As I read back over this poem so many years later, I can’t help but think of Keith Green’s song, “When I hear the praises start.” It’s not exactly the same theme, but God’s desire for us to live and seek fulfillment from Him holds true to both.
“God’s Plan for my Story”
Oh My child, how I long to work in you, and give you an amazing life story
As you seek Me out and do My will, living your life for My glory.
Yet, sometimes you choose to walk away, and allow the world to define your identity,
Thus choosing for yourself a lesser life than what was planned for you by Me.
Come back to Me, o wandering child, turn about and come back to your Creator;
Who knows you better than anyone, from your outermost layer to the core.
I love you, My child, and long to bless you, but first, you must submit your life to Me.
Let Me shape your future, refine your identity, and bring out your best for all to see.
Your choices define who you are, and what effect you will leave on the lives of others.
So let My plan be done through your life, and reach out through Christ to your lost sisters and brothers.
I wrote this after my spiritual “dry spell;” I thought of Israel’s revival as foretold in Ezekiel 37 and thought it an appropriate analogy of how Jesus took us from death to life.
“Returning to the Lord”
Lord, lately I have been desolate, my faith has grown withered and dry,
Like the bones You showed Ezekiel in the valley, and I think I know the reason why:
I have neglected prayer and reading Your Word, which contains the life You desire to give.
Without Your Holy Spirit, I am dead; You are that which enables me to live.
I pray that my heart would be drawn back to You, and that You would fill me abundantly
With Your Holy Spirit, that I might live and be a witness for You, my God holy.
Give me the strength to be a living sacrifice, offering up my whole being, spirit, flesh, and bone;
Use me in mighty ways for Your kingdom, Lord Jesus, and may I always humbly bow before Your throne.
May my steps follow Yours, as You show me the way to live rightly according to Your desire.
I pray that I would always honor and glorify You, and may my faith be as pure gold refined in a fire.
As the title implies, this poem was partially based off of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden before His betrayal and arrest. The other contributing factor was a time of introspection in which I examined my heart and walk with God.
“Your Will Be Done”
Lord, how often I say to You “Work in me,” – but then I turn and go my own way?
Do I really allow You to begin a new work of faith as I go through the day?
I need to let go of my own desires, to see the bigger picture of it all.
You should be the focus and center of my life, with me faithfully following Your call.
I pray to You, Lord, may Your will be done, as You prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
May I take the blessings and gifts from You and make praises for You many.
Help to keep my head in the game, may my eye be ever on the goal:
To glorify You in action, word, and thought, to love You with my strength, body, mind, and soul.
This poem follows on the theme of the first, but additionally examines the lifelong journey of purification.
“A Broken Vessel Made New”
Lord, when all You created was shattered in the Fall,
Who knew that You would have a plan to reclaim and restore it all?
I was a broken vessel, infected by the virus of sin,
Yet You shed Your blood willingly to cleanse me from all I had been.
You took the broken shards of my heart and softened me like a potter’s clay,
Making me a new creation with Your blood that You shed on the cross, that I might say
That in You, Jesus Christ, have I begun life anew. The process, however, has only begun;
Sin still battles the change You forge to make me of God a son.
But Lord, Your Word is my weapon and Your mighty presence my shield.
You never allow more than I can take, and so unto You I yield.
I pray that I would abide in Your Word, so that more deeply in You I may grow.
May Your Spirit be poured out on me, so that in my life, praises for You would grow.
Busyness strikes again this week; at my teaching job, it’s test week for many of my students. Before I lay head to pillow, however, I am determined to post 2 more poems. Here is the first; it was written after a period in my life when I had just come out of a very (spiritually) dry time, and I hungered to have GOD’s Word flow into my life again.
“Longing for the Word of the Lord”
Lord, once Your Word rang in my heart like the sweet song of a lark.
Now, however, I have left Your Word out and I have fallen into the dark.
Without the nourishing words of Scripture, my heart has become a dry husk.
I pray, Lord, that You would heal me and bring me back-not leave me in the dusk.
I implore You, in the name of Jesus, to give me a thirst for the righteousness that comes from You alone.
May Your Word once again take its place in my life and fill me-spirit, mind, flesh and bone.
Draw me back to You, O Lord of my life, come and light the fire once again in me.
I pray that You would be the food and drink that give me life and sight spiritually.
I noted early on that we as humans seem to have selective hearing – before we coined the term, we used to say, “hearing only what suited us.” The basic idea is focusing only on what is of interest to us; big trouble occurs when we apply this spiritually.
“Spiritual Selective Hearing”
Lord, how much do You desire to speak words of truth unto my heart
And yet so often I follow my own desires and from Your ways depart.
I put my fingers into my ears and block out the words of warning Your Spirit does speak;
Later, I rue my choice and wonder “Why is it I am so weak?”
It is because You are the strength of my life if I claim to follow after You.
If the desire of my heart is to be free from sin, then I must allow the Holy Spirit to my heart renew.
How I pray, Lord, that it would never come to pass, that, in my life, this would never be:
That my heart becomes deaf and blind to Your truth and be doomed to separation eternally.
May I ever desire to follow after You and be alive through the resurrection of Your Son.
I thank and praise You for the work of the cross, and for the work that in me has begun.
May my ears be open for Your Word, O Lord;
May Your heart and mine move with one accord.
In this poem, I examine the difference between life before Jesus enters in and afterward.
“From Death to Life”
Lord, how easy it is to fool myself with the thoughts running through my head.
Yet, Your truth shines through all the lies-without You in my life, I am dead.
I can try and attempt to live on my own, and fill my life with other things.
But nothing in the world can take the place of You and the peace that Your presence brings.
Light a fire in my heart again, Lord Jesus, that I may follow You.
It is my desire to get a fresh start and begin my Christian walk anew.
I no longer wish to rebel against You or fool myself into thinking I am right.
May I stand before You cleansed and made pure by Your holy and healing light.
May I follow You faithfully, living in the world but not weighed down by strife.
May I always remember how You paid the price so that I could pass from death into life.
Initially, this poem was inspired by words from the opening verse of Russ Taff’s song, “We Will Stand.” They tie in rather well with Luke 9:50; Jesus tells the disciples that anyone who is not against Him is for Him – meaning that, no matter where you are from, if you live for God and obey His word, you are accepted by Him – human details don’t figure into the equation.
“The Family of God”
Lord, all who follow and worship You in spirit and truth are members of Your family.
Brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, who together to You bow the knee.
We are more, however, than individual children; we are siblings not only of Christ but also in.
So we should act as caring siblings should, and lovingly confront each other when we fall into sin.
But of course, our mission on Earth goes far beyond encouraging the members of Christ to be pure and right.
Our calling is to carry the Good News of our Lord to those who stumble in darkness without spiritual sight.
As Your children, we should walk as You did, and read Your Word to more closely follow Your steps
As we walk in the world through which we are passing and strive against the urge to abandon Your precepts.
Lord, I can only stumble and fall in any attempt to walk this path without You.
Lord, in Your Word and in fellowship with my spiritual brethren, You show me the way that is right and true.
I pray in Your name, that is above all others, that Your Spirit would fall afresh upon me
And empower me to put aside fear, open my heart, and confess my true needs unto Thee.
May I always be open with my brothers and sisters in Christ as I walk through life every day,
And that my heart would desire to follow You forever, even unto death-all these things, do I pray.
“Packed and Ready”
Lord, the world says “Stay a while, rest yourself and enjoy
The pleasures all around, and have a good time, boy.”
Yet, although what it says sounds good, the truth its words do not condone.
Your promise in the Word reminds me that this world is not my own.
We are sojourners in a foreign land, on a journey to our King,
Who gave us spiritual life anew and is with us through everything.
So help me to continuously listening for Your voice, O Lord, ready to go whenever You say.
I pray that You would be my guiding light of my life, Lord, every day.
“Times of Weakness, Times of Strength”
Lord, so often do I find myself in situations where I am weak,
And in my pride, I turn aside from Your command to be humble and meek.
I try to fight back with my own mortal strength, but the truth is, I really have none.
So when I fail, and fall into sin, I look back with regret upon what I have done.
Then I remember what is written in Your Word, that You are the strength of those who follow
And obey Your commands-they are filled with Your power, unlike sinners, whose sin leaves them empty and hollow.
When I am closest to You is when I am strong; with You as my light and my guide
Whatever path I walk is never wrong,
Because in You does my strength abide.
This now is my prayer, O Lord my God: when I am weak, may I be in You strong.
May my life be filled with praise for You, in strength and weakness, lauding you in song.