JOY!

DSC_0769Here’s a bit of a Puritan prayer on joy!  I don’t know who wrote it nor where it comes from, but I love it!

 

 

 

 

 

“You O Lord God are preparing joy for me and me for joy.
I pray for joy, wait for joy, long for joy.
Give me more than I can hold, desire or think of.
There is no joy like the joy of heaven, for in that state are no sad divisions, unchristian quarrels, contentions, evil designs, weariness, hunger, cold, sadness, sin, sufferings, persecutions, toils of duty.
O joyful place where none are sick.
O happy Lord where all are kings and queens.
O holy assembly where all are priests.
How free a state where none are servants except to You.
Bring me, bring us, speedily into the land of JOY.”
Amen

Blessed Trinity

A Latin hymn from the thirteenth century

Come, thou Holy Spirit, come:

And from thy celestial home send thy light and brilliancy.

Come, thou father of the poor,

Come, who givest all our store,

Come, the soul’s true radiancy.

Come, of comforters the best, of the soul the sweetest guest, sweetly and refreshingly.

Come in labour rest most sweet,

shade and coolness in the heat, comfort in adversity.

Thou who art the light most blest,

come, fulfil their inmost breast, who believe most faithfully.

For without thy Godhead’s dower,

man hath nothing in his power, save to work iniquity.

What is filthy make thou pure, what is wounded work its cure, water what is parched and dry.

Gently bend the stubborn will, warm to life the heart that’s chill, guide who goeth erringly.

Fill thy faithful who adore, and confess thee evermore, with thy seven-fold mystery.

Here thy grace and virtue send,

grant salvation in the end, and in heaven felicity.  Amen.

 

The Holy Spirit is certainly the weak link in the chain of Evangelical theology.  With the stress on Christology, we can miss so much more of the Trinity’s treasure.  Maybe we want to avoid some of the silliness and excesses of Pentecostalism, but boy have we needed much of Pentecostalism to remind us what we’re missing!  Yet tragically, instead of enjoying the fathomless glory of pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit), we actually succumb to pneumaphobia!  And that is an evangelical train-wreck waiting to happen.

Another point of note, is that the Holy Spirit is suspect because he does not pander or subscribe to our denominational or theological structures.  Indeed, the Holy Spirit is a free-agent, a maverick.  Jesus did say the wind blows where it will!  He breaks rank, crosses over the other side, He will not be “owned” by us, by anyone; He is as free in Himself as the Son is free in the Father and the Father in the Son.  Blessed Trinity!

He is impossible to outwit, outsmart, predict or predetermine, and will not be bottled and bagged by any church, Christian, denomination, nation or whatever!  He does not bow to any theologian or “school of thought”, and is totally free, going wherever and whenever He wishes.  Mission, evangelism, faithfulness, wisdom, wholeness, true spirituality, life itself, are all to be found in Him.

Too many churches are passionate for the Father’s glory, absolutely determined in their Christ-centered faith (and rightly so), but err big time and languish in a spiritual impoverishment of biblical, cosmic and cataclysmic proportions by neglecting the Holy Spirit.  Remember, it is the role of the Holy Spirit to point us to Jesus, and it is Jesus who shows us the Father.

Read the Latin Hymn again as a prayer.  Pray it.  Come, thou Holy Spirit, come.

Blessed Trinity!

 

Prayer for Justice

Sabeel Wave of Prayer – Thursday 14th November 2013

A friend of Sabeel, Bo Forsberg from Sweden, offers a prayer for peace and justice; this prayer will also be read on the final day of our conference at our celebration of 25 years of Palestinian liberation theology.

Prayer for Sabeel

God of peace and opportunity, our Creator and Redeemer, we come to you to pray for your mercy, forgiveness, and a new start.

Instead of overcoming evil with good, we have stood by while goodness has been affronted.

We ask for your help to give peace a new chance to thrive in our world.

Give us the courage to expose evil thoughts and deeds, and to speak the truth. We do not believe in the right of the strong, the strength of armies, or the power of oppression. We believe in the equal value of all people, the power of non-violence, and solidarity based on justice.

We pray for your Holy Spirit to join our hearts and minds with the way of peace, so that our hearts may become a place where your mercy reigns.

God of justice, make us tools of your peace so that we may do your will and create a just future.

Lord, awaken your church, starting with me.

Lord, bring your flock to life, starting with me.

Lord, bring peace to the whole world, starting with me.

Lord, afford your love and truth to all people, starting with me.

Our Father… …أبانا

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Our Father

 أبانا
in heaven

 في السماء،
hallowed be your name

 ليتقدس اسمك

 

your kingdom come

ليأت ملكوتك
your will be done

لتكن مشيئتك
on earth as it is in heaven

على الأرض كما هي في السماء
give us this day our daily bread

يقدم لنا هذا اليوم خبزنا اليومي
and forgive us our sins

ويغفر لنا خطايانا
as we forgive those who sin against us

كما نغفر نحن لمن الخطيئة ضدنا
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

وتؤدي بنا الا الى اغراء لكن نجنا من الشرير
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory

لأن لكم ملكوت والقوة والمجد
forever and ever

 إلى أبد الآبدين
amen

آمين.

O Good Shepherd, a prayer of St Jerome

icon-of-the-good-shepherdO Good Shepherd,
seek me out,
and bring me home to your fold again.

Deal favourably with me
according to Your good pleasure,
till I may dwell in Your house
all the days of my life,
and praise You forever and ever
with those who are there.

Jerome, 342-420

– adapted from Our Common Prayer: A Field Guide to the Book of Common Prayer by Winfield Bevins

Eugene Peterson on Prayer in Luke’s Gospel

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“If the Holy Spirit – God’s way of being with us, working through us, and speaking to us – is the way in which continuity is maintained between the life of Jesus and the life of Jesus’ community, prayer is the primary way in which the community actively receives and participates in that presence and working and speaking.

Prayer is our way of being attentively present to God who is present to us in the Holy Spirit…. Continue reading “Eugene Peterson on Prayer in Luke’s Gospel”

Take Courage Saints

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William Cowper (1731-1800)

Once upon a time, in an English church pastored by the hymn writer John Newton (Amazing Grace), sat a parishioner of his called William Cowper, another man of extraordinary poetry and hymn writing ability, which considering his bouts of severe debilitating depression and breakdown is all the more remarkable.

One day he wrote Light Shining Out of Darkness, and the words read like a prayer but I think can be sung to the tune of Amazing Grace.  Try it I think it works…. or maybe it works best if you wear a wig like his too…..

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines,
With never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

Amen to that.

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