Tuesday, 29 April 2014

1 Thessalonians 5;17


I usually prepare posts in the evening ready to publish next morning. But I have been struggling, as we drove home from Cornerstones, listening to the BBCs news on the car radio, every bulletin brought more sadness.

  • the missing Malaysian airline, the Korean Ferry disaster, the kidnapped girls in Nigeria – all ongoing situations where distressed families wait and grieve and long for the answers to their questions.
  • deaths in Ukraine, in Afghanistan, in Iraq
  • three generations of a family lost in a fire in Yorkshire
  • a politician and a publicist who abused little children
  • a much loved and dedicated teacher stabbed to death in front of her pupils

…and the list goes on and on… you can add those things which have saddened you – maybe global issues, national news, local incidents or personal tragedies. I do not have any easy, glib answers. There are two Graham Kendrick songs which come to mind as I try to pray about these situations

The first is an acknowledgement of collective responsibility

Who can sound the depths of sorrow
In the Father heart of God
For the children we've rejected
For the lives so deeply scarred?
And each light that we've extinguished
Has brought darkness to our land
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord

We have scorned the truth you gave us
We have bowed to other lords
We have sacrificed the children
On the altars of our gods
O let truth again shine on us
Let your holy fear descend
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord

Who can stand before your anger?
Who can face your piercing eyes?
For you love the weak and helpless
And you hear the victims' cries
Yes, you are a God of justice
And your judgement surely comes
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord

Who will stand against the violence?
Who will comfort those who mourn?
In an age of cruel rejection
Who will build for love a home?
Come and shake us into action
Come and melt our hearts of stone
Upon your people, upon your people
Have mercy, Lord

Who can sound the depths of mercy
In the Father heart of God?
For there is a Man of sorrows
Who for sinners shed his blood
He can heal the wounds of nations
He can wash the guilty clean
Because of Jesus, because of Jesus
Have mercy, Lord

And this one, which is more of a personal statement of faith

For the joys and for the sorrows
The best and worst of times
For this moment, for tomorrow
For all that lies behind
Fears that crowd around me
For the failure of my plans
For the dreams of all I hope to be
The truth of what I am

For the tears that flow in secret
In the broken times
For the moments of elation
Or the troubled mind
For all the disappointments
Or the sting of old regrets
All my prayers and longings
That seem unanswered yet

For the weakness of my body
The burdens of each day
For the nights of doubt and worry
When sleep has fled away
Needing reassurance
And the will to start again
A steely-eyed endurance
The strength to fight and win

For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus, I have Jesus

I keep on trusting, and I keep on praying – Lord have mercy


  1. Amen. The FH and I were saying only yesterday how sad the news is at the moment - so much pain and anguish for so many families.

  2. Both of those songs say such poignant things.
    When I watch the news I keep hoping that there might be some good news, but there rarely is.

  3. Even Jeremy Vine commented on radio yesterday what a sad news bulletin it had been. When will there be good news indeed.

  4. It has been a strange and sad spring. Ferries sinking and planes flying into the sea, mudslides, and senseless murders. It's hard to even think about it. Hard to see all the grieving families in the newspapers.


  5. The first song especially, is very pertinent right now.

  6. I got so tired of the bad news by Sunday that I went outside and listened to birdsong...just to fill my mind with the good things that surround us.
    Jane x

  7. I was thinking how horrid the news is at the moment- just like the prediction of End Times. But every awful opportunity is a chance for us to show love, to show care, compassion and to pray- even if it is a little hard xx

  8. The world is one big neighborhood now as far as the news goes. that stuff was always happening we just were not as aware of every disaster there was. Thanks for sharing the poem.


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