[This is a prayer by a small group of people on 3 continents who keep in contact via email to intercede.]

Single women
Father, I pray for all single women and ask that they may turn to You for love, acceptance, affirmation and affection. I ask Father, that You show them Your love and Your goodness. Please open their eyes to see how much You love them. Help each one of them to find fulfilment in You. Allow each of those who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour, to obey Your word and to put You first in their lives. Help each one of them to repent of any ungodly relationships. Please heal and restore them, in Jesus’ name. Help those who have a desire to be married to find the marriage partners that You have for them. Help them not to accept second best. Help them, Lord, to find security, significance and self worth in You, and NOT in anything else.

Single/divorced/widowed women who raise their families on their own, often with little or no help.
Father I pray that You would encourage and strengthen these women; many of them do an incredible job without much help. Please, Lord, help them to rely on Your goodness in faith rather than in anxiety. Please reassure them of Your love for them, and give them resources and support, and the wisdom, not only to cope but to be “more than conquerors”.

Women whose husbands are away from home working in other places.
Father, I commit to You women whose husbands work far away from home and so are absent for extended periods. I pray that those women will be given the strength to manage their homes and all that this entails: working, bringing up their children with possibly little help, being both mother and father. I pray that they would find in You a source of love, encouragement, inspiration and patience. I pray You will keep them and their from a loneliness that encourages or makes them susceptible to infidelity. Please give them the strength to resist temptations. I pray that their children, especially boys, will have good and Godly role models in their fathers’ absence.

Women who suffer from abusive husbands/partners/boyfriends.
Jesus said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Father, it was never Your plan for women to be abused and oppressed. I plead with You on their behalf. I ask You to give them strength and wisdom. I ask You to open the eyes of those who don’t know that they are abused and think their treatment is normal; to open the eyes of those who willingly let themselves be abused because they think it’s love. Please protect these women (and often children), Lord, and give them the insight to know when to leave their abusers and the courage and means to do so. Please free them from self-destructive bitterness, which is itself a prison. They are precious because they are made in Your image. Thank You for those whom You have rescued from such situations.

Women who have to cope with husbands/partners/boyfriends/children who abuse drugs/alcohol.
Father, I commit these heroic women to Your faithful care and protection. I ask You to bless them with abundant wisdom. I ask You to strengthen them; to enable them to give tough love (even if it goes against their natural instincts) and help them to stand firm. Please reassure them of Your love for them. And please give them the insight, courage and means to leave when they have to, without guilt and feelings of failure. Thank You for those whom You have removed from these situations.

Women abandoned by their husbands/partners/etc.
Father, You never abandon us. I ask You to be especially loving to those who have been abandoned by faithless husbands/partners. I ask You to protect and care for them (and their children), to encourage them, to see that they have people to support them; to be able to see themselves as people worthy of love. I thank You, Father, for those women who, in spite of their husbands’ unfaithfulness have chosen to be faithful as they show us Your faithfulness to us in spite of our faithlessness.

Women who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
Father, You know that I can have very little idea of how deeply these women must feel, and I’m really too scared to ask You to show me in case I couldn’t cope with those feelings. I pray for them to be released from fear and terror; I pray that they will be able to feel the love I ask You to pour out over them; reassure them of their worth in You; protect them from pregnancies and diseases and judgementalism and other injuries; help them to be able to love themselves.

Women who live in oppressive cultures
Father, I bring to You women who live in oppressive cultures, where they can be forced into marriages, have no rights as regards their own children, are victims of so-called honour killings. where female babies are allowed to die or where mothers of female babies are forced to undergo abortions or even abandon their babies; where women can be easily forced into prostitution. I pray that You will bring these women comfort, strength, hope and the liberation that faith in Jesus’s Resurrection brings. I pray that You would enable them to escape from places where they may be held as virtual or real prisoners. I pray that You would free the males in these societies from the slavery of these ideas so that all may have justice.

Men & Husbands
Father, I pray that You will enlighten the minds of those who scorn women and treat them with contempt and disrespect. Please help them to see that we all have worth because You have made us in Your image. Please help them to understand their own worth in You so that they don’t have to compensate by putting women down.

Father, Your Word to us as husbands is: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:22) [To se passage click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/5.htm] Please help us to practise this. Sometimes it is so difficult to put this into practice as our male egos get in the way. I ask You to give us grace, not so that we are grudgingly manipulated, but so that we willingly give and give way, and love sacrificially as You do.

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[This is a short but powerful poem by Mary Louise Decker, who says:” I was thinking largely of the abundant evidence for intelligent design in our Universe.”  I am astounded that people can ascribe the incredibly intricate details of life that science explores (e.g. DNA) to some kind of chance explosion of energy and then still disparage faith; to believe this is all chance requires more faith than I (quite a questioning sort of bloke) can muster. Thank you, Mary, for this poem.]

In deepest, darkest outer space,
Where countless flaming stars were hurled,
In complex cell machinery,
In DNA, wound up and curled,
In every butterfly or flower,
In countless wonders of this world,
See there the Master’s signature,
See there His banner bright unfurled.
The Bible references below are available in about 45 languages. Click the reference and, after the page has loaded, click on the appropriate flag at the top of the page.
Genesis 1-2
http://niv.scripturetext.com/genesis/1.htm

Job 9:9: “He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.”
niv.scripturetext.com/job/9.htm
Isaiah 6:3: “And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
http://niv.scripturetext.com/isaiah/6.htm

Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
http://niv.scripturetext.com/romans/1.htm

[Thank you, Mary Decker, for this poem. The cost of a living faith is a daily battle. (If there are others who would like to contribute encouraging Christian poems/writings, please feel free to contact me via the comments.)]

Hard is the battle and long is the war.
Steep is the hill, very narrow the road.
Tired is the soldier, his feet they are sore.
Hungry is he and so heavy his load.

Sure is the victory, doomed is the foe.
Priceless the prize, and most glorious the King.
Though we may struggle, yet certain’s our hope:
Ever, with angels, His praises we’ll sing.

John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/16.htm

Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/5.htm

Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/7.htm

Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/11.htm

Matthew 13:45-46: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
To see these verses in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/13.htm

Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/6.htm

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
To see this verse in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/hebrews/11.htm

See also: Revelation 19:11-21 (The first battle). To see this in context click the following link:
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/19.htm

Revelation 20: 7-10 (The second battle/Satan’s doom). To see this in context click the following link:
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/20.htm

Revelation 22:1-5. To see this in context click the following link:
http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/22.htm

Revelation 4: To see this in context click the following link: http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/4.htm

[This is a parody of the well known Bon Jovi song: It’s my life. You can hear the original with original lyrics at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SKFwtgUJHs]

(Now! now! now! now!)
This is a song from a broken heart, yeah
(Now! now!)
An urgent prayer when the joy’s departed
(Now! now!)
I don’t  wanna be faithless and bowed down
You’re gonna hear my plea
That I make on my knees

Take my life
From now, forever
Yeah, I wanna live forever
I just wanna live as you desire
(Yield my life)
Your arms are like an open doorway
Like Jesus said, “Not mine but Your way”
I just wanna live to please you; so —
Take my life

(Now! now!)
I just wanna stand on solid ground
(Now! now!)
Like Stephen & Peter who wouldn’t back down
(Now! now!)
Tomorrow’s getting harder, make no mistake
Need a lot of Grace
T’keep running this race

Take my life
From now, forever
Yeah, I wanna live forever
I just wanna live as you desire
(Yield my life)
Your arms are like an open doorway
Like Jesus said, “Not mine but Your way”
I just wanna live to please you; so —
Take my life

[Instr]

Wanna stand tall when you call me out
Not bend, not break, Jesus, be you own

Take my life
From now, forever
Yeah, I wanna live forever
I just wanna live as you desire
(Yield my life)
Your arms are like an open doorway
Like Jesus said, “Not mine but Your way”
I just wanna live to please you; so —
Take my life
From now, forever
Yeah, I wanna live forever
I just wanna live as you desire
(Yield my life)
Your arms are like an open doorway
Like Jesus said, “Not mine but Your way”
I just wanna live to please you; so —
Take my life

Psalm 51:17 …. a broken and a contrite heart O God, thou wilt not despise.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/psalms/51.htm

Matt. 12: 20 He will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a smouldering wick,
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/12.htm

Matt. 26:39 Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/26.htm

Matt. 16:25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/16.htm

Coloss. 1:9-12 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/colossians/1.htm

John 10:7 So Jesus said to them again, “I tell you the solemn truth, I am the door for the sheep.”
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/10.htm

Ephes. 6:13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/6.htm

Revelation 14″12 This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/14.htm

Acts 4:18 And they called them in and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Whether it is right before God to obey you rather than God, you decide, it is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/acts/4.htm

Acts 7: 60  When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
One really needs to read from the beginning of this chapter. Click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/acts/7.htm

Hebr 12:1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/hebrews/12.htm

Revelation 3:5 The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels.
To read this passage in context click: http://niv.scripturetext.com/revelation/3.htm

[Parody: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO): Hold on tight to your dream]

Hold on tight to God’s Word
Hold on tight to His Word
When you feel that your soul is ailing
When you’re down and your strength is failing –
Hold on tight to His Word.

In His strength you can be strong
When your own strength is gone
When it feels your whole world ‘s crashing
Fire and brimstone, lightning flashing
Hold on tight to His Word

CHORUS
At the end of your rope when there seems no hope,
He will help you on and keep you strong
You know that you’re going where He’s gone before
And after all this, yes,you know that there’s more

Klou styf vas aan Sy Woord
Hou styf vas aan Sy Woord
As die storms rondom jou woed
As die dinge lyk nie so goed
Nie, klou styf vas aan Sy Woord

REPEAT CHORUS:

Guard your faith in His Word
Guard your faith in His Word
When you see the mountains tumble
When you see this whole earth crumble
Hold on tight to His Word

Hold on tight to His Word

 

[23 January 2012]

 If you are unfamiliar with the original song, you can click the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TLmpL2AzLs

 

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

To read the verse in its context, click:

http://niv.scripturetext.com/matthew/24.htm

See also:

http://niv.scripturetext.com/mark/13.htm

http://niv.scripturetext.com/luke/21.htm

[Many people tend to skim over Jesus’ prophecies concerning Jerusalem. Because of my background in Classics, I find them interesting — and frightening.

The prophecies surrounding the temple were fulfilled as a result of the Jewish rebellion which broke out against Rome in AD66. This and the preceding period were characterised by “bloody sectarian strife between Sadducces and Pharisees … Jews and Greeks were fierce enemies. ..the Christian population … was anathema to the Jews.” (E.T. Salmon: A History of the Roman World 30BC to 138AD Methuen 1968 pp 194 -197). The dissention was so bad that, even while the Romans were beieging Jerusalem, the Jews were killing each other.

The Romanised Jew Josephus (who had been a Jewish leader in this war) paints a terrible picture of conditions during the Roman siege (Josephus: The Jewish War Penguin classics chapter 19). Eventually the Temple and most of the city were either burnt to the ground or demolished. The Romans sacrificed where the Temple had stood and it became a place of worship to Jupiter and the Emperor. Josephus puts Jewish casualties at over one million (his numbers are prone to exaggeration, but this was during the time of a major feast). Survivors faced slavery or mass execution later. For them it was the end of the age.

In AD 130 the city was still in ruins and no Jew was allowed to enter the area. (Salmon, op.cit. P307)

This was certainly a time to “hold on tight to the Word.”]

Parody: REM: Shiny happy people

 Is worship without ministry worth it? While it is our job (and it should be serious fun!) as Christians to praise God in this world and the next (Rev. 4 &5), we are also supposed to be making the world a better place by doing God’s will (Mt. 7:13-29) and ministering to the world.

I am privileged to know people who epitomise this. I would like to pay tribute to them and also to others who do just that. Thank you that the world is better for your being in it. As you pass through the world, you leave behind the unmistakable fragrance of Grace, and you have and do “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5:16), which is why I am able to praise God at all.

Shining happy people singing

Dance around Your throne

Praising, praising

Feel Your love abound

Thank You, thank You

Spread Your love around

Blessing, blessing

Take it to the world

So the pain begins to go

In Your power not mine

 

Loving happy people holding hands

(Loving happy people holding hands)

Singing happy people praising

 

Everyone around: love them, love them

Take each other’s hands

Take them, love them

Wipe the tears all dry

Guiltless, guiltless

Feel it in your heart

New tomorrow shines

From the Son’s love shines

 

 

Loving happy people holding hands

(Loving happy people holding hands)

Shining happy people praising

 

……………….

 

 

[A parody-slightly adapted – of Ordinary Day by Dolores O’ Riordan of Cranberries fame.

For the unsure and the hurting

[C152 SV66]


This is just an ordinary day

Won’t you be my guide along the way?

Things are often different than they seem

Help me to be strong and still to stand

Be the focus of all my waking dreams

Hold me tightly with your wounded hand

 

Glorious One,

Ever be my inspiration

Glorious One

I know your love abounds

Nothing at all, nothing at all

Will ever stop your loving

Glorious One, Glorious One,

You’ll never let me down

Never let me down.

 

This is not an ordinary day

It is one that I’ve designed and made

I will be your shield and be your guide

If you cling to me I’ll help you stand

In the shelter of my wing you’ll hide

Hold on tightly to my wounded hand

 

Beautiful Child

Let me be your inspiration

Beautiful Child

You know my love abounds

Nothing at all, nothing at all

Will ever stop me loving

Beautiful Child, beautiful Child

I’ll never let you down

Never let you down.