Lord’s day joy – James Smith

A beautiful prayer from Maria that I wanted to share.

Pilgrim’s Progress revisited ~ Christiana on the narrow way

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…God came down in the person of the Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, first filling the house, and then the persons of the saints. Thus qualifying his people to testify for him, publish his truth, and conquer their every foe. That Spirit is still in the church — but more of the power and grace of that Spirit is needed by the church, and therefore we should still cry, “O that you would come down!”

God comes down now — and meets his people in their prayer-closets, giving them sensible manifestations of his presence, impressions of his power, and proofs of his love. He comes down into the sanctuary, and makes the place of his feet glorious. Then his word is powerful, devotion is sweet, and the communion of saints is delightful. He comes down into the heart, fills it with joy and peace, makes it his royal…

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Celebrating Christmas

God, our loving Father, help us remember the
birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of
the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and
the wisdom of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love
all over the world.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which
Christ brings and teach us to be merry with
clean hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy
to be your children and the Christmas evening
bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94)

Send me sleep

This is a favorite prayer of mine before bed-time. It may be short but it says a lot faith-wise in few words.

May it be a blessing to you too.

Lord, send me sleep that I may live;
The wrongs I’ve done this day forgive.
Bless every deed and thought and word
I’ve rightly done, or said, or heard.
Bless relatives and friends alway;
Teach all the world to watch and pray.
My thanks for all my blessings take
And hear my prayer for Jesus’ sake.

Author unknown. The painting is by Roberto Ferruzzi (1854 – 1934, Italian).

The glory of creation

“O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.”

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918)

Our Prayer

My friend Karina has just had a baby boy. The following article contains a beautiful prayer for a child that was so lovely, I had to share it. May it be a blessing to you.

Karina's Thought

Our Prayer-Karina's Thought

Hello my dear blog friends, I am grateful to God today could come back to blogging after around a month not being active in the blog world. I have missed so much beautiful and awesome posts from all of you and later will try to take time to visit and reading your posts.

This evening I just want to share something that have touched my heart so deep. Three days after my baby was born, my mother asked me to talk privately and she gave me her diary book. She said that the diary contained her daily writing about my growth progress when I was a baby. She wrote in detail every growth that happened to me day after day. She said, “I hope you could learn something from this diary. You could know and learn how amazing seeing our baby grows. That is such a great and beautiful God’s…

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Forgiving those of ill will

“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us;
remember the fruits we have borne, thanks to this suffering –
our comradeship, our loyalty, our courage,
our generosity, the greatness of heart which has
grown out of all this, and when they come to
judgement let all the fruits which we have borne
be their forgiveness.”

Prayer written by an unknown prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp and left by the body of a dead child

How can I keep from singing?

My life flows on in endless song;

Above earth’s lamentation,

I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn

That hails a new creation;

Thro’ all the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing;

It finds an echo in my soul—

How can I keep from singing?

What tho’ my joys and comforts die?

The Lord my Saviour liveth;

What tho’ the darkness gather round?

Songs in the night he giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm

While to that refuge clinging;

Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

How can I keep from singing?

These are the words as published by Robert Lowry in the 1869 song book, “Bright Jewels for the Sunday School.” Here Lowry claims credit for the music, but gives no indication as to who wrote the words.

Evening by Thomas Miller

An evocative poem by Thomas Miller from the book “A Treasury of Prayers for Now and Always”. It is mid evening here in Australia so a wonderful prayer with which to end the day.

“The day is past, the sun is set,
And the white stars are in the sky;
While the long grass with dew is wet,
And through the air the bats now fly.

The lambs have now lain down to sleep,
The birds have long since sought their nests;
The air is still; and dark, and deep
On the hill side the old wood rests.

Yet of the dark I have no fear,
But feel as safe as when ’tis light;
For I know God is with me there,
And He will guard me through the night.

For God is by me when I pray,
And when I close mine eyes to sleep,
I know that He will with me stay,
And will all night watch by me keep.

For He who rules the stars and sea,
Who makes the grass and trees to grow.
Will look on a poor child like me,
When on my knees I to Him bow.

He holds all things in His right hand,
The rich, the poor, the great, the small;
When we sleep, or sit, or stand,
He is with us, for He loves us all.”

The painting featured is by Joseph Farquharson (19th century British painter): “Herding Sheep in a Winter Landscape at Sunset.”

The Case for the Psalms

This afternoon the Lord Jesus’ Spirit gently prompted me to read the following book by N. T. Wright:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Case-Psalms-They-Essential/dp/0062230506

Widely regarded as the modern C. S. Lewis, N. T. Wright, one of the world’s most trusted and popular Bible scholars and the bestselling author of “Simply Christian” and “Surprised by Hope”, presents a manifesto urging Christians to live and pray the Bible’s Psalms.

Wright seeks to reclaim the power of the Psalms, which were once at the core of prayer life. He argues that, by praying and living the Psalms, we enter into a worldview, a way of communing with God and knowing him more intimately, and receive a map by which we understand the contours and direction of our lives. For this reason, all Christians need to read, pray, sing, and live the Psalms.

One passage in particular rang true to me today, which I wanted to share with people reading this site, as you might find it uplifting and hopeful too:

As Jesus Himself said in his fresh use of the same image, the seed is the Word of God, and however unworthy or muddled the one who sows it, it remains God’s word, and it will do its work, never failing to astonish us at its abundant productivity.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, for this inspiring little gem of a book. Highly recommended.

We rejoice and give thanks

Dear God,

We rejoice and give thanks for earthworms, bees, ladybirds and broody hens; for humans tending their gardens, talking to animals, cleaning their homes and singing to themselves; for the rising of the sap, the fragrance of growth, the invention of the wheelbarrow and the existence of the teapot, we give thanks. We celebrate and give thanks.

Amen.
(Michael Leunig, Australian cartoonist and a lovely, gentle man of enduring Christian faith)

More inspiring prayers can be found in Michael’s book, “When I talk to you – a cartoonist talks to God”:
http://www.amazon.com/When-Talk-You-Cartoonist-Talks/dp/0740756966