As a teenager, I watched a lot of soaps! Anything from Dallas to Eastenders, Neighbours to Friends. I’m sometimes shocked by the amount of hours it’s possible to spend doing this. I suppose I was searching, straining to see and connect with the world, and I found media to be a quick fix for these things. I was also a bookworm!! Always eager to reach the next chapter, lost in the detail of a carefully crafted human tale. As my faith started to blossom, my prayer life flourished and I guess this need fell by the wayside. Suddenly I didn’t so want to fill my mind with fiction, and gradually cut out such “telly time”. And there was a blessing in this! I found that the dreadful “comparison game” halted, as we all know that many of these media characters are just that – illusions of fiction! What’s more they are “framed” in a way that flatters and distorts.
In this new season I began to have thought time to devote to real relationships, social issues and family. This created a space in my mind for God’s love to come and transform me. It was a revelation! Here I found great productivity and creativity.
And now I find that this space is under threat again. This time it’s filled with real people. It’s a book brimming with wonderful friends and family in, both distant and present. With many of these people I might once have just exchanged cards at Christmas time. Now I have a perpetual window into their lives. Yet I feel the burden of this too! I find it hard to keep up with so many people. And sometimes Facebook makes me feel sad and empty…with so many people living apparently fun-packed lives, it makes wonder about my own. However, on more than one occasion I have presumed from Facebook that one of my friends is leading a wonderful life, only later to find out that their lives are in crisis.
So here I stand upon the edge of a great challenge. How can I engage with the new social media world, but not fall to it? How can I be thankful for the opportunity to engage with old friends, but not be bound by it? Maybe tonight I might do something radical and pick the phone up. Have a proper chat with just one person…just like the old days!
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.
God’s Kingdom? We are taught to pray “Your Kingdom come” yet what does this look like, how is it built on the rubble of this fallen world? When praying for our city I once had a picture of golden threads, weaving their way through lives, criss-crossing areas and institutions, linking people and places. We perceive silver and gold as permanent because they were formed in the stars before the earth began! And I believe these Kingdom threads to be the same, they are permanent, seen and recorded in the heavenlies, sown into our lives and the lives of those around us. And yes, this means that God’s Kingdom can be built into a person or place – woven, sewn, interweaved and yet that person or place not acknowledge it to be Christ’s legacy at work. This Kingdom work is vital and ground changing, taking a school from ordinary to extraordinary, transforming patient care into care that connects, restores and goes beyond its perimeter. Kingdom work can keep safe the vulnerable, provide dignity for the confused or freedom for the disabled. Kingdom friendship can protect families, rebuild marriages and heal relationships! And little by little it changes the soil in the lives of God’s children, hardened ground gets softer, stony land is filtered. The weeds die back to create fertile conditions.
In the parable of the sower we learn that what counts is where the seed falls! Kingdom threads change the ground in the families, schools, hospitals, businesses or government. This can be hard work, to continue to sow in kindness, past exhaustion, to weave in vision and hope where there is apathy, or stand up for Kingdom values in a sea of selfishness. Yet, these threads are not insignificant. They are gold that stands the test of time, treasure that is recognised beyond this crumbling world. They are life riches that sustain and empower us through this world and into the next!
Thank you Kingdom weavers of past and present! We all join with a creative God, in the work of bringing His Kingdom to earth.
I love imagery. I have always delighted my heart with it. From a young age it became very important to my wellbeing to behold beauty and wonder. Given the choice of a gourmet meal in the corner of a restaurant or a sandwich with a view, the latter has always pulled at my heartstrings. So I suppose it is unsurprising that God has given me many pictures, occasionally for myself, but mostly for others.
One phenomenon I adore to behold is the rainbow. The sight of one is a beautiful, brilliant reminder of God’s hope and promises. It shouts out “miracle”! And makes me think of the many miracles that lay all around me – nature brimming with it’s many colours and textures, a world abundant with growth and renewal, overflowing with drama and intricate life forms. Yet more than this, I love the way that a rainbow covers the ground beneath it, arching over a physical space to protect and keep it. This is what happens when a child of God steps into the Father’s loving arms. Suddenly a great arch of kingdom life sweeps over the earth. Colour and light break out in the darkness, ground is taken for love, and hope breaks out across families, friends and workplaces. Great treasure is promised, as they take hold of redemptive love and run the race before them! I’m regularly praying for rainbows over those I meet. Next time you meet someone, look out for the rainbow.
The poem in this film just poured out of me one night like a continuous stream of ideas, so I am a little uncertain even about attributing it to myself.
Recently I have been involved in praying for a number of very serious situations, and coming alongside those who are suffering in desperate circumstances. I have been “lost for words” in these times. What do you say when a husband and wife both face cancer with two small boys in toe, when a beautiful woman of God is held captive by intense pain or a committed mother of a son with Autism is at the end of her emotional and physical resources? I am shaken and humbled, bewildered and almost scared to speak….
But each time I have prayed, connected into the eternal, into the love of a heavenly Father, into the promises and vision of God’s Kingdom, words come. Prayer connects. I have seen it over and over again and I rejoice in having this gem in my life. So please don’t think of me as eloquent (I’m not!) but rather see this poem as a gift from above, a heavenly poem, a poem to reveal and carry, a poem to hold, to engage and to transform. God really does speak afresh each day into our hearts.
You can read the words to this poem here (and also buy a copy of the film as a download to keep).
Hi, somehow Neil and I have found ourselves in this place, a place where we seek to serve you! This is a blog for those who have stumbled over prayerscapes in some way and found our work to be helpful.
Sometimes the world lifts artists, actors or directors above others. This is skewered vision, as you – the doctors, teachers, mothers, carers or business people are on the frontline of life. You are the ones who are giving out daily, seeking to be the hands and feet of Jesus in your hometown, workplace or family. So we like to see our creative films, music, prayers and images as something that is there to serve you. Our heart is to bring back hope into hard places, to soothe the hearts of those that walk through tough times, and to create new vision and possibilities for God’s love to be a force of change and restoration across the world.
I have always been a thinker, a dreamer! School teachers would wrestle with me – the daydreaming girl that didn’t seem present in lessons most of the time! So I thought I might start writing this blog, just sharing the inner life and creative thinking of a prayer woman! My hope is that I might serve you…and bring the treasure of heaven to softly and gently bless you in some small way.
Hi everyone! We are really excited to announce the launch of our website, set launch soon after Easter this year. Do check in frequently to discover new tracks, films and writings from the prayerscapes stable! Here’s a quick overview of some of the features:-
With over 100 contemporary prayers for many different times and occasions, such as morning and night prayers, prayers for opening bible studies etc. Great for personal devotion, worship meetings or including in newsletters etc.
A film section with over 25 short videos that can be watched for free on the site (or downloaded for a small fee) and is also mobile friendly!
With resources for developing creative prayer and worship, such as our guide to sourcing thousands of great copyright free images and photos.
News and devotional thoughts from prayerscapes.
Prayerscapes have three albums. The first two feature soundtracks which combine song with scripture readings, poetry and musical underscore, and a third album of purely instrumental tracks.
Be sure to stay tuned!