Photo: falco

Father,
When you created us in your own image,
Did you know we would choose
The path of disobedience and sin?

Did you foresee
That the strong would despise the weak,
And the rich exploit the poor?

Did you anticipate
How we would despoil your pristine world
Out of selfishness and greed?

You did.

Yet you went ahead,
And made us anyway.

You went ahead,
And loved us anyway.

You went ahead,
And sent your only Son
To die for us,
So we can be forgiven,

The moment we repent,
And turn to you,
Then start to change
Our lives.

Reference

God created human beings in his own image (Genesis 1:27; NLT).


21. Fruition

Photo: Graehawk

Father,
How you test and refine us
In the fires of life!

When we suffer,
Or lose our way,
We can feel so alone,
But you are always with us.

Help us to learn
From every trial,
Maturing year by year
Till we bear fruit,

Becoming, at last,
All that you planned for us
Before our birth.

References

The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT).

He will be like a refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2; NIV).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).


22. Faith

Photo: asharaakhimov

Lord Jesus, save me!

I’m completely out of my depth,
Swamped by all these waves.

Calm my fears.
Give me the faith to keep going,
Even though I’ve lost all hope.

Take my hand
As I pass through this storm,
And bring me safely to the other side.

Amen.

References

I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me (Psalm 42:7; NLT).

The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” (Matthew 8:25-6; NLT).

I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you’ (Isaiah 41:13; NLT).


23. Lord

Photo: birgl

Lord,
May your light
Illuminate my mind,

Your fire
Set my soul ablaze,

And your love
Fill my heart to overflowing.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

References

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT).

The Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

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


24. A paradox

Photo: Guerrerofoto

Father,
I wander in this desert
Seeking you;
But even as I search,
You’re always with me.

Jesus,
I stumble in this darkness
Seeking you;
But even as I search,
You’re always with me.

Spirit,
I cry out in this chaos
Seeking you;
But even as I search,
You’re always with me.

References

He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wilderness (Deuteronomy 32:10; NLT).

The way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over (Proverbs 4:19; NLT).

Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “Lord, help!” they cried out in their trouble (Psalm 107:26-8; NLT).

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:8; NLT).


25. Ten short prayers

Photo: Tumisu

1. Lord,
Please heal me
Through and through –
Not for my own sake,
But so I can serve you
By helping others.

2. Lord,
In your compassion,
Look away from my all sins,
But let me always look toward you,
And seek your face.

3. Lord,
There’s no two ways about it:
You’ve forgiven all my sins.
So maybe it’s time
To forgive myself as well!

4. Lord,
Help me to stay
As close to you today
As you will be to me.

5. Lord,
May your hand
Be upon me today,
In blessing,
Guidance,
And restraint.

6. Father,
Help us to overcome
Our anger,
Distress,
And fear,
By truly forgiving
Those who have hurt us.

7. Father,
Thank you for giving us prayer,
So we can seek your presence
In our souls
Day and night,
For as long as we live.

8. Lord,
If I don’t have
A relationship with you,
I have nothing,
For without you
I am nothing at all.

9. Forget my body and my mind, Lord,
Just heal my heart and soul,
Then I will ask for nothing more!
Amen.

10. Father,
Come to live in me,
And let me always live in you.
Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.


26. Evil

Photo: geralt

Father,
Despite the gift of your Son
Our world is very dark,
For when we turn our backs on you
Our appetite for evil runs unchecked.

Arrogance and bullying,
Selfishness and cruelty:
Nothing is too vile to be inflicted
On those weaker than ourselves;
Whilst your command to love our enemies
Never enters our minds.

So, may we face and understand
The pain we cause to others.
Help us to repent,
To ask for your forgiveness,
And to change –
Before your patience finally runs out.

References

No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins (Isaiah 64:7; NIV).

From evil people come evil deeds (1 Samuel 24:13; NLT).

To you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27-8; NLT).

Turn away from evil and do good (Psalm 34:14; NLT).


27. Paradise

Photo: Konevi

Father,
In the beginning
We talked with you face to face:
It was paradise!

But we quickly disobeyed you,
And were banished
From your side.

Since then,
Our sins hide your face from our sight,
And close your ears to our cries.

But if we turn away from sin
And seek your face,
Will you restore us to paradise?

Will you talk with us
Face to face again,
As you did in the beginning?

References

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; NLT).

The Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23; NLT).

Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear (Isaiah 59:2; NIV).

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8; NIV).


28. Prayer for the day

Photo: pumukel

Lord,
Please keep me
In your arms today,
Holding me close
To your heart.

But if I should wander
Away from your care,
Please search me out
In the wilderness,
And carry me home
On your shoulders,
Full of joy.

References

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart (Isaiah 40;11; NLT).

If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders (Luke 15:4-5; NLT).

The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10; NLT).


29. Healing

Photo: rauschenberger

Lord,
I’m a wretched sinner.

My flesh is weak,
My mind, corrupt;

My heart is blighted,
And my soul defiled.

I can never
Be worthy of your love,

But only say the word,
And I will be healed.

Reference

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:7-8; NLT).


30. Your willing slave

Photo: diwero

Father,
I have sinned against others,
Against heaven,
And against you.

I am not worthy
To be called your child,
Or even your hired hand.

Instead,
Please let me be
Your willing slave.

References

I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant” (Luke 15:18-19; NLT).

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave (Matthew 20:26-7; NLT).


31. Lost

Photo: OpenClipart-Vectors

Father,
We are lost without you.

We long to see your face,
Yet, blinded by our sins,
Our ignorance, and misconceptions,
We wander far from your narrow path.

May your dear Son seek us out,
Guide our faltering steps,
And lead us, at last,
Into your eternal presence.

We ask this in his holy name,
Amen.

References

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8; NIV).

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

The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; NLT).


32. Suffering

Photo: geralt

Lord,
There is so much suffering
In the world.

We pray for all
Who are weary and burdened,
Including ourselves.

Please forgive,
Heal,
And bless us all.

Help us to find rest
Along the way
By following your Son,

Then bring us home
To everlasting life
With you.

Reference

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


33. In God’s hands

Photo: Didgeman

Praying for others
Means seeing them
In God’s hands,

Asking him to help,
Bless, heal,
And comfort them,

Then showing them
Our love,
As best we can.

References

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NIV).

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

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10; NIV).

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


34. Life and death

Photo:rauschenberger

Father,
You create us,
And sustain our lives.

You teach,
And train,
And heal us.

We are entirely
In your hands.

When our bodies
Go back to the earth
From which we came,
May our souls
Return to you
In paradise.

References

You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8; NIV).

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10; NIV).

Then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43; NIV).


35. Unworthy

Photo: falco

Lord,
I am a sinner,
Not worthy
To draw near.

Yet you invite me in,
Welcoming me
With open arms,
And not a word
Of reproach.

How merciful
And kind you are,
My Lord
And my God!

References

The tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13; NIV).

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:10; NRSV).

When God our Saviour revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy (Titus 3:4-5; NLT).


36. No other

Photo: Ashbrauw

Teacher, Master,
Friend and Brother;

Saviour, Guardian,
Bridegroom, Lover;

Rock, Defender,
Father, Mother:

Lord, my God –
I want no other.

References

You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am (John 13:13; NLT).

My lover is mine, and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NLT).

You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Saviour (Psalm 89:26; NIV).

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you (Isaiah 66:13; NIV).

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).

I am the Lord; there is no other God (Isaiah 45:5; NLT).


37. Faith

Photo: Seregei

Faith isn’t about
Feeling close to God,
Or having
Spiritual experiences,
Though such things
Are always wonderful.

It’s about trusting him
In good times and bad,
Knowing he is with us,
And loving him
With all our heart, soul,
Mind and strength –

Whether we feel his presence with us,
Or not.

References

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1; NIV).

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29; NIV).

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18; NIV).

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:30; NLT).


38. The veil

Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969

Lord,
We cannot picture you,
Nor can we understand
Your thoughts,
For you are far beyond us all,
In every way.

But we know
You are love, light,
Fire, peace, and truth,
And we know
That you are near.

Help us to fix our hearts
Entirely on you,
Seeking you
Throughout our lives,

Till we pass through
The torn veil of death,
And see you face to face
At last.

References

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8; NLT).

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12; NIV).

The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom (Mark 15:38; KJV).


39. Today

Photo: DreamPixer

Father,
Thank you for
All my yesterdays,
Both good
And bad.

Only you
Know how many
Tomorrows
I still have to come,
So all I have
Is now.

Please help me
To love
And serve you, Lord,
Today,
Tomorrow,
And every day,
Until my life is done.

Reference

None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death (Ecclesiastes 8:8; NLT).


40. Forgiveness

Photo: twcdaily.wordpress.com

Father,

Please forgive
My sins.

Help me to forgive
Those who have hurt me;

And may all those I have wronged
Forgive me too.

Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

References

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us (Luke 11:4; NIV).

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13; NLT).

When you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too (Mark 11:25; NLT).


41. God’s image

Photo: makowica65_eSTeeR

Lord,
You created us
In your own image,
But we deface your glory
With our sins.

Teach us,
And guide us,
We beg you.

Help us to grow
More like your much-loved Son,
So we reflect his glory
To everyone we meet.

For his name’s sake,
Amen.

References

God created human beings in his own image (Genesis 1:27; NLT).

Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT).

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And 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).

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NIV).


42. Self-righteousness

Photo: johnhain

Father,

How come we’re never
So sure we’re in the right,
As when we’re in the wrong?

Sure that what we’re thinking
Is correct,
Even when it’s so judgemental?

Sure that what we’re saying
Is appropriate,
Even when it’s so hurtful?

And sure that what we’re doing
Is justified,
Even when it’s so unkind?

Lord,
Please help us
To think, and say, and do,

Only that which is righteous
In your sight,
Not in our own!

References

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned (Luke 6:37; NIV).

You will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged (Matthew 7:2; NLT).

Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14; NLT).


43. Without you

Photo: martinkevich_a

Father,
There is no faith,
Hope,
Or love
Without you;

No way,
Truth,
Or life
Without your Son;

And no goodness,
Peace,
Or joy
Without your Spirit.

How great you are,
My Lord and my God!

References

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

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

The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17; NLT).

O Lord my God, how great you are (Psalm 104:1; NLT).


44. Pilgrimage

Photo: rauschenberger

Lord,

I’m getting closer to the end
Of my pilgrimage on earth.

Your kingdom is near,
But how tired I am!

Please strengthen my weary limbs
For the final stretch.

Ease my sorrowful heart
And anxious mind,

For there is nothing to fear –
Your Son paid all my debts off, long ago.

At the end of the road
You’ll run to meet me, full of love.

I’ll see your face and hear your voice;
Experience your kiss of welcome.

Then I will sing and dance for joy
With you, my Lord and my God.

References

While he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NLT).

They sang and danced for joy (1 Samuel 18:6; NLT).


45. The fountain of life

Photo: kasabubu

Lord,
You restore my strength;
You make me like a deer,
So I can tread the heights.

With you,
I can advance against a troop,
Scale a wall; walk and run –
Even fly like an eagle.

You redeem my life
From the pit,
And transform me
By the renewing of my mind.

Day and night,
I put my trust in you,
For you are the fountain of life,
And the source of my joy.

References

He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights (Habakkuk 3:19; NLT).

Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31; NLT).

God has delivered me from going down to the pit (Job 33:28; NIV).

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2; NIV).

You are the fountain of all life (Psalm 36:9; NLT).


46. Hand in hand

Photo: Photorama

Lord God,
At last I understand
That quiet prayer
Goes hand in hand
With practicing your presence
Day and night.

Please help me
With both!

+ Through Jesus’ name,
Amen.

References

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12; NLT).

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised (Psalm 113:3; NIV).

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice (Psalm 55:17; KJV).

In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law (Psalm 119:55; NIV).

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