Small beginnings

 

Some things start small and grow over time. Maybe the best things.


The Gift

This time 3 years ago I was working on 12 prayer poems for my series on the Holy Spirit which I entitled The Gift.

You might like to revisit the series as Pentecost 2020 approaches.

 
There’s also a PDF booklet available containing all 12 prayer poems and the verses that inspired them.
 


Prayer-Poems

After completing the series, I wrote the blog post, On Writing Prayer-Poems. This post continues to attract readers in increasing numbers: 18 views in 2017; 36 in 2018; 212 in 2019 and 129 and counting this year.

Prayer-poems are a great way to engage with Scripture. You could make it an online group activity, reflecting on Scripture together, writing and sharing and giving feedback in the group and later sharing your creations with others.
 


Thy Kingdom Come

Don’t forget, Thy Kingdom Come 2020 starts on Thursday.

During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:

  • Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus
  • Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness

This year’s theme is “The Father’s Love”.

Download the app on your phone (android | iPhone & iPad) or print out the PDF prayer journal from the website.
 

Small talk

 

A prayer of confession by Rev. Christine Sobania to shine a light on how we are relating to God – all small talk or something deeper?


Prayer of confession

Lord, You are only as far away as the sound of our whispers will travel, yet we so often struggle to speak with you intimately. We make small talk sometimes, thanking you for sun and rain, for gentle breezes and low humidity. Though we may be grateful, we know that chatting about the weather is something we do with casual acquaintances and even strangers.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

We maintain substantial vocabularies—collections of words we use for term papers and interoffice memos and for bantering with our buddies. But do we use them to deepen the conversations we have with you?

Hear our purposeful prayers.

Forgive us when we are shallow, seeking a quick blessing or a fast favor from you without being willing to invest fully in a trusting, committed relationship with you. Forgive us when we are one-sided, asking always for mercy and compassion, but not returning the same.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

Forgive us when we approach you begging for guidance and direction, but then neglect to follow your instructions. Forgive us when we cry out with our pressing questions, but then stop listening for your answers.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

May we have another chance to appreciate the fullness of your love? May we try, once again, to shed our self-interest and find joy in serving your interests?

Hear our purposeful prayers.
Amen.

 
~ by Rev. Christine Sobania, from freshlysqueezedliturgy.blogspot.com
 


 
From the blog
Show me the way
Forgiven and forgotten
A new nature
 

In small ways


(Photo: Irene Bom)

 

Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ (Matthew 17:20)

 

A prayer by John van de Laar to engage your faith, and information about Thy Kingdom Come for your prayerful consideration.

 
 

Stay safe. Stay safe. Stay safe.

 


A Prayer

We may not be able to confront queens,
    or challenge presidents;
We may not have the capacity to divert resources,
    or uplift communities;
We may not have the voice to silence the noise of war,
    or the words to negotiate peace between armies;
But, as we follow you, O Christ, we are able to do something.

And so, we pray that you would inspire us
    to commit to and act on
        the small difference we can make:
May we bring peace
    through small acts of gentleness
        and reconciliation;
May we bring wealth
    through small contributions
        and collaborations;
May we bring safety
    through small acts of consideration
        and acceptance;
May we bring wholeness
    through small acts of care
        and service.

And in the small ways, O God,
    may our small difference make a big contribution
        to your saving work in our world.

Amen.

 
— written by John van de Laar, posted on Sacredise.com
 


Thy Kingdom Come: 21 to 31 May 2020

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus.

Check out the website for more information on how you and your church can be involved. Resources available include a personal daily prayer journal and materials for families.
 


 
From the blog
Sparks
History matters
Interpreting the times
 

Through the rise and fall


(Photo: Irene Bom)
 
 
Here’s a song from my collection, one I wrote almost 20 years ago when some friends were going through a major crisis in their immediate family.

Now, as the whole world is reeling from this pandemic, may the words bring you comfort and these truths keep you anchored to Jesus – the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

 
 

YESTERDAY, TODAY, FOREVER
by Irene Bom

Yesterday, today, forever Jesus is the same
All may change but Jesus never
Glory to His name.

He’s the same through the rise and fall of nations.
He’s the same, whether I believe or doubt.
He’s the same through all the changing seasons,
And His faithfulness and mercy won’t run out.

Yesterday, today, forever …
 


You can find notation for this song here.
For more songs, check out www.irenebom.com/songwriter
 

Thank you. For the sunrise

Benediction

based on Luke 1:78-79

A new day is dawning!
Despite what we see and hear in the world around us,
the sunrise is coming.
When it comes, it will break through the darkness of our world —
darkness caused by violence and death and hunger and despair.
And all those who now sit huddled in the shadows
will be able to rise and walk with confidence in the light.
So go from here with courage and hope,
to love and serve the Lord. Amen.

 
source: re-worship
 

Rise up

 

Here’s a song I’m working on – based on Isaiah 40:31. The song might yet morph into something else. Meanwhile, I hope this version offers you some solace and encouragement.

 

Those who hope in the Lord (version 13-04-2020)
by Irene Bom

Those who hope in the Lord
shall renew their strength
They shall rise up like eagles.
They shall run and not grow weary
They shall walk and not faint
They shall rise up like eagles.
 


Did you know?

The ancients gave the symbol of the eagle to John’s gospel, for his writings help us to ‘rise up with wings as eagles’, glimpse things of heaven and hear what is God’s heart for us and for the world.

source: northumbriacommunity.org
 

St Patrick’s Breastplate embodied

This is an embodied prayer based on St Patrick’s Breastplate – a prayer of protection from the 5th century. It’s adapted from the kneeling version featured in Sue Wallace’s book, Multi-Sensory Prayer.

I commend it as a spiritual practice, especially when you feel overwhelmed.


St Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ be with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ within me

Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right side
Christ on my left side

Christ in quiet
Christ in danger
Christ in the mouth
of a friend or a stranger
 


See also the blogpost, Circle me, Lord.
 

Turn to the light


Rotterdam at twilight  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

Here is a prayer inspired by Phos Hilaron — the earliest Christian hymn (outside of the Bible), dating from the 3rd or 4th century. Known as the “Lamp-lighting hymn,” it was traditionally sung as the evening lamps were lit.
 
May this prayer, inspired by those ancient words, give us words and inspiration as we to turn to God, our Gladsome Light, especially “in times of stress, fear, and grief, in times of blindness, temptation, danger, and perdition”.

 
 


Twenty-first Century Phos Hilaron

O God, who is light in the darkness,
      we pray for those among us who in the night hours work their shifts,
            or those who labor in places where light is dim.
Be for them and for us protection in the dark.

O God, who is the bright morning star,
      we pray for those among us who grieve the loss of loved ones,
            the tarnishing of innocence,
            the failing of health,
            the flight of security.
Be for them and for us a sure defense and the promise of a new day.

O God, who is sight to the blind,
      we pray for those among us whose eyes are clouded,
      who are blind in soul, mind, or body.
Be for them and for us both courage and sight.

O God, who is strength to the besieged,
      we pray for those among us who are beset by temptation,
            those who are in danger,
            those whose enemies are close and whose help seems far away.
Be for them and for us a present fortress against our foes.

O God, who is salvation to the lost,
      we pray for those among us who have never found your way,
            or who, having found it, have strayed from your path.
Be for them and for us the beacon that guides safely home.

O God who is comfort to the fearful,
      we pray for those among us who live in fear of threats real or imagined,
            whose lives are torn by war,
            whose thoughts are confused by mental illness,
            whose souls and bodies are ravaged by abuse.
Be for them and for us consolation and surety against anxiety.

Give us wisdom, O God, to turn to you in times of stress, fear, and grief,
      in times of blindness, temptation, danger, and perdition.
Grant us patience to wait for you,
      and courage to be strong in your might,
            through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 
~ posted on the Brummhart Publishing website
 


Phos Hilaron in word and song

 

Circling the globe

WHO website article on corona virus

 

With the corona virus circling the globe, causing such havoc and loss of life, here’s a prayer in song form that I hope will minister to you.

 
 


IN THE STILLNESS

by Irene Bom

VERSE 1
In the stillness, search my heart, O God
Help me turn and mend my ways
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
set my heart ablaze

VERSE 2
In the stillness, help me hear your voice
Tend my faith, so it may grow                          (revised)
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
feed my hungry soul

VERSE 3
In the stillness, shape my heart for love
Give me hope when things go wrong
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
be my strength, my song
 

This song was written as my March entry for the 12 song challenge organised by RESOUNDworship.org

 


 
FROM THE BLOG

Circle me, Lord
a firm favourite

3 Prayers for endings and beginnings
for a time such as this – the end of an era

Theme: Shelter under His wings
[prayer sheet]
 

Turn away towards


Crossing Border festival, The Hague, a few years ago  (Photo: Irene Bom)
 
 

A reflection inspired by Jesus’ words, “pick up your cross and follow me”.

 


Hear the invitation of Jesus:

If any of you want to be My follower,
you must turn away from your selfish ways,
from the things you think you want and need.
You must pick up your cross and follow Me.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake,
you will save it.

 

What is it you need to turn away from
in order to follow Jesus more closely?

(time of silent reflection)
 

Are there things you may need to give up
in order to follow Jesus more closely?

(time of silent reflection)
 

What do you hear Jesus calling you to do?

(time of silent reflection)
 

from re-worship.blogspot.com, inspired by Matthew 16:21-28


From the blog
Turn, pilgrim
Precious dust
The wells of salvation