Encounter - Part (ii)

Encounter is a recording of prayer poems set to inspirational music.










Encounter Soundcloud Playlist


May the Lord bless you as you listen.

Music: Lauda 2, written and performed by Bill Klein

God, give us worthwhile work to do,
and precious people to befriend for You.

Meet with Your people, Lord, as they go to work this day.

May all they do help to fulfil Your purposes in the world.

Use us wherever we go today, more perhaps than we realise at the time.

Grant to those who work in spiritually sterile places an awareness of Your presence and Your pleasure;
a quiet determination to be there for You, rather than a slow counting of the hours.

Bless those who are looking for work.
Grant them hope and inspiration in their seeking – and joy and success in the finding.

Help me not to try to play a role that is not mine to play.

Let my heart be transparent so that people will trust me, and I can be open to them.

Grant me grace to listen to what people have to say.

It’s important to them and to You;
And when I do speak, help me to bring Your love and wisdom.

Fill the land with godly workers and God-inspired enterprise.

Grant vision skill and good time management to the self-employed to fulfil their call.

May our daily work and our spiritual vocation go hand in hand.

Bless those who face ridicule or hostility for loving You.

Help them know how to respond and proceed,
and grant them opportunities to show and share the love of Christ.

Help those who are wrestling with difficult or important decisions;
and for those who have exams or interviews to sit.

This is an extract from an exhortation Hilda gave her monks and nuns in the seventh Century at the great double monastery of Whitby.

Music: Lauda 3, written and performed by Bill Klein

So trade with the gifts God has given you.
Bend your minds to holy learning that you may escape the fretting moth of littleness of mind that would wear out your souls.
Brace your wills to action that they may not be the spoils of weak desires.
Train your hearts and lips to song, which gives courage to the soul.
Being buffeted by trials, learn to laugh.
Being reproved, give thanks.
Having failed, determine to succeed.

And this is an anonymous poem for someone who has lost a special friend or partner.

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
(Source Unknown)

A prayer for those who have meant a lot to us in the past, but from whom we have grown apart.

Music: Vivaldi: ‘Autumn’ – Concerto No. 3 in F major from The Four Seasons
Musicians: Shirley Richards, Suzanne Herzog, Helen Rees, Julian Chang, Jo Garcia

Lord, we remember those who have meant a lot to us but from whom we have grown apart. Help us not to resent those who, for whatever reason, appear to have distanced themselves from us. Help us to honour the stand that they take for You, and their desire to seek after You.

In Jesus’ name – bless those who were once our close friends and who are still Your beloved ones to this day.

Music: Francis Cummings: Psalm 45
Musicians: Francis Cummings, Cathie Muncey, Natalie Halliday, (strings) Mike Halliday (clarinet), Jane Horsfall (Celtic Harp) James Horsfall (keyboard)

CS Lewis said, ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures; He speaks in our conscience, but He shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’

Lord, we ask that You will come especially close now to all who are in special need of grace: the bereaved and confused, the downtrodden and destitute,
and those who are suffering for the sake of righteousness.

Father, I confess that my heart is often cold and indifferent to those who are suffering for loving You.

I pray now for those whose lives and liberty are at risk for loving You.

As you strengthened Paul in his sufferings, abundantly comfort all imprisoned saints this day.

Give them strength and health in their times of trial.

Deliver them and their loved ones from the poison of fearful thoughts, and bless them,
and the communities that they represent, for the costly stand that they have taken.

May they never feel alone in their suffering
but sense Your presence very close to them in this, the time of their ordeal.

May hope continue strong in their hearts, and minds and spirits remain unfettered,
whatever men would do to them.

In the name of Jesus, who sets the captives free, lead us now as we pray.

Music: An oboe concerto by Marcello and a sonata by Jean Baptiste Loeillet
Musicians: Amy Roberts (oboe), Francis Cummings, Claire Lewis Lim, Chian Lewis Lim, Corinne Frost, Matthew Deakin (strings)

It’s been said that there are no atheists on the night before a battle. Help us to seek You, Lord, in our times of crisis.

‘I cry out to God Most High, who fulfils His purposes for Me.’

In all our distress You too are distressed. In all our hurting You are present.
Be with us in all the unexpected difficulties and dangers that we encounter on our way.

‘I cry out to God Most High, who fulfils His purposes for Me.’

Be with all who wrestle with inner doubts and struggles today,
or who are experiencing a sense of shame.

‘I cry out to God Most High, who fulfils His purposes for Me.’

Lord, I am susceptible to discouragement.
It is the most insidious of all the devil’s temptations because it severs the nerve of kingdom love and enterprise.
Stir my spirit to keep on trusting You, and not to succumb to the pangs of despondency.

‘I cry out to God Most High, who fulfils His purposes for Me.’

Help me to go on seeking You even when You seem very far way.

‘I cry out to God Most High, who fulfils His purposes for Me.’

Thank You that You are determined to drive complacency and unbelief far from our hearts.
Beyond the turmoil, may we glimpse Your glory.

Come, Spirit of fire, burn up the dross in our hearts.

Send such people and circumstances into our lives as will help Your light to shine in our hearts.

In the name of Jesus, the Refiner of His people

Our needs are known to You, Lord, yet You want us to bring them to You.

Grant us everything that will help us to do Your work most effectively.
Your coming is sure but unannounced:
come now and be glorified in the meeting of our needs.

In the name of Jesus, the One who meets our needs.

Music: by Jean Baptiste Loeillet

Lord, I focus now on You, with all my heart and mind and soul.
Teach me how to rest and play and pray
and send my spirit soaring far and wide.

Let Your angels inspire and direct me
And bring the touch of heaven very near.
Watch over my emotions, Lord,
Let no wayward fears or longings rule my heart.

Capture wayward thoughts and wild emotions
Restore my heart to silence
Expand my heart to love.

Focus my heart on You, Lord,
lest it seek wrong and foolish things.
Still the darting flitting shafts of longing
And fill my emptiness with the awareness of Your Presence.

Focus my eyes, Lord,
Lest they wander and stray
Restrain and retrain my tongue, Lord,
To speak words that strengthen and build others up.
May no reckless decisions or rash and hurtful words
Bring trouble to myself or others today.

Focus my mind, Lord.
To think Your thoughts and to pray Your prayers.

I offer You My eyes to see for You
My heart to seek and rest in You
My whole being to love You.
In the name of Him who formed the eye and planted the ear, Amen.

Music: The Second movement of Torelli’s trumpet Concerto in D (Etienne), plus
an improvisation on the theme.#
Musicians: Philippa Barton, Helen Rees, Julian Chan, Jo Garcia, (strings) James Horsfall (keyboard)

Solzhenitsyn wrote, ‘The line dividing good and evil cuts through the hearts of every human being, and which of us is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?’

Make us willing to face the things we need to face.

Help us to overcome evil not just by avoiding infringing specific laws,
but by being diligent in seeking You.

May no pressures from within or without blunt our zeal for You.

Lord, deliver us from evil.
Confound confusion and scatter all the powers that are arrayed against us.
Increase the flow of trust and the spirit of prayer within our hearts.

“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.

We pray for those whose days are spent in close proximity to scheming people and corrupt and evil systems.

Remind and reassure them that their present condition will not last for ever,
that You will find a way to break the chains that bind them and set them free.

In their loneliness, draw near. Keep them from inner confusion and alienation.

Help us not to be gullible in the face of evil, Lord, but to recognise it clearly for what it is –
even if that means admitting that we ourselves have been at fault.
Help us to avoid excuses and denials which hinder Your work of truth.

Music: A beautiful piece that Richard Williamson originally improvised, followed by further improvisations
Musicians: Julian Chang (viola soloist) Julia Herzog, Shirley Richards, Suzanne Herzog, (strings), James Horsfall (keyboard)

Forgive us, Lord, that we are the generation that believes in our disbelief.

There is no limit to the depravity that we have fallen into, Lord, or to the cynicism we have embraced.

Are You not right when You decree your judgement against a land that has enthroned ways contrary to Your laws?

Yet just as we have experienced Your mercy in our own lives, so we dare to pray that You will look with favour, even now, on our land.

Be not a passing stranger or an unwelcome guest,
but come as the Bright Morning Star, as the ruler and leader of Your people,
and the Saviour of the Land.

High King of Heaven
Remember not what we have done,
Nor all we deserve,
But for Your own name’s sake
Renew and restore Your people.

Send a fresh wave of Your Spirit,
And raise up Your co-workers to rebuild Your church and win this nation for Christ.

We ask in the name of Jesus and for Your glory, Lord.

High King of Heaven, as nations rage in turmoil, we proclaim the coming King
Who has promised to return and who is standing at the door.

Break open the doors that are closed to You, that those far away may be drawn to You,
And those at odds with each other find each other again in You.

Even though we live surrounded by people who love us, Lord, there come times when we feel utterly isolated, when only You can know the sorrow in our heart.

Perhaps You have designed it like this, Lord, so that when the trials feel too heavy for us to bear on our own,
we have to hand them to You.

Help us not to doubt You in the darkness, nor to hold back from following You.
And though it sometimes seems as though the hour of opportunity has passed us by,
and darkness has tolled its bell, yet we praise You that You never change, You are always the same.

Grant us courage to attempt what You have put within our hearts to do, for it is as we set out to do things that You send Your blessing.

‘Do not be afraid,
I have come to save you.
You are special to me,
and I know your name.
When the deep dark waters of trouble swirl around you,
I am with you.
Water now the roots of our hearts, that our spirits may not wither.
At the scent of water, let them spring back to life again.

Music: Stillness and Joy (I bind unto myself.) Robert Weston
Music by Jean Baptiste Loeillet
Musicians: Anthony Thompson, (trumpet) Philippa Barton, Helen Rees, Julian Chang, Jo Garcia (strings)

Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, where are You going?”

Jesus answered him, “Where I’m going you cannot come, for the moment, but you shall follow me afterwards.”

Death is not the extinguishing of light, but the blowing out of the candle because the dawn has come.’

Father we place into Your hands all who are grieving now, who have had hopes or loved ones snatched away.

Great heart of our heart, comfort and support them in their loneliness. May good memories live on and vain regrets be resisted.

Grant them Your supernatural peace and the confidence to know that there will be new life beyond the loss and abandonment – and that You will somehow replace all that they have lost or had taken from them.

Come Spirit of Hope
Pour out Your Mercy on us.
Come Spirit of Grace
Bid condemnation flee away.

Come Spirit of Glory
Anoint Your people now.

There is no hope
Unless You provide it,
There is no grace
Until You intervene.
There is no glory
Until Your Spirit comes.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, according to Your unfailing love have mercy,
according to your unfailing riches in Christ, O Lord hear our prayer.

Hear the longing of Your people for righteousness to prevail,
and for Your glory to visit our land.

May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.

Fountain of Favour
Renew the hearts of Your people
Fountain of Worship
Restore the hearts of Your people
Wellspring of Joy
Renew and restore the hearts of Your people
In the name of the One who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

Music: Vivaldi: Concerto in D minor Op. 8:7 2nd movement.
Musicians: Shirley Richards, Helen Rees, Cathie Muncey, Chian Lewis Lim, Corinne Frost, (strings) Fontane Liang (harp)

Bless all who even now are waking up on the far side of the world and looking to You.
Hold our nation in the palm of Your hand.
As night falls and the workers of darkness bestir themselves,
Protect our land from their malice and from acts of wanton destruction.

Loose each victim from those who send out tormenting spells,
From all snares of seduction and bewitching,
from lust and depravity,
from despondency and despair.

May the outstretched hand of the Lord push back the frontiers of darkness, and grant such strength and succour that those who follow You may never tire of serving You.

Lord, we follow Your leading now, as You prompt our spirits to pray now,
far beyond our place of work or neighbourhood,
far beyond our Christian circles and connections,
Holy Spirit of Prayer, set our hearts free to follow Your leading now.

Music: Per Crucem (Taize)
Musicians: Wellspring

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. [1 John 3:18]

As we come to the end of this day, Lord
We praise You for the grace that You have poured upon us.
So many gifts and blessings that You have showered upon us.
Thank You for all Your mercies, big and small.

Lord, Your presence is strong now at the end of the day.

Guard this fragile candle – let nothing put out its light.

I hand back to You every hurt that I have sustained,
Every situation that remains unresolved and every disappointment
that has saddened and weighed me down.

Draw their sting and turn them round for Your glory.

Let no residue of bitterness or despair cloud my mind or cloak my spirit.

Help me push through each obstacle on the way,
Until what You have promised comes to pass.

Where trust has been damaged, salve my wounds and repair the breach.

May our deep desire to be with You
Keep us from evil and ward off danger,
May Your angels stand guard over us.

As we prepare to rest in You.
Immerse us now in the depths of Your love.

Cleanse the stream of our thoughts.
And soak us in the life that is life.

Settle our spirits in the Peace of all peace,
In the stillness and awareness of the host of heaven.

Quiet our minds from the cares and worries that we have borne this day.

So much feels fragile — Take care of that which we cannot for ourselves.

Rest and restore our bodies in the warmth of Your presence.

Put fears and fancies to flight that they may not haunt our sleep.

Grant rest to all who have laboured this day in Your service.

May their sleep be rich in the awareness of Your love.

In the name of the Father, who gives sleep to His beloved,
the Prince of Peace, who gives life to our souls,
and the Spirit of Power, who gives meaning to our days, Amen.

Music: From the Oboe Concerto by Cimarosa
Musicians: Thomas Herzog, (oboe) Francis Cummings, Suzanne Herzog, Chian Lewis Lim, Corinne Frost, Jo Garcia (strings)

In the stillness of my heart, Lord, I wait for You. I long to hear Your voice and to follow You.

Help me to recognise and harness those emotions which are creative
and to avoid those which are destructive.

When I’m feeling angry, let it make me more prayerful –
but let it not consume me with resentment or leave me bent on vengeance.

Deliver us from our fears, Lord, but help us to recognise which ones need to be resisted
and which may be telling us something important about ourselves.

May no lack of courage cause us to miss the opportunities that You send our way.

Thank You that You guide us carefully and gently.

If You had not refreshed us, we would not have made it this far.

Help us to resist the many accusations and the guilt which the Accuser of the Brethren sends our way.

Help us to overcome the nagging thought that we have nothing much to offer,
for this makes us so much less willing to attempt things for You.

Keep us from a “hardening of the oughteries” –
that nagging sense that we ought to be doing more than we are,
or be doing something else altogether.

Develop within us a deeper sense of steadfastness and gratitude
as an antidote to these restless and compulsive thoughts.

When I’m feeling hesitant and uncertain Lord, rebuke the fear.

You are so much greater than my fears and dismal forebodings.

Help me to notice who is fearful and drifting, and to go out after them,
just like a sheep dog rounding up sheep.

We declare war on those fears and worries which make us believe that all is at an end,
when, in reality, You still have so much to do in and through our lives.

Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash

Musicians: Thomas Herzog, (oboe) Francis Cummings, Suzanne Herzog, Chian Lewis Lim, Corinne Frost, Jo Garcia (strings)

Cleanse our inmost desires, Lord.
Help us to love what You love and to hate the ways by which evil appeals to our senses.

Straighten out our muddled longings, Lord – especially those which would make us quest after things which in reality would do us a great deal of harm.

Lord, deliver us from evil.
May humility, truth and love safeguard us from the evil one.

When I see someone who is so much more obviously blessed and gifted than I am, help me not to feel rejected or passed over.

Keep me from the sharp pangs of jealousy and envy. I hand these feelings to You now.

Lord, deliver us from the power of envy and rejection.

Release my heart to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice.

Music: Minor Muse by Colin Owen

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put upon us the armour of light.

Lord, You alone know our inmost thoughts and the true condition of our heart.

Overcome our reluctance to seek You and deepen our trust in Your dealings with us, Lord.

For where we are tempted to see only difficulties You see a whole range of possibilities.

Strengthen our will to serve You, that we may give no foothold to the watching powers of darkness.

Stir up a worshipping warrior spirit within us.

Where we have difficult choices to make and tasks to attempt,
guide us in our decision-making and keep us diligent in seeking You.

Grant me the strength to await Your timing, for if I insist on doing things my way,
it’s much harder for You to be able to do them Your way.

Help us to recognise when evil forces are at work, in our own hearts and situations,
in our churches, and amongst the nations of the world.

Help us to turn and face You, Lord,
for even when evil does strike,
You can still bring good out of it.

Help us to take our stand for You against these things.

Come by Your Spirit’s power to rescue those who are in the grip of evil forces.

Grant courage to those who find themselves obliged to take a course of action which they would much prefer not to have to take. Help them know that if You have directed this course, then however hard the path, it will be safe and right and necessary.

Be with them every step of the way.

Photo by Amol Tyagi on Unsplash

When I hesitate, help me not to falter or to hesitate with what You have given me to do, for when I hesitate I give ground to the enemy.

Free me from trying to carry responsibilities that are not mine to carry,
and from avoiding those which are.

Lord, free us from judgmental thoughts and assumptions,
that trap us and others in unhelpful patterns of behaviour.

Keep us from the pitfalls of pride and peer-group pressure.

Confront our selfishness and purify our motives.

Forgive the hard thoughts we harbour against those who do not readily think well of us;
especially those who are in a position of authority or influence over us.

Judge of all men, Fountain of Forgiveness, we lay down our prejudices and our judgemental criticisms.

May the grace of the Holy Spirit set us free from ingrained responses which harden our attitudes.

Break open such relationships as have become imprisoned in bitterness
or deadened by years of mutual non-respect.

Judge of all men, Fountain of Forgiveness, be glorified in giving us new ways of thinking and loving.

Where my focus has shrunk and I have become obsessed with my own concerns, broaden my horizons again.

We yield ourselves afresh to You, Lord; our hopes and dreams, our lives and reputations.

You hold the key not only to our hearts, but to every situation that we will ever face.

Lead us out to bless the people, and the nations that You would have us pray for –
for this is the work of Heaven and joy to our soul.

We give them all to You, because we love You with all the love of our heart.

May the blood of Jesus cleanse and cover us, our loved ones, and all who seek to follow You.

Music: One thing I ask; Huw Humphries and Wellspring, ‘Echoes of Hildegarde’ (Improvisation by Linda Entwistle Jesus det eneste (Jesus, the only One, Norwegian hymn); Andreas Henkel, Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen (Ps. 84)
Musicians: Wellspring; Linda Entwistle; Mike Halliday (clarinet), Peter Richards (French horn), Teresa Brasier, Hilary Trotter, Helen Rees, Jo Garcia and Anna Frazer (strings), Nicola Gerard and Elizabeth Long (flutes), Justin Coldstream (keyboard), David Booth (guitar), Beth Davies (bassoon), 

As the waters flow each day into the harbour, so each tide marks a new beginning. We trust You Lord to make this new beginning in our hearts and to lead us on to glory. Let nothing and no one thwart Your purposes, but may You receive the joy and the praise as we become the people You long for us to be.

In the name of the One who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

Jesus, lover of My soul, hold me in Your arms.

Develop goodness in my heart through the fire of Your Holy Spirit.

Keep me alert and watchful in my spirit.

Let no fear hold me back from serving You,
No harsh or unclean thought lodge within my heart.
Lord, grant blessing to my feet to take me where they should go,
To my heart to respond to You from one moment to the next,
To my mind to think Your thoughts,
To my spirit to know when someone is in need.

Thank You that You wish to bless each day that lies ahead,
And make it special in Your sight;
I live it, Lord, for You.

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Thank You that You do not close the gate of repentance in our faces.

Therefore, I can bring You all the wrongs that I have done today:
the thoughts that have wandered and strayed,
the pains that I have caused myself, the mischief I have done to others,
and all the subtle ways by which I betray You.

Look not on my sins but on Your mercy.
May many today experience afresh the joy of repentance
and discover that there is nothing You love more than giving people a fresh start.
Thank You for Your constant love which welcomes us back
and celebrates when we turn from that which is wrong.

How can we love God if we hate our brother?

Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness;
he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. (1 John 2:9)

We never touch Your heart so much as when we love our enemies.

Lord, I set my will to bless those who have hurt me, and to love those who hate me,
for I am, perhaps, no closer to You, than I am to the person I like least in the world.

When people are determined to make life hard for us,
may Your Spirit help us to find ways to turn even this hassle and aggression around for good.

Forgive us for condemning in others the very things which we excuse in ourselves,
or which we are most ashamed of in ourselves.

Keep us open to the possibility that there may be other perspectives which are at least as true as our own.

May there be no bitterness in my heart;
no refusal to forgive or, where appropriate, to attempt reconciliation.

Grant me grace to forgive myself, too, Lord Jesus, for all the foolish things I’ve said and done.

Set Your people free from the tormenting shafts of condemnation
and bring them into the full liberty of the sons of God.

We forgive and pray Your special blessing on
those denominations, groups and individuals which we have been hurt by,
or which we find it hard to relate to.

Make them fruitful and full of joy in serving You.

The Lord your God will take great delight in you.

He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Lord, I love You. As I wait on Your now, show me anything You would have me see.

Is my desire for You still strong?

Are my attitudes honouring?

Are there things that You have shown me and that I have yet to respond to?

Bring to mind the nudges that You have sent my way and such memories as You want me to ponder or enjoy.

Lord, I confess that I have often missed Your leading and yielded to temptation in my thinking and in my words.

Pinpoint and purge any hidden idols within my heart that I may live tomorrow to the full for You.

For tomorrow is a new page, and only You know what You can write on it.