Close Behind

Psalm 139:5
“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

John 20:13-14
“[The angels] asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’  ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’  At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.”

Isaiah 58:8-9a
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”

Eternal God, you spread the invisible shield of your hands around your loved ones.

close behindWhen we step into a troubling future with precarious faith, we look back to find you faithfully within arm’s reach.  When our past threatens to attack, you guard our way.

Help us trust that though you may delay confirmation, you will securely hem us in.  Teach us to follow the unrecognized yet reassuring presence at our burdened shoulder.

Thank you that we find the resurrected Christ behind us, as close as a tear-filled turn.  It is in his name that we pray.

Listen to ‘Poor Sinner Dejected with Fear’ featuring MP Jones and Katy Bowser

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Close Behind


Joshua 6:15-17a, 20
“On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.  The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout!  For the Lord has given you the city!  The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord.’…When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in and they took the city.”

Revelation 11:15
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’”

Psalm 47:5-7
“God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.  Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.”

Great and mighty King, you reign without rival and your victory is complete.

trumpetsWe march in faith that the battle is won.  With confidence we anticipate the day of trumpets when the realm of darkness falls forever.

Stir our timid hearts to shout your praise.  Strengthen our voices to herald the coming of your everlasting kingdom.

Because of Christ we sing grateful adoration; announced by the seventh angel, conqueror on the seventh day.

Listen to ‘Let the Seventh Angel Sound’ by Sojourn

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Trumpets


Genesis 3:23-24
“So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.  After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Luke 22:49-51
“When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?’  And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.  But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’  And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Colossians 1:21-22
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of  your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—”

Divine Judge, you hold the power to make the sharp separation between all that is good and all that would harm us.

1mUxNjWith a flashing sword you protect us from our own foolish decisions, and with a gentle hand you heal our battle wounds.  You are the guardian of the garden yet you fight for reconciliation.

Take from us the weapons we wield in anger.  Forgive us for our emnity with you and may we extend this gracious peace to others.

As you have directed us, we ask this in Jesus’ loving name, who came under the sword of judgement for the healing of our souls.

Listen to ‘Sorrow and Blood’ by the weak & the few

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Swords


Psalm 119:18-19
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.  I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.”

John 17:14-16
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”

1 Peter 1:17
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”

Heavenly Father, at the request of your Son you have furnished a home and provided a family for us.

We are citizens of a country we have not yet seen, and speak a language of grace that few understand.  Our faith is foreign in a culture of distress.

strangerThough all the world wanders, keep us pure.  Remind us that we are sojourners of hope residing in a desperate town.

For the sake of Christ Jesus we pray, our saving stranger who lived with us to lead us home.

Listen to ‘Love Me to the End’ by Red Mountain Music

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Strangers


1 Samuel 10:20a, 21b-24
“When Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near…Saul son of Kish was chosen.  But when they looked for him, he was not to be found.  So they inquired further of the Lord, ‘Has the man come here yet?’ And the Lord said, ‘Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.’  They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others.  Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see the man the Lord has chosen?  There is no one like him among all the people.’  Then the people shouted, ‘Long live the king!’”

Luke 19:1-6
“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.  When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today.’”

Isaiah 49:5
“…he…formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honoured in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength…”

Sovereign Lord, you design a future for us and call us by name.

discoveredBecause of your persistent love, you discover us in the places we hide, anxious and ashamed.  You see beyond our sins and stature and honour us with magnificent purpose.

At the sound of your voice may we leave behind all that once defined us.  Uncover our facades and draw us forward in your service.

As Christ has called us, we call upon his name to receive fellowship and a future.

Listen to ‘By Thy Mercy’ by High Street Hymns

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Discovered


Job 38:12-13
“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?”

Matthew 28:1-2
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.”

Psalm 65:8b
“…where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.”

Lord of light, at your command your servant sun conquers the kingdom of night.

Each golden morning you renew the promise of resurrection.  The glow of the new day approaching shakes the stronghold of darkness.

dawnRise in faithfulness in our cold hearts.  Hear our songs of joy as your light shines with hope on the horizon.

In the name of the risen Christ we pray, who rode the wings of the dawn to overtake the dark of death.

Listen to ‘Early, My God‘ by Sojourn

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dawn

Desert Owl

Psalm 102:6-7
“I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.  I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.”

Mark 1:35
“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.”

Isaiah 43:19-21
“See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”

Lord God who hears, we are made to call to you.

At our core we are creatures alone, inhabiting the dark and empty places.  In the hush of the long night we cry out to you.

desert owl Speak and fill the silence with your life-giving words.  Shine steadily into our darkness, and cause rivers to rush where we are parched so that our praises lift your name high in glory.

For the sake of Jesus we ask this, who remembered our names in the lonely places, and by his solitary path to the cross made a way for us in the desert.

Listen to ‘O Heart Bereaved and Lonely’ featuring Sandra McCracken

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Desert Owl


Luke 15:8-10
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.  Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Zephaniah 3:17b
“He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Nehemiah 8:9-10, 12
“Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is sacred to the Lord your God.  Do not mourn or weep.’  For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.  Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’…Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”

Saviour God, you are the host and the occasion for the great feast.

rejoicingYou seek us with the desire to sing in celebration over us.  There is a jubilant cry in heaven when you find us, and the angels are given reason to rejoice.

Let our hearts echo a responsive gladness when we see your face, O God.  May we join together as your people to share festive food and song as we hear your word and know that you are good.

In gratitude we praise the name of Jesus Christ, who found our lost souls and made us his pure delight.

Listen to ‘Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven‘ (track 10) by Enfield

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rejoicing


2 Kings 6:15-17
“When the servant of the man of God go up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city.  ‘Oh, my lord, what shall we do?’ the servant asked.  ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’  And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’  Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Revelation 19:11-12a, 13b-14
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns…and his name is the Word of God.  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”

Romans 8:37-38
“…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Almighty God, you approach in bright and thundering majesty.

chariotsYou trample darkness under flashing hooves.  Because of your victory we ride the chariot of conquerors.

Reveal to us the hidden power of your salvation.  Open our eyes to see the inextinguishable blaze of Christ’s love.

With confidence we ask this in his name alone, who died in the battle with death only to rise again as heaven’s hero.

Listen to ‘O Worship the King’ by Camp

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chariots


2 Samuel 22:36b-37
…you stoop down to make me great.  You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”

Hebrews 12:12
“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

1 John 2:5-6
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

Patient Father, you level great mountains into gentle trails.

pathYou splint our brokenness with your faithful love.  Each stride patterned by the footsteps of Christ strengthens our weak limbs.

Correct our stumbling gait by your perfect path.  May we draw alongside the lame and invite them to walk your rehabilitating road.

For the sake of Christ we ask this, who staggered under the weight of Calvary’s cross so that we might climb the heights with straightened steps.

Listen to ‘Come Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice’ featuring Matthew Smith

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Path