Encounter - Part (i)

Prayer poems set to inspirational music










Encounter Soundcloud Playlist

Click the button above to listen to all the tracks on a SoundCloud playlist.

Below you will find illustrated words to follow for each track, together with various details about the music.


May the Lord bless you as you listen.

As we turn to You now, Lord, we praise You that Your presence is close at hand and the way to Your heaven wide open for us. We throw open the doors of our hearts and celebrate the love that has called us to Your service. May the grace of Christ light our paths; our journeys and encounters, our hopes and our plans. We offer them, Lord, to You.

The Music: Lauda 1, written and performed by Bill Klein

When Ros and I met Bill and Laurie Klein in Spokane in 1995, we knew that the Lord was forming a special bond between us. It is lovely to share this beautiful piece of music that featured on the original recording, and which Bill Klein both wrote and performed on the harp.

I long to meet with You today, Lord.
In the stillness draw near,
that my spirit may be refreshed in You.

Renew my love, Lord Jesus;
be the joy in my heart,
the moment of my waking,
and the power behind the day,

Bless to me, Lord,
the work of my hands.
Bless to me, Lord,
the ways of my mind.

Bless to me, Lord,
the affections of my heart,
May Your kingdom come
each moment of this day. (Anon)

May we embark this day, Lord, in the flow of your Spirit’s leading.

Unlock the springs of creativity in our hearts;
ideas and inspiration that flow to Your glory.

Let the power of God rise up as we worship,
the love of God as we reach out to others
and the joy of Christ as we live this day for You.

I welcome what You bring this day,
be it inward joy or outward trial,

May my thinking be true,
my words and actions kind
and my trust be strong.
You have given me this day, this hour, this moment,
I trust You now with that.

The Lord is in His holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him

Lord, You have much for us to hear and do but our hearts must be very still and quiet to listen, like Mary, who chose the better part. Draw our souls to silence, that we may sit at Your feet and gain strength and direction.

The Music: Largo from Vivaldi’s Concerto for piccolo and strings

When I was a student, I watched a moving French film called L’Enfant Sauvage, about the real-life story of a boy who spent the first ten years of his life living on his own in a forest. The music touched me deeply and I prayed to find out what it was. One day, walking through the streets of Oxford, I heard someone playing the piece through an open window in St John’s College. I dashed up the staircase and discovered what it was. It has been a firm favourite ever since!

Lord, You have much for us to hear and do but our hearts must be very still and quiet to listen – like Mary, who chose the better part.

Draw our souls to silence, that we may sit at Your feet and gain strength and direction.

Lord, Your ways are past finding out,
yet You share so much with us;
Help me to live this day to the full for You,
to heed the whispers and the warnings that You send our way;
and to know that we are loved,
and can rest in Your love.

You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. (Psalm 139:2-3; Psalm 73:25)

I praise You, Lord, for what I cannot yet understand;
for the countless ways You guide and bless
and the changes that have come my way.

Make my heart more grateful,
and help me to recognise the gifts and graces You give,
and to express my appreciation for them.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what You have prepared for those who love You, Lord, but You have revealed it to us by his Spirit.

The Music: Gabrielli’s Canzone primi toni

The end of the 16th century found Giovanni Gabrieli combining the roles of organist and principal composer at St Mark’s Cathedral, where he was able to take full advantage of the superb acoustics in that majestic building. One commentator described his dialogues between different instruments as being the 16th-century equivalent to ‘surround sound.’ This simple canzona perfectly offsets the theme of this short piece.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what You have prepared for those who love You, Lord, but You have revealed it to us by his Spirit.

Lord, I’m eager to do Your will.

Lead me to such people, places and sources of information that will increase my stock of wisdom
and my store of learning.

Help me to know what to say when people come to me in need.

Grant me knowledge without pride and insight without suspicion.
Keep me from spending too much time with people I can never really help, or be helped by.

Help me to realise that when You say “No” or “Wait” You mean it, and that You have good reason for saying it.

Help us to listen to You, Lord.

May we hear You through the pages of Your Word,
now wild and disturbing,
now calm and reassuring,
Let Your word enter the secret places of the heart,
dispersing fear and condemnation,
bringing light and love.

Help us to perceive the links and connections amongst the turbulent affairs of mankind:
between cause and effect, sin and consequence,
mercy and the avoidance of disaster.

For You are the stillness that comes after the turmoil;
the peace at the end of the day,
and the One who renews our hope.

On all my many travels, Lord,
be my travelling companion.
In all my hours of working,
Spirit guide the way,
In all my times of study, Lord, anoint my mind.
In all my times of waiting
Help me to reach out to You.

When sharp frustrations come my way,
make me phlegmatic as I need to be, but still full of faith.
In every time of change,
keep us alert and ready.
At every crossroads on the way,
be my sign-post, guide and Comforter.
For if You had come before the midnight hour,
all the virgins would have been ready;
It was the long delay which exposed their foolish short-sightedness.

Make my heart a garden, Lord,
of pleasure, not of pain
of memories shared together
of weeds removed and soil reclaimed.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives, Thy service find,
In deeper reverence praise.

Jesus, lover of our souls,
let our earthly loves be true.
As I draw near to those whom I love,
may I draw still nearer You.

Jesus, Son of Mary,
we welcome You in our hearts and homes today.

Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one?
Because He was seeking godly offspring . . .
so guard yourself in spirit and do not break faith (Malachi 2:15-16).

Bless all families today, Lord. They are jewels set in the heart of this land.

Overcome all tensions and frustrations so that many may come to know You better
because of the love that is found within their walls.

Sanctify each Christian home,
and let your peace and presence yield good fruit.

Empower those whose marriages are struggling, and be with those which have failed.

Give grace and patience to all who live in an unhappy environment.

Bless those who are rearing children or awaiting new arrivals.

Those who are unable to have children of their own.

Those who are married to unbelievers.

Those who have remained unmarried out of love for You.

Babies who are turning into toddlers.

Teenagers who are testing the boundaries as they develop into adults.

Those who are sailing the highs and lows of the oceans of life, having left their family home.

Those are finding their days long and dreary.

Those who are awaiting their home-calling.

Welcome them, dear Lord, with open arms,
and strengthen the hearts and homes of Your chosen ones.

Back in the 1960s, Dad produced a beautiful Son et Lumière for a church in Nottinghamshire. As part of that presentation, the choir of Southwell Minister kindly agreed to sing some anthems which he recorded, including this exquisite one.

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” (George Eliot)

The Music: A Theme for Oboe by Corelli, arranged by Jane Mortimore

A look, a glance – I can tell at once
When something’s on your mind –
grant me the grace to handle it aright.

I’m hurting, Lord today,
I’m afraid to be noticed,
I need to be noticed,
Help me to share my needs and hurts appropriately.

Thank You for friends who can lift the load and set me free again.

Lord, we bless You for those You have used to draw us closer to Yourself.

We bless You for their kindness and their care of us.

Make us infectious for You, Lord, just as they were,
so that many can recognise the beauty of Christ through us.

Be glorified, Lord, in our friendships.

Grant those special encounters which draw us close as soul-brothers and sisters,
yet which never encroach upon each other’s own identity.

Keep rivalry and striving far away,
and all that would spoil our unity.

Father, as our spirits sweep round like a radar scan,
are there projects that You would have us attempt with our friends?

Or any who are in special need today?

I lift them now into the light of Christ and wait on You.

This is a prayer to pray for a special friend.
The Music: Resting by David Booth; Reverent Whispers by Robert Weston

Lord, protect and instruct her heart.

Let Your Spirit minister to the depths of her spirit,
Keep her from all beguilements and distractions.

Watch over every detail of her life and relationships.

Lead her, use her, guide her, protect her – at home, at work, at night, in prayer.

Let Your anointing compensate for her weaknesses,
Your comfort make up for her inadequacies,
and Your power be at work from this day forward in her life.

Sustain her in her moments of frailty,
and strengthen her longing to serve You.

Scatter foolish thoughts and vain regrets;
inspire her with Your purposes.

Direct her to the people and the projects that will bless her most
and reap a harvest through that which you have sown in her life
as Your glory shines through her.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lord, protect and instruct his heart.

Let Your Spirit minister to the depths of his spirit,
Keep him from all beguilements and temptations,
watch over every detail of his life and relationships.

Lead him, use him, guide him, protect him –
at home, at work, at night, in prayer.

Let Your anointing compensate for his weaknesses,
Your comfort make up for his inadequacies,
and Your power be at work from this day forward in his life.

Sustain him in his moments of frailty
and strengthen his longing to serve You.

Scatter foolish thoughts and vain regrets,
inspire him with Your purposes.

Direct him to the people and the projects that will bless him most,
and reap a harvest through that which You have sown in His life.

We have set this powerful and reassuring prophetic poem by Suzie Hunt to the music of a lovely Impromptu by Schubert.

You are beautiful my child
but it has nothing to do with you.
You are beautiful because you are in Me.

I know!
We both see the you that makes you hide in shame,
but it’s no matter to Me:
it’s you who seeks to maim.

I see you beautiful;
in you My plan fulfilled.

I see you changing;
in you My heart is thrilled.

I have chosen you. Do you not see?
I don’t make mistakes.
Your life is here in Me.

I know you are distracted now
while upon the earth.
You sin. You take your eyes off Me,
yet still I see your worth
and I repeat, “You are beautiful;”
and your repentant tears melt my heart
to a tidal wave of love.

You cannot know yet how much I love you,
how much I want you,
but know I gave my life that you might do so.
Not because of the you, you know,
but because of the you I know;
and I call you beautiful.

For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised. The Lord made the heavens; splendour and majesty are before Him; strength and joy fill His dwelling! (Adapted from 1 Chronicles 1: 25-27)

The Music: The first movement of Torelli’s beautiful Trumpet Concerto in D (Etienne)

Lord, thank You that genuine fun and simple pleasures are a powerful antidote
against all gloom and despondency.

Thank You that even a smile can make such a difference.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Thank You, Lord, that a joyful church is a brilliant witness to outsiders.

Grant us deep contentment, Lord, in simple things –
and help us to remember the good things You send our way, every day.

May the joy of the Lord be our strength.

Click here to listen to Encounter – Part two