Cross, Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,, love

I want to follow Christ

 

Lord God,
I want to follow Christ –
Please teach me 
How to think.

      Don’t judge, reject, 
      Hate, or condemn;
      Make finding fault
      Extinct. 

Lord God,
I want to follow Christ –
Please tell me 
What to say.

      Apologise to those 
      You hurt; 
      And speak the truth 
      Each day. 

Lord God,
I want to follow Christ –
Please show me 
What to do.

      Take up your cross;
      Love everyone; 
      Forgive those 
      Who hurt you. 

 

References 

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

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you (Luke 6:37; NLT).

How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Luke 6:42; NLT).

They kept demanding an answer, so he [Jesus] stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7; NLT).

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-4; NIV). 

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

Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12.9; 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). 

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Burn our sins

 

Burn our sins, Lord,
In your fire,
And heal us
With your endless light.

Lead us 
To your holy truth,
And guide us 
Though our souls’ dark night.

Share with us
Your perfect peace,
And help us grasp
Your peerless love.

Show us, Lord,
Your only Son,
And sanctify us
With his blood.

 

References

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

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT). 

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

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

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

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16; NIV).

Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood (Hebrews 13:12; NLT).

 

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Yours and mine

The Father’s peace 
Is yours and mine,
And theirs, and ours –
Though all else fails.

The Father’s truth 
Is yours and mine,
And theirs, and ours –
For he prevails.

The Father’s light
Is yours and mine, 
And theirs, and ours –
It cannot cease.

The Father’s love
Is yours and mine,
And theirs, and ours –
May it increase!

 

References

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

The peace of God, that passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7; RSV).

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

In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth (Psalm 45:4; NLT).

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT). 

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5; NLT). 

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

May the Lord make your love increase (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NIV).

 

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Personal growth, faith, prayer, contemplation, love, oneness,

Contemplation

 

Introduction 
Contemplation is the practice of spending time alone with God, in stillness and silence. The aim is to become more deeply aware of our essential oneness with him. The contemplative process works by helping us to know ourselves more deeply, so we can be completely open and honest with God. Without such openness, there can be neither intimacy, nor unity. 

Information
Throughout our lives we experience a stream of information from our bodies and minds. This flow includes sensations, thoughts, emotions, memories, fantasies, temptations, visions, dreams and nightmares. In the quietness of contemplation, these conscious and unconscious manifestations of the inner self continue to emerge.

Treasures
However, although these impressions may distract us, they should never be seen as intrusions into our silence. Rather, they are the raw materials through which we learn about ourselves. Only through becoming aware of these “treasures hidden in darkness” (reference below), can we know ourselves more fully, and thus be able to share ourselves more completely with God. 

A sequence of steps 
During contemplation, many of the issues emerging from our information flow will require only brief attention, whilst others may prove more challenging. It can therefore be helpful to practice using a sequence of steps for handling them.

Step 1
The most basic task during contemplation is to become aware of our sensations, thoughts and feelings as they rise into consciousness. These experiences will repeatedly distract us from a steady focus on God. However each time we realise our minds have wandered, we briefly acknowledge this before him, let the matter go, then return to the silence.

Step 2 
When we find we are unable to let an issue go, it helps to discuss it straightforwardly with God. This process generally enables us to decide on the best course of action to take. It is good to jot this decision down, so we don’t worry about forgetting it. Using this process usually makes it easier to set the issue aside until we are ready to act, later on.

Step 3
Sometimes, though, we will still be unable to let a matter go. This indicates the need to embrace and accept the unresolved concern just as it is, whilst continuing to sit with it, in silence.

Honesty 
By using these three approaches appropriately and regularly during contemplation, we gradually come face to face with many hidden (often unpalatable), truths about ourselves. This enables us to share ourselves more honestly and fully with God. Of course, God already knows everything about us, but because he delights in our freedom, he waits patiently for us to draw nearer to him. 

Oneness
However, God’s love for us is so great that he doesn’t always wait for us to complete the journey at our own pace. Instead, he runs to meet us, taking us in his arms and kissing us, as we unite in our essential oneness. After enjoying this closeness for a while, we return, a little more enlightened, to our daily lives.

Conclusion
During contemplation we use our awareness of the information emerging from our conscious and unconscious minds to share our deepest selves with God. This learning and sharing process continues until the very end of our lives. Then, still, silent and alone, we seek him for the final time, in the darkness of death. And this time, when he welcomes us, there is no need to go back, for we will remain wholly one with him, absorbed into his light, fire, peace, truth and love for all eternity.

 

References

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35; NIV).

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

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

I will give you treasures hidden in darkness (Isaiah 45:3; NLT).

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

The Lord must wait for you to come to him (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

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).

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).

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In your light

Hello, everyone. I woke at 5am today, and, to my great joy and relief, received the inspiration to start writing again. Thank you so much to those who sent messages of comfort, support and encouragement. So, here is today’s newly-minted prayer:

 

I hold my friends, Lord,
In your light,
Which streams into the world
Both day and night. 

I hold my neighbours
In your peace,
Which streams into the world, Lord,
Without cease.

I hold my foes, Lord, 
In your truth,
Which streams into the world
To end abuse. 

I hold all people
In your blood,
Which streams into the world
To bring us love.

 

References

I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another (2 John 1:5; NLT).

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT). 

See, see, where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament! (Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Act 5; Scene 2).

If you love your neighbour, you will fulfil the requirements of God’s law (Romans 13:8; NLT).

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

Love your enemies! (Luke 6:35; NLT).

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

Supplement your […] brotherly affection with love for everyone (2 Peter 1:7; NLT).

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross (Colossians 1:20; NLT).

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

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You are God’s light

You are God’s light,
His lamp for our feet.

You are God’s truth,
His Word in our minds. 

You are God’s fire,
His flame in our hearts.

You are God’s peace,
His rest for our souls.

You are God’s Son,
His image, his call.

You are God’s love,
His care for us all.

 

References 

Light
I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT).
God is light (1 John 1:5; NIV).
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet (Psalm 119:105; NLT).

Truth
I am the way the truth and the life (John 14:6; NIV).
The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).
The Word became human and made his home among us (John 1:14; NLT).

Fire
He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11; NLT).
The Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV). 
Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road? (Luke 24:32; NLT).

Peace 
Peace I leave you; my peace I give you (John 14:27; NIV).
The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).
I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28; NIV).

Christ
This is my Son, my Chosen One (Luke 9:35; NLT).
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15; NLT).
I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent (Luke 5:32; NLT).

Love
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5-6; RSV).
God is love (1 John 4:16; NLT). 
He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7; NLT).

 

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Speak the truth

Father,

May I always 
Speak the truth 
To you in prayer,

With no pretence, 
”Forgetting”,
Or false shame;

And may I pray 
At all times 
In your Holy Spirit, Lord, 

With faith, and hope, 
And love,
Through your Son’s name.

 

References 

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

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV). 

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion (Ephesians 6:18; NLT).

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

Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:14; NLT).

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