God of the high and holy places where I catch a glimpse of your glory, above the low levels of life, above the evil and emptiness which drags me down, beyond the limits of my senses and imagination, you lift me up.
In the splendour of a sunset, in the silence of the stars, in the grandeur of the mountains, in the vastness of the sea, you lift me up.
In the majesty of music, in the mystery of art, in the freshness of morning, in the fragrance of a single flower, you lift me up.
Awe-inspiring God, when I am lost in wonder and lost for words, receive the homage of my silent worship but do not let me be content to bear your beauty and be still. Go with me to the places where I live and work. Lift the veil of reticence behind which I hide. Give me the courage to speak of the things which move me, with simple and unselfconscious delight. Help me to share my glimpses of glory until others are drawn to your light.
Rev. Jean Mortimer, Minister in the United Reformed Church, UK
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
I thank Thee, Lord, for sparing me to see this morning, the blood running warm in my veins, the activity of my limbs and the use of my tongue. I thank Thee, Lord, for clothing and for food, and above all, I thank Thee for the gift of your darling Son Jesus, who came all the way from heaven down to this low ground of sorrow, who died upon the cross, that “whosoever believeth upon Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Our Lord, our heavenly Master, we ask Thee to teach us. Guide us in the way we know not. Give us more faith and a better understanding and a closer walk to your bleeding side.
I have faith to believe you are the same God that was in the days that are past and gone. You heard Elijah praying in the cleft of the mountain. You heard Paul and Silas in jail. You heard the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. I have faith to believe that you have once heard me pray, when I was laying and lugging ’round the gates of hell, no eye to pity me, no arm to save me. You reached down your long arm of protection, snatched my soul from the midst of eternal burning. You placed me in the rock and placed a new song in my mouth. You told me to go, and you would go with me; open my mouth, and you would speak for me.
For this cause we call upon you at this hour. And while we call upon you, we ask you please don’t go back to Glory, neither turn a deaf ear to our call. But turn down the kindness of a listening ear, catch our moans and our groans, and take them home to the High Heavens. We please boldly one thing more, if it is your glorious will, I pray Thee.
Deacon Washington Banks, Gethsemane Baptist Church, 1973
To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.