Christian

Where is your hope?

My only hope is in you‘ (Psalm 39:7 NLT)

When Saul went to see Samuel, he was told, ‘You and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes‘ (1 Samuel 9:20 NLT). That must have put him under an immense amount of pressure, I wonder how we might deal with a situation like that? Do we feel under pressure from the high hopes of others? Do people that we know or work with have exceedingly high expectations or hopes of what we can, or may be able to do?

Only God truly knows what we can do through His strength, He watches, ‘the eye of the LORD is on those… … who hope in his steadfast love‘ (Psalm 33:18 ESV). David trusted God, and frequently said, ‘All day long I put my hope in you‘ and ‘for I put my hope in you‘ (Psalm 25:5 & 21 NLT), and, ‘My hope is in you‘ (Psalm 39:7 NIV).

God has a plan for us, (Jeremiah 29:11) and because of this, He knows what we can do. The writer of Hebrews said, ‘Our [your] strength comes from God’s grace‘ (Hebrews 13:9 NLT), and Paul said, ‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength‘ (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

All of us go through tough times, and these are the times where we are refined, just as the nation Israel was when they disobeyed God, and finally returned to Him, as mentioned in Isaiah (48 & v10). ‘The LORD knows the hopes of the helpless‘ (Psalm 10:17 NLT). We may not be truly helpless during our troubled times, but that does not change the sentiment, our God truly knows us, and all of our hopes and dreams.

We need to be steadfast, and, ‘Put our [your] hope in God‘ (Psalm 42:5 NIV). We need to trust Him, and, ‘find rest in God; our [my] hope comes from him‘ (Psalm 62:5 NIV), we need to, ‘put our [my] hope in His [your] word‘ (Psalm 119:74 NIV); we need to, ‘Be still, and know that He [I am] is God!‘ (Psalm 46:10 NLT). Ultimately though, we need to, ‘Trust and obey, for there’s no other way‘ (John H Sammis).

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If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him‘ (Matthew 7:11 NIV). Our Father in heaven gives us the hope that we need to go on. ‘In his name… nations put their hope‘ (Matthew 12:21 NIV). Because of Jesus, ‘my body will also rest in hope‘ (Acts 2:26 NIV). Whatever we do, whether we sin or rebel against God, we can always, ‘pray to the Lord in… hope‘ (Acts 8:22 NLT). Because we have Jesus and know and live the resurrection, we should, ‘Rejoice in our confident hope‘ (Romans 12:12 NLT), and because we are confident, we, ‘pray to [that] God, the source of hope, will fill us [you] completely‘ (Romans 15:13 NLT).
We have plenty to hope for. Be joyous and hope on our loyal, loving heavenly Father, he is a ‘Good Good Father‘ (P Barrett & T Brown).

 

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like, but I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night, and you tell me that you’re pleased, and that I’m never alone. You’re a Good, Good Father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are; and I’m loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am. Oh, I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide, but I’ve known we’re all searching, for answers only you provide, cause you know just what we need, before we say a word. You’re a Good, Good Father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, and I’m loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am. Cause’ you are perfect in all of your ways You are perfect in all of your ways to us.

Good Good Father
P. Barrett & T. Brown

 

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Father God, we know the hope we have in you is real, give us the words we need to speak to people that we meet about you, and the words you inspired people to write in the Bible. Only if people truly know you will they also have hope, and this is something to share with all people, give us strength and determination to take your word out wherever we go.

Lord we thank you for the children of the world, help them to know you through the people who support, educate, mentor and parent them. Lord give these people the strength and wisdom that they need, that they may speak the words of encouragement and guidance, that will show the youth the way to you.

Amen

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Christian

Where have they gone???

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12 NLT)

Our God is an awesome God‘ (R Mullins 1989). Richard Mullins wrote these simple inspiring words, and went on to say, ‘he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom power and love‘, these words capture the power and glory of God perfectly. We who know ‘Our God‘ can truly agree with both the sentiment and the words, God truly is awesome. And as awesome as He is, creating the universe and everything in it, He still has time for us.

God wants what is best for us, He has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and when we commit our lives to the Lord, and live the way that He wants us to, then when He looks at us, He will not see our past, He will not remember our past, it is as if it never happened; When Micah was talking to the Lord, he said, ‘You will trample our sins under your feet‘ (Micah 7:20 NIV).

If we trust in what the Bible say, in what God has said through all the prophets, and in what Jesus said and lived out, then God has promised, ‘I will never leave you‘ (Hebrews 13:5 NLT), so we know that when we submit to God and let Him lead our lives, as He has promised to (Psalm 32:8), then we are never alone. Jesus reminded His disciples of  the fact that they would never be alone, when giving them the ‘Great Commission’, He said, ‘I am with you always‘ so the disciples knew they were not alone, but if we read on, there is more for us, ‘always, to the very end of the age‘ (Matthew 28:20 NIV); so we know that the disciples always had Jesus in their heart, and we know that we can have the same thing.

Let us all confess our sins to God, and say, ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God… … Restore to me the joy of your salvation‘ (Psalm 51:10 NIV).

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Come set Your rule and reign, in our hearts again. Increase in us we pray. Unveil why we’re made. Come set our hearts ablaze with hope, like wildfire in our very souls. Holy Spirit come invade us now. We are Your Church. We need Your power, in us. We seek Your kingdom first. We hunger and we thirst. Refuse to waste our lives, for You’re our joy and prize. To see the captive hearts released, the hurt, the sick, the poor at peace. We lay down our lives for heaven’s cause. We are Your church. We pray revive, this earth. Unleash Your kingdoms power. Reaching the near and far. No force of hell can stop, your beauty  changing hearts. You made us for much more than this, awake the kingdom seed in us. Fill us with the strength and love of Christ. We are Your church. We are the hope , on earth. Build Your kingdom here. Let the darkness fear, show Your mighty hand, heal our streets and land. Set Your church on fire, win this nation back. Change the atmosphere, build Your kingdom here. We pray.

Build your Kingdom Here (Rend Collective)

 

So there is good news for the captive
Good news for the caged
There good news for the one who walked away
There is good news for the doubting
The one [?]
For the good Lord has come to seek and save

He’s our rescuer
He’s our rescuer
We are free from sin forever more
Oh how sweet the sound
Oh how grace abounds
We will praise the Lord, our rescuer

He is beauty for the battle
Riches for the poor
He is reaching for the one who will ignore
He is pasture for the weary
Rest for those who strive
For the good lord is the way, the truth and life
The good lord is the way, the truth and life

Rescuer

C. Llewellyn, B. Hastings, B. Fowler, G. Gilkeson, Rend Collective Holding Account

 

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Father God, we know that when we trust in you, we are a new creation, that there is no condemnation, and that you remember nothing of our past, we are washed whiter than snow. Help us to look at others and treat them as you treat us, to truly love them and forgive them for anything that they have done in the past, help us to forget that and treat them as you would have.
Lord we pray for the people who have suffered in the mudslide that happened in California. Be with the rescuers and the people that are helping with the situation. May they sense your love and peace in the area, and may the people that are helping, have the right words of comfort and support to say from you Lord.

Amen

Christian

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Joy to the world

The Psalmist wrote, ‘Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise‘ (Psalm 47:1 ESV), and ‘Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad‘ (Psalm 96:11 NIV) and, ‘Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth‘ (Psalm 98:4 NIV). So the Psalmist is telling us to be joyful with our God, and to praise Him.

Between the years of 1674 and 1748, Isaac Watts wrote the wonderful words to this marvellous carol. It has been over 260 years since then, and we are still singing the words that were inspired by the birth of a special child, foretold in the book of Isaiah,

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace‘ (Isaiah 9:6-7).

It happened over 2000 years ago, and it affected people and some changed because of it. Today, and the years in between, have also moved the hearts and minds of men and women, and people are still moved by Him and the truths found in the Bible. We sing, ‘Let every heart prepare Him room‘, and about, ‘The glories of His righteousness, and wonders of His love‘, and also, ‘Repeat the sounding joy‘, (Joy To The World). These are fantastic words of both praise to our God, and encouragement for others.

The First Noel‘ (Anon), angels came to inform local people about the birth of a baby, Jesus. This was a special birth and every-body needed to know; and everybody still needs to know today, possibly more so with today’s society. There is more today that can draw us away from God. Paul reminds us, ‘Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world‘ (Romans 12:2 ESV); instead, we are to be, ‘transformed by the renewal of our [your] mind‘ (v 2 NLT).

 That is why it is so important during this Advent that we are open to the moving of His spirit is us, and be prepared to show Him, and the hope that He brings to mankind. We need to show the peace that we can have when we surrender our lives to the Lord of All.

We need to be full of the joy that can only come when we have a fully committed relationship with our Lord, the only person that can help and save us. Only Jesus can truly help us, and so we sing ‘And fit us for Heaven to live with thee there‘ (Away in a Manger – Anon).

3 advent - joy

 

HOPE, PEACE, JOY & LOVE

Bildad replied to Job by saying; ‘He [God] will fill yet your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.‘ (Job 8:21 NIV). Even at his lowest, Job knew deep down in his heart, that God had not left him. We know, in our hearts that God will never leave us, even though we, as with the Hebrews, need reminding some times, so Paul did just that, ‘God has said, “I will never abandon you”‘ (Hebrews 13:5 NLT – remember this). We need to trust God, He is with us, and will give us what we need, when we need it. In His time, not ours. He has a plan for our lives (Job 29:11). We may see troubles in our personal lives, or through the lives of other people’s around us, but our life will be put back onto an even keel; ‘from the depths of the earth you [God] will bring me up‘ (Psalm 71:20 NIV). In all we do we should remember ‘God is our refuge and strength‘ (Psalm 46:1 NLT), and we should ‘Shout with joy to the LORD… … Worship the LORD with gladness‘ (Psalm 100:1-2).

My Jesus, my Saviour, Lord, there is none like you. All of my days I want to praise, the wonders of your mighty love. My comfort, my shelter, tower of refuge and strength,  let every breath, all that I am,  never cease to worship you.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the King. Mountains bow down and the seas will roar, at the sound of your name. I sing for joy at the work of your hands, forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand. Nothing compares to the promise I have in you.

My Jesus My Saviour

Darlene Zschech ©Hillsongs 1994

 

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Lord we thank you for the joy that can only be found in you. We know that you are with us always, and will never leave us, we also know that you watch over us, and have a plan for each of us. Lord help us to fully rely on you, and you alone, help us to look to you and what you give us daily, and to see the cost of following world. Lord you are truly an awesome God, loving and kind, help us to be loving and kind too.
Lord we know the words to many carols, and we sing them year after year. Help us to truly encounter you through the singing of them, help our lives to be transformed by the words and by what they stand for. Lord help us daily, to look to your life as an example of what ours should look like, and help us to be better people.

Amen

 

Christian

In Pieces, or In Peace?

‘And peace to men on earth’

With all the problems that we see around the world and the constant coverage on these events in the news and internet, along with natural disasters that seem to be constantly occurring, it is hard to see or imagine peace anywhere, yet Jesus said, ‘Peace I leave with you(John 14:27 NIV). He told His followers that they would have the peace of Jesus, ‘I do not give to you as the world gives‘ (v 27). We too can have the peace of our Lord, Saviour, Friend and Redeemer left to the world; His gift of peace; should we and they seek and accept Him, peace will be theirs and ours, and Jesus told people that they should, ‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness‘ (Matthew 6:33 NIV). Jesus also promised us that once we have come to Him and accepted Him as Lord of our life, that He would stay with us, ‘Never will I leave you‘ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). Once we are with God, we are never alone.

We can take comfort in the fact that, ‘the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones‘ (Psalm 37:28). All Christians suffer at times, but when they die, they will have His eternal peace when they pass from this life. Those who live for the Lord, and delight in Him ‘The Lord upholds them [him] with his hand‘ (Psalm 37:24 NIV). We walk with God in His strength, but sometimes we also get carried by his strength (Footprints in the Sand).

From the very beginning, Jesus was always going to be special; as His birth became imminent even the angels could not keep silent; they spoke to the shepherds saying; ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased‘ (Luke 2:14 NLT). We also sing ‘Glory to the newborn King‘ and ‘Peace on earth and mercy mild‘ (Hark The Herald Angel Sing). Jesus though said that he did not come to bring peace (Matthew 10:34), but he did share with His disciples so that they would have peace (John 16:33). We may not feel at peace, we may have issues that require addressing, but whatever is wrong in our lives, Jesus is the answer.

Only Jesus can give us the peace that our hearts crave. God can remedy all things, in His time. ‘God He has called you [us] to live in peace‘ (1 Corinthians 7:15 NIV), for He himself is a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Is He the God of your peace?

2 advent - peace

HOPE, PEACE, LOVE & JOY

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and He said ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.’ (John 14:27 NIV). He also said that it was not given as the world gives. The world will want something in return. ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch‘ (Milton Friedman) means you will not get something for nothing, yet Jesus gave, and God gives without expectation. God wants our love, and when we give it, He gives us His peace. ‘Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times‘ (2 Thessalonians 3:16). It may not seem that we have His peace but if we do as the Psalm tells us, ‘Be still and know him [that I am God]‘ (Psalm 46:10 ESV). If we are still and really get to know God, if we then listen, He is there, and He is ‘always ready to help in times of trouble‘ (Psalm 46:1 NLT).

 

The first Noel the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Then let us all with one accord, sing praises to our heavenly Lord, that hath made heaven and earth of naught, and with his blood mankind hath bought

The First Noel

Anon – 17the century

 

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Lord we often sing carols at Christmas that celebrate your birth, and sing about peace on earth, and for all men. This year help us to really mean the words that we sing, help us to really look and work for peace as you did; help us to be ambassadors for peace, so that people will see a change in us. Help us to look to you, and what breaks your heart, may it also affect ours. Lord we look to you and the Bible for all of our teaching, help us to look harder, give us truly eyes to see, and ears to hear, and a heart that is willing.

Lord at this time, special to all Christians, help us to be ready to help those less fortunate than ourselves, help us to consider them more and help them in whatever ways we can, to show your true love.

Amen

 

 

 

 

Christian

Remember!

we will remember them.‘ (R L Binyon)

Ever since 11 November 1919, in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, where the first Armistice Day was celebrated, we have remembered the fallen. In Ypres, the fire brigade there remember the fallen every night, at 20:00, the road through the Menin Gate is closed and the fire brigade march from the nearby station to the gate, they play The Last Post and Reveille, and then March back; it is a very moving experience to witness.

As with the last 98 years, at this time of year we join with people everywhere in remembering those brave men and women, who laid down their lives for their belief of freedom, for their families, and their friends. We may not know who they were, but we still remember. That is why their sacrifice is so poignant.

We need remember everything that the brave men and women did and still do for us during times of conflict, as without them, truly, the world would be very different.

We should also remember that another well known sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Soldiers are not perfect people as they go out willingly to protect us and keep us safe; Jesus was, for ‘by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy‘ (Hebrews 10:14 NIV). Paul in his letter to the Hebrews reminded them of the fact that Jesus was perfect (Hebrews 5:8-9 NIV), and that He  ‘became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him‘ (v 9).

Jesus said, ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life‘ (John 15:13 NLT) and the laying down their lives is what we will be remembering, but Jesus continued saying, ‘lay down one’s life for one’s friends‘ (v 13). Jesus said to His disciples, that ‘You [they and us] are my friends if you do what I command‘ (John 15:14 NIV).

How much are you willing to do for your family and friends?

How much are you willing to do for Jesus?

Avenham Park, Preston.jpgAvenham Park, Preston (2014)

 

For the Fallen (R L Binyon 1869-1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit.
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into mortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

Straight of limb, true of eye,
steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a wellspring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

 

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Father God, we thank you for your great love for us, which you showed when you sent your Son to die for us. Help us not to be selfish, and self-centred and to start living and loving like he did. This world desperately needs your love, as without it, men, women and children will keep dying in senseless wars that solve nothing. We know that the only way is through Jesus, the way and the truth. Help us to show that way to others through the love that we show in our lives, help us to be better.

Lord we pray for peace for all families that are remembering someone they lost due to conflict, bring them peace as only you can. Wrap your loving arms around them, and be with them always.

Amen

 

 

Christian

Tempted?

he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.‘ (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

Temptation is always just around the corner, and seems more prevalent in the good times of our lives.

Whenever we are tempted though, we can always find a way out if we look for it, if we look to God, and we will always find Him, ‘when you seek me with all your heart‘ (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV).

We are love so much by our amazing God (John 3:16), that whilst we were still sinners, ‘Christ died for the ungodly‘ (Romans 5:8 ESV). We also know that, ‘our old self was crucified with him‘ (Romans 6:6 NIV), we are new people. When we were crucified with Christ, ‘the body ruled by sin was [might be] done away with‘ (Romans 6:6 NIV).

When temptation comes near us, we need to submit ourselves to a higher power and let ourselves be, ‘ruled by God and make war on the Evil One‘ (James 4:7 BBE – Bible in basic Eglish). It is important to remember that Jesus was also tempted (Matthew 4:1-11), but he resisted, ‘he himself suffered when he was tempted‘ (Hebrews 2:18 NIV) the difference between man and Jesus is that he was, ‘without sin‘ (Hebrews 4:15 ESV).

If we stand with God and trust in him, we can, ‘resist the devil, and he will flee‘ (James 4:7 NIV). The best way to resist the devil is to keep, ‘praying at all times in the Spirit‘ (Ephesians 6:18 ESV). We also need to, ‘Take up God’s instruments of war‘ which will allow us ‘to keep our [your] position against all the deceits of the Evil One‘ (Ephesians 6:11 BBE).

The Devil is cunning and will use his many tricks in order to try to get us to stray from the path that God has for us. The path that God has chosen for us is god for us, it will not cause us any harm (Jeremiah 29:11), the path the Devil wants us to travel, may look enticing and easy, but ultimately, it will lead to misery, our destruction, and the loss of our hope of eternal life, ‘For the reward of sin is death‘ (Romans 6:23 BBE).

We need to remember that in all situations, if we, ‘come near to God, [and] he will come near to us [you]‘ (James 4:8 NIV). If we stay close and trust in God, ‘the free gift… is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord‘ (Romans 6:23 ESV).

Surely that is worth everything!

 

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When I look to the sky and the heavens, your magnificence is evident there. Throughout the day and the night, they reveal to me much wisdom. They do not share this wisdom through speech, which cloud in the sky can talk, and what might the stars say? Yet still the words of Your creation Lord reach the ends of the earth. The sun runs through the sky like a mighty athlete running after his prize, like a bridegroom hastening to his wedding day. The sun shares Your glory with all creation, nowhere is it’s warmth missed. Lord your laws are true and just, and they refresh the very core of my being, they give me wisdom and joy in following your commands O Mighty Sovereign. All of the decrees set out by Your hand are righteous and good, they are more precious than all the wealth of the world, they are good food to my soul, Lord, may they stay in my heart forever.

Psalm 19:1-10

 

A needy sinner at thy feet, with broken heart I bow, for pardon at thy mercy seat; O Jesus, save me now.

Strong friend of sinners, hear my cry, and set my sad heart free; my sins demand that I should die, But I believe in thee.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.

Salvation Army Song Book (new edition) 484 – v 1, 2 & chorus

C. Strang, E. E. Steele Elliott

 

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Lord we thank you for showing us through your Son that temptation can be beaten, that the devil has lost, and that you are the glorious winner. Help us to fully rely on you in all situations where we may be tempted to stray, stay with us and hold us tight that we may never stray from your presence.

Lord we pray for all of the corps that make up the area we live in , Staffordshire. Lord may they all feel your presence in whatever they may do and whenever they may do it. Help the leaders of the corps to look for your leading and follow your will in all that they do and say and plan. Help your light to shine through all that happens in this area, now and always.

Amen

Christian

Are You Listening?

Speak, for your servant is listening‘ (1 Samuel 3:10 NIV)

Many of us watch television, or hear music or even take part in conversations, but do we actually listen to what is happening?

Do we follow the script the actors are sharing?

Do we feel the music as it plays over us?

Do we engage in the conversation that we are part of?

Do we make the time to listen?  Do we make the time to listen to God?

God speaks to us, all of us.

God spoke to Moses through a burning bush, but that was for Moses only. When Samuel was about 10 – 11 years old, he was called by God, it was during the quiet hours of the night, ‘Samuel was lying down… … … Then the LORD called Samuel‘ (1 Sam 3:3-4). God spoke through Isaiah with ‘Prophecy’ (Isa 13-23); He spoke to Daniel in the night also, concerning he dream of Nebuchadnezzar, (Dan 2:19). He spoke to all the prophets during their lives, and continues to speak to us today, and if God is speaking to us now, ‘we do not need more information, we need more understanding‘ (S. Sampsom – You can hear the voice of God p23), we need wisdom to be able to sort through the information we are given to make sense of it, to be able to understand what God is saying to us.

The disciples were fortunate, for God through Jesus, spoke directly to them. We do not have that, but we have something equally as good. We have the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus promised, ‘the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things‘ (John 14:26 NIV).

If we want to hear from God we should, ‘come boldly to the throne‘ (Heb 4:16 NKJV). Come boldly now and seek Him!

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Lord listen to me as I cry to you, it is to you I pray, my King and God. When I rise you hear me, as I put my request to you and wait upon your answer. You O God dislike evil, the arrogant, and the people who do wrong are not pleasing to you, and those who lie are not welcome in your house. You love me God, and in humility and awe I come into your holy dwelling. Lord lead me in your ways, and help me go on the right path. Keep me from my enemies who try to take me from you, rid them from my life Lord and keep me safe. Let those who trust in you  be happy and sing your praises. Protect those who love you, may they rejoice in you as you surround them with protection and love.

Psalm 5 (adaptation)

Lord we thank you for guiding our lives, we know that you knew us before we were born, and that our life now is known to you. We thank you for loving us and sowing us how to live a life that is pleasing to you. Help us to listen to you, and to listen for you. Our lives are so busy Lord that it is hard to find time to speak and listen to you. Help us to better at listening, speak to us Lord in words that we may understand.                  Amen