By quiet waters

 ‘By quiet waters’

Father,

Lead me by quiet waters

help me to be still

to follow in Your ways

instead of my own will.

Let me abide peaceful

resting by the stream

where Your grace flows freely

as on Your strength I lean.

May I heed Your word

and the truth which it imparts

bringing wisdom to my mind

and peace within my heart.

©JoyLenton2013

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” ~ Psalm 23:1-3

The art of listening

Listening closely to how God is operating in our lives and the world around us has the potential to renew our minds, increase our joy, and help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude.

All this takes place as we record what we see, sense and hear through eyes, heart and spirit.

But in a world of chaos and noise we can struggle to hear Him.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world” ~ C.S Lewis

As I attempt to put into operation my #oneword365 of ‘listen’, I know it will be a test and a challenge.

What helps you to listen to God’s voice? 

Please share in the comments below.

‘The art of listening’

Lord,

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of words

where voices everywhere are clamouring to be heard

above all that’s really necessary as a life-belt for my soul.

And all it craves is to avoid sinking into despair and doubt

while being tossed about on waves of opinion and uncertainty.

For I’m slowly discovering that the art of listening

is a spiritual discipline akin to any other, requiring

great patience and humility, both of which

I sorely lack in my heart’s vocabulary.

So I find I am being thrown hard

on penitential knees in an effort

to find ways to serve and please You.

May I seek Your Presence, find wisdom and discern

as I listen, lean and learn to pay attention and to heed

the essence of all You are saying 

in a myriad of ways to me here ~ today.

And may I follow willingly, instead of going

mindlessly about my own way

©JoyLenton2014

 

Words for wounded warriors

In a season where there is more physical and emotional challenge than usual, it helps to think of others who are also in need.

So many wear smiles on the outside yet feel broken inside.

So many give and give and give some more until they are left as limp, worn-out rags.

It can take all the courage we can muster just to face another day.

And often the most holy thing we can do is just to take a nap.

A heart can ache heavy with unspoken fears and cares.

We can feel alone in a sea of faces.

We can move heaven and earth for our loved ones only to be rejected or neglected.

Try as we might, we cannot suppress all the pain we carry.

As I reflect more on my life in an effort to hear all God may be saying to me, I find myself thrown to my knees more often than not.

And there I discover the One who inhabits all the hard places we find ourselves in.

God’s grace crawls into every crack and crevice of our days.

All the mess and mayhem, muddle and struggle are known to Him.

So we pray…

‘A prayer for the hurting’

God bless the wounded warriors,

the ones who crawl and cry through,

those who press in and press on 

with leaking eyes and leaking wounds,

the battle-scarred and beaten down.

Bless the broken-hearted, bleeding and bruised

 reeds rubbed raw by those who have 

rubbished and rejected them,

those who can barely lift their face

weighed heavy with shame and disgrace.

Hold those who cannot hold on another minute,

whose lives are fear-filled,

whose faces are tear-filled,

who feel empty of worth and value

of no repute, cast aside, left behind.

Keep safe the ones who are drowning,

whose days and nights 

drip with disappointment,

dread, darkness and torment 

of body and soul.

Cradle the lonely;

let your love wash over them,

embrace their emptiness

and fill with the companionship

that only Your Presence provides.

Come alongside the misunderstood,

the marginalised,

the misfits,

the mayhem makers

and risk takers.

Bring strength to the weary,

grace for the weak,

hope for the hurting,

freedom for captives,

peace for the pain.

The path is long, the way is hard,

finishing line too far to see

as we drag there on our knees,

dry and thirsty for relief

desperate for some ease.

Walk with us as you did of old

on sand-crusted shore,

dirt-trodden pathways,

seeking and saving 

those who are lost.

For we need you, Lord Jesus;

Your return seems far off,

We fight and we fail,

shout, cry and rail,

for a touch from above.

Amen

©JoyLenton2013

 “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out” ~ Isaiah 42:3

This poetic prayer lament appeared first on Words of Joy. It is a heart’s cry God delights to answer. Hungry, hurting hearts will always find grace to help in time of need.

May it bless you to read it here and remember that God is with you in every trouble, trial and testing. If you would like me to pray for a specific need, please reply in the comments below.

And keep in mind that God loves you so much, just as you are ~ He really does ~ and wants above all things for you to seek His face in the everyday challenges of life.

In His Presence

There are days when prayer seems as simple as breathing sweet and easy.

On others it feels like laboured heavy-breathing after a long climb.

No matter how it feels to us, we can rest assured that God delights to hear our prayers.

And we are always welcome to come into His Presence.

This poetic prayer came about when sleep-deprived and weary.

I wanted to stay and pray in the quiet place where my soul communes with God.

But my mind and body had other ideas.

Lord,

I wish that I could linger longer in Your Presence

to sense the touch of Your fingers on my life,

and really catch the essence of what it means

to rest from strain and strife as I learn

to distinguish the better from the best,

to resist the tug of urgent, rush and hurry

calling attention to all I need to do

causing needless anxiety and worry

while pulling me away from You.

And I know it’s more important to turn aside

from things that drain and steal my energy

when I hear Your Voice calling

“Come and abide with Me”.

You are the only One who can give me

lasting hope, joy and peace

and I live and function best

with Holy Spirit grace and ease.

So I come, willing now and able

to stay a while and feast

at Your abundant table,

stay in Your Presence

gaze at Your Face,

feels arms of Love surround me

in a safe and warm embrace,

soak in Your Love-light

pure, holy and true

and emerge refreshed, restored

strengthened and renewed

©JoyLenton2013

**Note** – This post is one of the ‘here’s one I made earlier’ variety that waits for such a time as this. I am still taking a break from my usual writing schedule and needing as much rest as possible while away visiting family for a few days. But I hope to be back in the swing of things again soon!

One of those days

I’m having one of those days.

It started badly with dropping four things before coffee – nothing broken, thankfully.

Just my bruised ego. Dented pride.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, I still like to think I can handle a few simple tasks, until life shows me otherwise.

Clumsiness sits close to us when we’re tired and overdoing things, doesn’t it?

It’s pretty familiar to all M.E sufferers especially, where energy feels non-existent and brain fogged up by fatigue.

At times like this, stubbornness tends to take over and I often make it worse by trying to plough on regardless with my day.

I love to write and paint pictures through poetry and prose to bring a light of recognition to another.

Nothing brings me more joy than pouring out words.

Though I sense God may have other ideas for me sometimes. Rest, sleep, prayer, pause, may be higher on His agenda.

He knows just what each of us needs at any given moment.

We don’t see Jesus living a life of rush or hurry as we read of His life on earth.

He knew when to be about His Father’s business, when to rest, when to relax, when to speak or remain silent and when to seek God’s face.

Everything was carried out in the unforced rhythms of grace with Holy Spirit anointed ease.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could learn to do likewise?

As I sat pondering these things in my heart, God blessed me with the poetic prayer below.

I hope and pray it will bless you too.

Dear Lord,

It’s one of those days again

where there isn’t a sap of energy

or inspiration to be found

as we tap keyboard, fingers slow

knowing it’s probably better

to just take a nap

for rest is balm to weary minds

and in many ways

we can find it’s all that

 does the trick

restoring light and glow

to a flagging candle wick

And as we rest our soul

and spirit in Your word

we know that You are

making us healed and whole

whispering reassurance low

and soft, yet easy to be heard

welcomed and received

as daily manna, nourishment

we all desperately need

©JoyLenton2013

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”  ~  Matthew 11:28-30