We all experience the brokenness of humanity. My heart goes out to all those of you who find yourself in that place today. Illness, sorrow, fear, loneliness, hopelessness, confusion, hurt and fatigue are all real and immensely hard sufferings to endure. Christ knows all these feelings, and he overcame even death itself to create a path for us through the hard times. So when Jesus taught us how to pray, it is his understanding of these things that lie at the heart of that prayer, commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer.
It begins “Our Father” – two very powerful words. We are all sons and daughters, equally loved, with the same inheritance, the same status, and the same grace heaped upon us in God’s Kingdom. Jesus does not pray “My Father”! “Our Father” unites us, it forms the stable ground for love to reign and redeem and restore us individually and corporately. This heart connection, this heavenly vision, will unite us and soothe our souls.
Shortly after the 24/7 prayer movement began, we were asked by Pete Greig to create a track that captures the essence of this famous prayer. We recorded the prayer in several languages, reflecting both it’s corporate nature and echoing the growing movement of 24/7 prayer vigils springing up all across the world – a movement that today has now touched more than 2 million people in over 10,000 prayer rooms across the earth. The film was also shot in New York shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. This added a challenging ring to the line “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”. The film reminds us that God is ever present with us – we can reach out to Him wherever we find ourselves – whether this be on the daily commute, carrying heavy shopping back from the city, or sat in solitude in the midst of crowds. Throughout, the prayer reveals itself as an offering rising up like a beautiful fragrance from the debris of a fallen world. Today, as you watch the film and pray the Lord’s Prayer, we stand with you trusting in the Holy Spirit to minister to your needs and bring God’s redeeming change into your life.
Here’s the film we created :-
It’s possible to download and keep this film for a small fee by following this link.
The words in the video below cry “Disturb Us Lord!”. Come disturb us – when we are too safe, too distracted, too caught-up in the now to “dream of eternity”. Yet unlike some of those early Celtic pilgrims we are unlikely to literally sail out in a coracle into the vast unknown! However, at every stage, circumstance or challenge in our lives we can choose the great adventure. We can choose to trust in God, to give him everything, and allow the Kingdom of Heaven to be poured into us.
Recently a very special man who was part of our home church, an artist and sculptor, lost his battle with Alzheimer’s. He truly encompassed the meaning behind this poem. He and his wonderful family faced “the unknown” and choose to sail with immense courage. He lost so many things in life but never lost his faith, which continued to shine brightly, even in his final days. The strength, love and compassion of his family are a living testimony to the redeeming power of Christ.
Take heart as you sail into the sea of parenting, negotiate the waves of ill health, or navigate the demands of a stressful career. Take courage as you voyage through clouds of depression, tack the shifting waves of anxiety, or confront the darkness of grief. At times such as this we are called to fix our eyes on Jesus, stay soft in heart, and carry the promise of eternity in our hearts.
“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 2: 1b-2, NIV)
It’s possible to download and keep this film for a small sum by following this link.
Disturb Us Lord
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
(attributed to Sir Francis Drake -1577)
I wrote the following poem that you can see in the video below for a church nativity service. I love these moments in our lives, the ones that distill everything that we hold dear! Lights shining in the darkness, heaven filled with music, cherished moments watching our little ones and the feeling of unity and love. Somehow I wanted to speak something of clarity, something that caught the story of the birth of Jesus and made it more than a story, more than history! The transformational event we remember at Christmas time is alive with promise, pulsating with dramatic intention and overflowing with gentleness, grace and truth. Every aspect connects with the true nature of our Creator, the elements weaving and combining together with the unspoken yearnings that run deep within us, the fears and hopes we all hold and the counter-culture nature of Christ and His Kingdom. Here is Jesus, a King, born into the world as a poor and threatened refugee. Here is the author of time and space vulnerable, dependent and fragile.
And what of the ones who came to see this precious newborn? A doorkeeper with a soft heart, those that pastor and faithfully watch over their sheep, the wise-ones who dwell upon scripture, await the call of God and follow the signs. Like Mary, some who come will carry the gift of God deep within them. Like Joseph, others will faithfully obey the calling of God for their lives. And the miracle of Christmas is that love came! The true nature of love has been revealed, and we live in this amazing revelation:-
It’s possible to download and keep this film for $2.00 by clicking on the Paypal button here:-
“This I Know” is a song that came to me in a moment of confusion. I had made mistakes that had badly hurt others, and I felt very shaken. The song takes the form of a gentle lullaby, reminding us that whatever befalls us, we have a refuge, a safe place, a sanctuary we can abide in.
What I most love about the Gospel is that it is a simple “come to me” message, that we don’t need to learn, earn or win our inheritance, we simply need to receive it! For many years I have had the privilege of working closely with adults who have learning disabilities. I have received so much in this time. I have found joy and freedom in their friendship and enlightenment as I have felt Christ at work in their lives. The transformational birth, death and resurrection of Jesus doesn’t need to be studied like a scholar or dissected like a surgeon. It is like a beautiful pattern, like a glorious jigsaw puzzle. It fits all hearts, all peoples and surpasses all things generational, physical or mental. Wow!! How remarkable is the power of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? The three-in-one is like a dance we are caught up in, receiving the love and forgiveness of the Father, following the call and example of Jesus, and then allowing the Spirit of God to transform us and live deeply within us. It is my prayer that “This I Know” will lead you into that place of deep security and transformation:-
“Even when the earth is breaking, You abide.
Even if I fail, I’m shaken, there is life, life in You, hope in You”.
It’s possible to download and keep this film in HD for $2.50 by clicking on this link.
Often during prayer times I have found myself taking to the piano and playing some chords gently in the background as others pray and intercede. Music seems to have an extraordinary effect on us. It lifts our hearts, it inspires our minds, and it can also help connect us with our maker, our Father in Heaven.
I wrote “Quietude” this summer in one of those moments.
I hope that this track will create a “space” for you to pray, find inspiration, and soak in the peace of God. It’s deliberately long (at over thirty minutes) and musically stays in a “tranquil” zone. In the times when I’ve needed to contribute to a meeting (and not been free to play!) I’ve found it hard to find a piece of music that does this, and often instrumental albums may have a really useful track but then follow with a track that doesn’t work that well for prayer or ministry.
You may find that there are other uses for “Quietude”. Perhaps you know a friend who finds it difficult to settle for sleep, and some calming music is needed. Or you are leading communion and would like to bring something creative in. Or perhaps you are writing or preparing for something and just need some gentle ambience in the background.
You’ll know the track is near finishing when you hear a high falling piano theme, that repeats itself. I put this in as a cue – if you are using the music to lead a prayer or meditation time you’ll know that you have about a minute before it runs out!
Here’s the video version of the track:-
You can also download and keep it as an mp3 for $2.00 by clicking on the Paypal button here:-
This poem about love just poured out of me in one continuous flow of writing. I feel the words are a gift from God, from the heart of God.
I am a thinker, I dwell upon the deep things in life, and I am also a romantic. When I received the Holy Spirit into my life, a new and more intimate connection with God happened. So it is understandable that God would use a thinking, romantic and creative girl to communicate something.
When Jesus died and rose again the very nature of love was transformed. Love was released into the world like never before – love grace, love forgiveness, love freedom! So although I am a romantic it is never in a fluffy, rose-tinted kind of way. I am continually seeing love in action, releasing love, speaking love and building love in every way I can! I have a feeling that you will too. Let this great love adventure take flight!
You can download the film in HD & read the words by clicking here.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
(traditional gaelic blessing)
I love the words in this blessing. It is an outpouring of peace that I have used over and over again, and in giving it out I have found that most people can receive these beautiful poetic words regardless of their background, age or beliefs. Blessing others is so very important because simple words like these can have remarkable effect on peoples lives. Blessings create equality, a level place where we stand together. They create harmony where lives join and merge – there is no room for competition or comparison here. Blessings also tend to evoke the peace that we all crave for in our hearts. “Peace be with you” to which we respond with “and also with you”. Blessings are also words of declaration, and Christian blessings stand on the finished work of Christ. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, His victory was complete over the forces of darkness and the power of death. And now we can walk in this blessing, on this day and into eternity!
Here is the song we have created that is based on this ancient blessing:-
You can download the mp3 of this song by clicking here.
Sadly there are many in the world who suffer great adversity, grief, hardship or abuse in their childhood. I know from personal experience just how damaging this can be, because these assaults on our developing emotions, thinking patterns and self-identity can take a long time to unpick. Many young people can give testimony to the thought of “wanting it all to end” and tragically some amazing, unique beautiful ones do not survive.
I wrote this song about fifteen years back, when I was in a daily battle inside my own heart and mind with self-hatred. As I gradually accepted God’s unconditional love for me, I slowly discovered that I was able to love myself. In this new place I was able to face the roots of my despair, find counselling and support, and move towards “life”. My hope in creating this film is that with God’s help I can breathe “tomorrow” into the lives of those who continually feel they can’t face another day.
Tomorrow with love, tomorrow with promise, tomorrow with freedom, tomorrow without fear, tomorrow in relationship, tomorrow with vision, tomorrow with future! Heaven longs to embrace those in despair. If you are in this place – begin by finding someone you can confide in – whether this be a friend, family member or useful helpline. Then carry on taking small steps each day. I have been there. And I found that even the most desolate ground in our lives can be restored with Christ as His remarkable redeeming love settles within our souls.
I hope that this testimony song will be a channel for Christ’s light and hope to help restore those in deep despair:-
Read the lyrics to this song and download the film in HD by following this link.
Often as I write I find myself slipping into a place where I believe God is speaking through me. I don’t think about this or plan it, it just seems to happen, and this song is one such occurrence. One day my thoughts had become preoccupied with a friends daughter who was facing a very serious medical condition. As I prayed and played the piano this song came to me. It speaks of God’s heart for those who journey through the darkest valleys as they battle with life threatening illnesses. If you too are facing something similar, I hope that God will meet with you through this song. I pray that as you or a loved one of yours dwells in this “space”, you will encounter the Living One.
In the accompanying film we have woven together a tapestry of images that reflects the Garden of Eden story. The scenes speak of eternal freedom, which we sometimes taste in this life in fleeting moments. We see a young woman running free, whole, well and full of hope, a father carrying his young son (reminiscent of the Father heart of God to us His children) and a young mother swinging her child with joy.
If you are in need of healing in some way, may the love of the Everlasting Father protect you, the hope of eternal life lift you, and power of the Almighty move within you as you watch this film.
You can read the lyrics to this film (and download a HD version) by clicking here.
The inspiration behind this track came many years ago, when I used to travel the trains regularly through London city. Back then as a shy, slightly overwhelmed 18 year old, I would keep my eyes down, and watch the shadows that travellers made. I was fascinated by the way that the shadows of two people could join and overlap, yet the commuters were completely oblivious to these meetings. At the time I was a young Christian, and I wondered how I could be one with Christ, how the holiness of God could touch me. The looming shadow of tall building combining with the fleeting shadow of a person – such things form a picture of how earth and heaven combine. God is so awesome that even between that close connection other vast creative space can exist.
Abba! Abba, Father I often cry! I snuggle up in that space, in the arms of my heavenly dad, open, vulnerable, known and loved. Such knowledge has gradually transformed my life. Light has fallen in the dark places of life, and every piece of me – my feelings, my health, my mind – is being renewed in this interaction. Yet walking in faith with Jesus is not a “done deal”, like some some signature on a dotted line that contractually binds me. It is a rich and beautiful journey, deep inside my heart and soul, one I remain open to and ever thankful for.
We’ve already used this song as part of a meditation on Psalm 139 as part of our first prayerscapes album. We thought we would start to release some of the songs we’ve written for the albums as singles, some of which will have a more scaled back, acoustic feel. So here’s the first of these! Between Your Shadow and Mine….
To download the mp3 of this song and read the lyrics, please visit this page on prayerscapes.