Archive for June 2018

You Call Me Back

A prayer response to Revelation 8:13 – 9:12 (see also 9:20-21),
the fifth trumpet

Father, everything calls me to You.
You are All-in-all.
All things flow
from You,
through You, and
to You, and
I am drawn always back to You as well.

My joys,
my concerns,
my restlessness
call me to You.
My blessings,
my frustrations,
my deepest desires
cause me to flow back to You,
as surely as the river to the sea.

My strengths are Your gifts, and
they draw me to You
in grateful service.

But more often, Father,
my neediness pulls me back to You,
the Source of so much that I lack.
My failures,
my ignorance,
my weakness,
my inconsistency,
my sickness, blindness,
laziness, and self-centeredness
all call me to You,
on my knees,
face down.

O Father, keep me right here by Your side,
looking to You,
clinging to You,
depending completely on You.
Why should I ever leave?
Keep me here.
The more separation I allow to grow between us,
the more I suffer unnecessarily before getting
back here again.

But Father, above all,
thank You for continuing to
patiently, persistently call me back.
I praise You and worship You
with all my heart,
even through the pain.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Back to You
Printed Music & Lyrics

God Blesses His People

Printed Music

Yahweh, high and holy Sovereign,
Claims the needy as His own,
Calls us to His holy presence,
Wraps us in His sweet shalom.

See His face ever lifted,
Ever shining, ever smiling,
Ever blessing, ever breathing peace.

Yahweh is our Great Protector,
He our Shepherd, we His sheep.
Guarding, guiding, seeking, finding,
He is watching while we sleep.

Yahweh takes us as His children,
Shares with us His holy name.
His the power, His the glory,
His the Kingdom we proclaim!

All We Need

One greater than Solomon is here. (Luke 11:31, NIV)

Father, how many great Old Testament saints longed to see Jesus Christ!
How many longed to know Him as we know Him,
to be filled with His Spirit,
to walk even a moment in His personal presence!

People today would travel around the world to see
Abraham or Moses or Solomon.

One greater than Abraham is here.
One greater than Moses is here.
One greater than Solomon is here.
One greater than the greatest entertainer is here.
One greater than money or comfort or fame is here.
One greater than every other good is here.

Father, in Jesus Christ You have left no need unmet,
no thirst unsatisfied,
no hunger unfilled.
All the wisdom,
all the peace,
all the holiness,
all the life we could ever want
are ours in Christ Jesus.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15, NIV)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: All We Need
Printed Music & Lyrics

God Is Moved by Prayer

A reflection on Revelation 8:3-12,
the first four trumpets 

Sovereign God is moved by the prayers of His people.

He seeks our prayers.
He welcomes our prayers.
He listens to our prayers.
He is pleased with our prayers.
He answers our prayers.

The God of fire acts mightily in response to our prayers.
The Holy God brings justice because we pray.
The God of the Exodus delivers oppressed people because we pray.

Our humble, stumbling prayers rise as fragrant incense
in the throne room of the universe,
in the presence of the Lord of all reality.

Our prayers matter because they align us
with His purposes,
with all He has and all He is.
Our prayers matter because the Sovereign God
says that they matter.

Father, may our prayers rise to You
as constantly as breath,
from hearts of love, warmed by Your love,
in simple, childlike faith.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: As I Pray
Printed Music & Lyrics

Discover Jesus Christ

Printed Music

Discover in a tiny child
The Lord of time and space,
In helplessness and poverty,
The hope of all our race.
The spring of joy, the dawn of peace,
The mystery of life–
Come touch the hand and heart of God:
Discover Jesus Christ.

Come see the most despised of men;
Come see the most adored.
Come watch Him move in mighty love;
Come wonder at His words.
Come see Him suffer, see His pain;
Stand watching as He dies,
And hear forgiveness for your sins:
Discover Jesus Christ.

Now see the One you crucified–
He lives, and all is well.
His Spirit fills the universe,
Our Lord, Emmanuel.
Discover hope. Discover joy.
Discover love and life.
Discover God your dearest friend.
Discover Jesus Christ.

Infinite Love

What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4, NIV)

The Creator of this vast universe deeply, personally loves us tiny, troublesome human beings. How can that make sense?

Look at the universe and see God’s power. It reaches to the farthest corners of physical reality and to every microscopic detail. His power reaches to infinity in both directions, to galaxies and to water-drop worlds. Some are too vast and some too tiny for us to trace with our senses. But everything is created and controlled by His will.

His wisdom and knowledge reach everywhere His power goes. We marvel that He can know everything all the time. But is it so unbelievable that the One able to create all this can also stay in constant contact with it, that He can always know it completely?

What’s more, His love is as deep, rich, creative, and complete as His power and knowledge. He not only created all that is and knows all that is, but He cares for it all, constantly and completely. Like His power and understanding, His love enfolds all He has made.

His love enfolds each of us, every moment and forever. His love is enabled by infinite ability and is guided by infinite wisdom. His love for you is unlimited and unfailing. You can trust Him. You can trust Him with every concern, no matter how far-flung or how trivial, for in every detail His love knows and controls and cares.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Look! His Goodness Fills the Morning
Printed Music & Lyrics

Through Silence and Trumpets

A prayer response to Revelation 8:1-2,
the opening of the seventh seal 

The Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him. (Habakkuk 2:20, NASB)

In the silence,
You are Lord.
In the waiting,
You are Lord.
As we scramble through crises or
trudge through the endless ordinary,
You are Lord.

When events start to trumpet that Your Day is near,
when justice begins to thunder through all creation,
and then,
when that last trumpet sounds,
You will be holy, high and lifted up.
You will be glorious, right, and good.
You will be peace and light and love.
We will see You and worship You for
all You are and
all You have always been:
Sovereign Lord.

Through the noise and
through the silence, O God,
we look to You alone.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Trumpet Will Sound
Printed Music & Lyrics

Content in You

Printed Music

Weak or strong, in need or plenty,
In the dark of deepest grief,
Rich or poor, in health or sickness,
When my pain finds no relief,
As I pray, You prove it true:
I can rest content in You.

Perfect wisdom, perfect power,
Perfect goodness, perfect love,
Father, Savior, Friend, and Healer,
O so near and all above,
You are joy each moment new!
Here I rest content in You.

Father, patient through my struggles,
Always strong when I am frail,
True to each and every promise,
So forgiving when I fail,
You are good in all You do!
I rejoice, content in You.

Money, fame, and pleasures call me.
Worries threaten every day.
All their hopes and fears are empty,
Quickly come, then fade away.
Other joys are false and few.
Lord, I rest content in You.

Necessary and Easy

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV) 

Practicing the presence of God is for everyone.
It is both necessary and easy.

Talking with God is
the most holy,
the most universal, and
the most necessary practice in the spiritual life.
We can speak humbly and lovingly to Him
at all times,
wherever we are.
There are no rules or procedures to follow.
Just talk to Him honestly and
believe that He hears you.

Though church is important,
you don’t have to be in church to talk to Him.
Make your heart a chapel where
you may escape from time to time
to talk with Him.

Everyone can live in
constant fellowship
with the Living God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Looking to Jesus
Printed Music & Lyrics

by Brother Lawrence and Ken Bible

The People of the Living God

A reflection on Revelation 7:9-17,
the vision of the heavenly multitude

We are the people of the Living God.

rejected, and
sharing the suffering of our crucified Lord,
we are the people of the Living God.

Human but holy,
flawed but forgiven,
immature but growing daily in Christ,
we are the people of the Living God.

sanctified, and
sealed as His very own,
we are the people of the Living God.

We are His Body,
His temple,
His treasured possession,
His precious children.

And soon, we will be His
stunningly beautiful Bride,
aglow with the perfection of our Beloved.

We are the people of the Living God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Chosen in Jesus
Printed Music & Lyrics