I will seek Your face, O Lord (Repose for the soul)

Jul 5, 2024 | LISTEN, PRAY, READ, Soaking Prayer

With all the needs and situations pressing in on us from all around the world, quite apart from those bulging out from within our own circles, it is good to take time off from the spiritual fray so that we might refresh our souls.

Jesus reminds us that the Kingdom of God is among and within us, so let’s turn to Him with all our heart, and find rest. (Lk. 17:21; Joel 2:12; Matt. 11:29) Or, as Eugene Peterson memorably paraphrases it:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

(Matt. 11:28-30 The Message)

May our heart be soft and uncomplaining before You today, Lord, deeply yielded, and with a quiet reciprocity moving between us. May we take delight in You today, and in all that You have enabled us to be, to do and to live in the good of. Yes, may we delight in You, who delights to give us the desires of our heart, and to take whatever we commit to You  and work things out from there. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Where things are pressing or puzzling, we roll our burdens onto You, Lord, because You will always find a way to fulfil Your plans, and to solve or extricate us from our puzzlements and predicaments. (Prob. 16:3; Ps. 34:19)

May we not gaze so long at doors that have closed that we miss the doors and windows that are waiting open, or that will soon open as we quietly press on and in with You.

May we watch well in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of evangelists, and fulfil our varied ministries, knowing well that there is nothing we can ever do that could make You love us more. (2 Tim. 4:5)

May we rest well in the things that refresh us deeply, without in any ways becoming either careless or indifferent.

Jesus, let light flow freely through us this day, and Your love refresh us. Thank You for the myriad ways You find to do that. Thank You for quiet waters and green pastures. Thank You for our homes and thank You for gardens. A garden really is ‘a lovesome thing!’

A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!*
Rose plot,
Fringed pool,
Ferned grot,
The veriest school
Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not,
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
Nay, but I have a sign;
‘Tis very sure God walks in mine.

Thomas Brown (the Manx poet)

Jesus, ‘You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and council, and afterwards will receive me into the glories of Heaven.’ (Ps 73:24 TLB)

Let me come bearing sheaves for You, having done my very best to make You known, so that many might move from knowing about You to actively putting their trust in You.

I prepare my heart this day, this hour, this moment for You to come and dwell with me, so great and so rich is Your promise to those who look to You. (John 14:23)

I will seek Your face, O Lord and I kneel me down.

*See this article for an analysis of the poem.

Photo by Bernd 📷 Dittrich on Unsplash

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