night prayer - (from Psalm 4)
Thirst for God - (from Psalm 42/43)
Gratitude for a friend -
(from Psalm 45)
The city - (from Psalm
Now that I am old and
grey - (from Psalm 71)
Rejoice - (from
The workaholic - (from
Meals together - (from
Enemies - (from
(from Psalm 131)
The night - (from
From Psalm No. 4
When I call
on your name, O Lord,
You give ear to the sound of my voice.
Now let your face shine upon me.
In the troubles
of the past,
You took note of my affliction.
Swiftly you brought me relief
Have pity on me now, hear my prayer.
of worth lies within, Has come from your bounteous hands,
Do not now allow, what you bestowed to perish!
That I truly belong to the Lord;
That he feels for me when I suffer.
O foolish heart of mine, calm down,
Renew your reliance on God.
You are the
Our hearts are destined
To rest in you alone
Driving out fear,
Restoring our peace.
Reveal to us the sunshine of your favour.
A sigh is
heard, From a people who yearn for the light of better days.
They cry out: "Who will show us good things?"
I have come across more joy In my companionship with you,
Than in rich possessions.
Even as I lie down, sleep comes gently,
And with sleep, tranquility.
With the Lord on my side,
I am never alone.
as I lie down, I fall asleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.' Psalm 4:9
from Psalm Nos. 42-43
deer that pants for running streams,
So my soul is yearning for you my God.
I thirst for God the living God.
Where can I find him to come and stand before him?
Now I long
for a deeper sense of your presence.
To meet you in prayer, in the stillness of my heart,
To relish once more those treasured moments,
Anticipating heaven on earth.
so well, that lively faith of my youth,
How I sang so vibrantly those hymns of praise,
How I listened intently to your word
Ever eager to join family and friends
In the house of the Lord.
my heart feels empty.
Doubt like a wave floods my soul.
I try to pray, but there's a dryness within.
Even the very though of heaven seems hollow.
I hear voices around me say;
"Where is your God?'
O Lord, send
forth your light and your truth
Let them lead me to your Holy Place.
There I will go to the altar of God.
I will go with great joy.
make me smile again. For he is my God.' Psalm 43:5
from Psalm No. 45
FOR A FRIEND
is full of joy today.
I feel great!
As I search for words to express that gladness,
Volumes tumble from my lips.
You, my beloved,
were the source of delight.
You affected me by your kindness.
You made it good for me to be alive.
the beauty of God in his creation.
He was present
in eyes that looked lovingly on me.
He reached out through your glance of concern.
He put new meaning in my life; kindled a fire within.
You, my dear
friend, showed me a better way,
You took away my confusion;
Put order and meaning
Into my aimless strivings.
is now the theme of my song.
Now I pray that the Lord may use me,
As he has so graciously used you;
To give joy where there was sadness,
Hope when near to despair.
May the Lord
keep us both safe in his keeping.
May he make us messengers of tranquility;
Your loving kindness to me, always remembered.
from Psalm No. 55
I feel lonely,
Lord, in this city.
But I know well that I am not alone, For you are near to guide me.
When I first
experienced these cobbled streets,
I fancied that I could cast off
The restraints of my youth;
Taste new freedoms from kith and kin.
experience has been bitter-sweet.
There is crime in the neighbourhood.
My place was ransacked.
I see strife and violence; blood on the pavement.
I had a friend
for company, an intimate friend.
We walked together in harmony to the house of God.
We had wonderful talks late into the night.
With such a friend, life was tolerable.
that friend has turned against me
Avoids contact with me,
Sweet words, but knives underneath.
Oh! for wings
like a dove,
To fly away and be at rest.
I would travel to distant places.
There I might find refuge from all this turbulence.
But I will
not go away.
I will remain on in this city.
I will endure its scars in my flesh.
I will bear its shame in my soul.
'I will redeem
the sufferings of the city I love.' CARLOS G. VALLES
from Psalm No. 71
THAT I AM OLD AND GREY
you are my place of safety,
The home, where I always feel welcome!
You have been in my life
As far as my memory goes back.
I have learned your name from my mother's lips.
I am old and grey,
Don't set me aside.
'The years as they pass
plunder us of one thing after another.' HORACE
Thank you for being with me through my life.
Don't leave me when my strength is failing.
view me now as a survivor,
'Look,' they say, 'Isn't he/she great for his/her years?'
Now, give me grace to age well, To feel kindly till the end.
always told others
Of the great things you do;
Your constant daily care,
How I walked in your strength,
How you saved me from bitter trouble.
I am looking down 'the arches of the years'
'Into the lean and slippered pantaloon' SHAKESPEARE,
Give me time to talk to this new generation,
To tell stories to their children of
The countless, wonderful deeds,
Of your kindness and your love.
bring me up from the deep of the earth,
You will bring me back to life again,
Give me greater honour than before.
be your God through all your lifetime.
Yes, I will be with you even when your hair is white with age.
I made you and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and will be your Saviour.' Isaiah 46:4
from Psalm No. 97
rejoice always in the Lord,
To show in my face the happiness
That comes from serving him.
the earth rejoice!
That the Lord is their God
And they are his people.
His goodness and justice are
The foundations of his creation.
joyful where there is so much sorrow, Is not easy, Lord.
Deepen my faith,
Gift me with a sense of humour. Grant me patience, to see...
That you, Lord, are present,
In the tenderness of your love,
In the fullness of your sovereignty,
In the pity of your compassion,
Through all trials and sufferings.
Thank you, Lord,
That I have brought a smile to others.
That I was the dawn of gladness
For honest hearts.
'May all who are godly be happy in the Lord.' Psalm 97:11
from Psalm No. 127
I thank you for this timely reminder,
I work too much.
I believe myself to be indispensable.
Hard work for me is an addiction.
Except that it has a respectable name.
earthly goods have at last
Been amassed, there is still no rest.
The same amount of labour
I spent to acquire them,
Must now be expended
If they are to be retained.
am caught up in a treadmill of ceaseless activity.
me now to work
With you in mind.
The loving awareness of my
Dependence on you, your caution:
'If the Lord does not build the house,
In vain do its builders labour.' (Psalm 127:1)
You alone, Lord,
Can give peace and contentment.
Teach me to be quiet and resigned
That the fruits of my life,
Are what God wants them to be.
is foolish to work hard
From morning till night.
For God wants his loved ones,
To have the proper rest.
'In vain you get up earlier,
Put off going to bed
For it is the Reliable who provides,
For the chosen ones as they sleep.' Psalm 127:2
from Psalm No. 128
how blessed it is to have meals together!
we learn to pray together
And eat together;
We will learn the art
Of living together.
more fast foods for me, Lord!
Each meal has its ritual too.
Each morsel its due reverence.
It is God's reward for those
Who respect and trust him.
not heaven been compared to a banquet?
Then every meal is a rehearsal.
will eat the fruit of your labour
And may the Lord bless you
the days of your life.' Psalm 128:2
from Psalm No. 129
not like to know it, Lord,
But I do have enemies.
Not everyone likes me.
I am not everyone's friend.
are people who are
Unsympathetic towards me,
Dislike me, oppose me,
Hinder my work,
Who rejoice when I fail,
Feel sad when I succeed,
Speak ill of me.
Give me frosty looks.
Always take the adversary position.
the marks of enmity
Within my soul.
Help me, Lord,
To accept the reality of my sufferings,
Without bitterness or retaliation.
that I have enemies, Humbles and chastens me.
help me to learn about myself,
From those who are ill-disposed towards me.
They reveal more about my weak points,
Than those who smother me with affection.
encouraging to know, Lord, that,
'My enemies have never been able to finish me off.' Psalm 129:2
from Psalm No. 131
used too many words in my prayers, Lord.
have tried to fit in too many ideas.
employ too many arguments.
tried to get my prayer,
All neatly tidied-up.
I have kept my eye on the clock.
need to return
To the simplicity of childhood.
Not childish, but childlike.
it be that I have made the intellect
You gave me to find you,
An obstacle to seeing you?
think myself better than others.
I don't pretend to know it all.
I am quiet now before the Lord,
The thoughts of a child on its mother's breast,
A child's thoughts were all my soul knew.
kept my whole being quiet and silent,
Like an infant quieted at its mother's breast,
Like an infant quieted in my whole being.' Psalm 131:2
from Psalm No. 134
us with darkness, Lord,
To afford us rest,
To renew our energies,
To prepare for a new day.
'Our little life is rounded with a sleep.' Shakespeare
for all those whose duties
Oblige them to turn
Night into day,
Who must work
While the rest of us sleep.
for those who cannot find rest,
But toss and turn,
Those who worry a great deal,
Having active minds
In tired bodies.
for those who
Keep vigil through the night hours;
Proclaiming you Lord of the day and the night,
With their presence.
'Lift up your hands to the Holy Place
And bless the Lord through the watches of the night.' Psalm 134:1, 2