This church

 

Lord, 

May this church
Not crush my faith;

May its members 
Not reject me.

May its powerful priests
Not put me down;

And may your love
Protect me.

 

References 

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle (Isaiah 42:3; NLT). 

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples (John 13:35; NLT).

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

God’s loyal love protects me all day long (Psalm 52:1; NET).

I’m a broken reed

 

Lord, 

I’m a broken reed,
A smoking flame,

But you won’t crush me,
Snuff me out, or maim.

Please show me the place 
Where sparrows build their nests,

Close to your altar, Lord,
Where I may rest.
 

References

God […] knows the secrets of every heart (Psalm 44:21; NLT).

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle (Isaiah 42:3; NLT).

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out (Isaiah 42:3; NIV). 

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar (Psalm 84:3; NLT).

Then 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).

Slow healing

He laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them (Luke 4:40; KJV).

With his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; KJV).

************************************************

 

Lord,

Healing bleeds so slowly
From your hands to ours,

Like honey, dripping from
A broken comb,

Or oil, oozing from the press
When fruit is crushed.

Justice, mercy and compassion

I’ve never written anything overtly ‘political’ before, but I am deeply ashamed of the way the British Government is exploiting and crushing the poor, the sick, those who are disabled, the homeless and those who cannot afford justice. So yesterday, I just had to write the following prayer:

Justice, mercy and compassion

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; NIV).

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26; NIV).

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

This is what the LORD Almighty said, ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another’ (Zechariah 7:9; NIV).

Father,
I’m ashamed
To be British.

Unemployed people
Are now being forced into
Zero hours contracts,
Losing their benefits
If they refuse.

Lord,
Please help those with power
To understand
That justice, mercy
And compassion
Are essential
In all their dealings
With those who have
No power at all.

I ask this in the name of Christ,
Amen.

 

My serpent

Hello to all readers. Learning to deal with anger – both my own and other people’s, has always been the most challenging aspect of life to me. At the moment, I’m having to concentrate on my own. Today’s prayer describes something personally significant that I started to learn about last week…

My serpent
* Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:26; NRSV).
* Do not let your mouth lead you into sin (Ecclesiastes 5:6; NIV).
* The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing 
(Proverbs 12:18; NIV).
* To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue (Proverbs 16.1; NIV).

Father,
When someone hurts me,
I’m programmed from childhood
To crush my anger down at once,
Right down to my gut,
Where it writhes like a wounded serpent,
Until I feel as if death itself
Is about to strike.

I’ve always called this vile sensation
‘Dread’,
But I was wrong, Lord;
It’s not dread at all –
It’s suppressed anger!

Now,
I want to recognise my anger quickly,
Rather than crushing it –
Which hurts me,
Or spewing it out –
Which hurts others.

Lord,
Help me to share my anger with you.
Then I will understand
Whether I need to act on it,
And how to do so wisely.