Words of Encouragement

A selection of bible verses, prayers, hymns/songs, and messages that Church members have found helpful/inspiring in the current situation that they would like to share with you. If you’d like to add something please send it to Rev. Peter

MARY

​​​STEVE

​“It occurred to me that the blessing in the video can be a word of encouragement for us.

It comes from Numbers 6:24-26:

‘The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.’

As a ‘royal priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:9) we can pray this blessing over our own communities when we don’t know how else to pray by adding its name at the beginning of the blessing:

 Combe Martin/Berrynarbour/Ilfracombe the LORD bless you and keep you……”

​DIANE

​Word for today- Romans12 v12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

​MIKE

At this time when the World is Broken.

Joel 2.25

God can restore what is Broken and change it into something amazing – all we need is Faith.

So please God help us all to be a channel of your peace at this time and think of others.


Hymn
Make me a channel of your peace 

Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope

Where there is darkness only light

And where there is sadness ever joy

​MARGARET (E)

I have always returned to Psalm 91—-in total, but first 2 verses in particular

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

HILARY

Since the lockdown I’ve been thinking about and reflecting on the phrase ‘waiting on the Lord’ and also on ‘time’.


Waiting – making space for God in the fear, the boredom, the anxiety, the uncertainty.

I came upon this prayer which I have found helpful:

            Holy Spirit of God, we wait for you.

            Speak to us with your still, small voice.

            Quieten our fears,

            hold us when we’re anxious,

            comfort us when we are distressed.

            Renew our strength,

            restore our faith,

            refresh our vision.

            Help us to wait with you through these days of Holy Week (or enclosed isolation),

            to make space in our lives to receive you.  Amen.

These weeks might seem wasted time but in Greek time can be ‘Chronos’ (the passage of time), but also ‘Chairos’(significant time, crisis time, choice time – a time to reflect, a time to change, perhaps God’s time).

The words of the song The Splendour of the King keep coming back to me.

            ‘From age to age He stands and time is in His hands,

            The beginning and the end…

            How great is our God…’

This Easter I want to hold in my mind, my heart, my fears

The God ‘who was, and who is, and who is to come’

In time, above time.

..’and he holds us in his hands

​STEVE

One of the Psalms set for morning prayer this morning is Psalm 23.
I was particularly struck by verse 4:

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I fear no evil;

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff –

they comfort me.

These strange times can feel like walking through a dark valley,
but the promise of this verse is that God is with us in it.

GILL

Scripture that helps me is Psalms 23 and Hebrews 13.5-6

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.


Hebrews 13: 5-6

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Also the poem “Footprints” – I think most of you will know this.

JANET

Each day I find new words of encouragement and comfort in the bible, prayer book etc but the following is one I come back to most often because it is an invitation from Jesus and a promise.

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

To me it means Jesus is just waiting for us to have enough faith and trust in him to place all the problems of the world in his hands because we know how wonderful and caring he is.


To go with this I find the following hymn very comforting and reassuring in these strange and sometimes lonely times. I’ve only put in the first 2 verses but the other 2 are just as important.

Father I place into your hands the things that I can’t do

Father, I place into your hands
The things I can’t do,
Father, I place into your hands
The things that I’ve been through.
Father, I place into your hands
The way that I should go,
For I know I always can trust you.

Father, I place into your hands
My friends and family.
Father, I place into your hands
The things that trouble me.
Father, I place into your hands
The person I would be,
For I know I always can trust you


For Easter, the hymn – “Jesus is Lord” – is a real victory cry. The first verse goes..

Jesus Is Lord! Creation’s Voice Proclaims It,
For By His Power Each Tree And Flower
Was Planned And Made.
Jesus Is Lord! The Universe Declares It,
Sun, Moon And Stars In Heaven
Cry, ‘Jesus Is Lord!’

Jesus Is Lord! Jesus Is Lord!
Praise Him With Hallelujahs
For Jesus Is Lord!

DAVE

A prayer that I’ve found helpful to start my personal prayer time in the current crisis……

Unshakeable God, you are our ever-present help in times of trouble. Amidst all the isolation, grief, and fear caused by this crisis renew in me your peace, restore in me your perspective and reveal your presence now as I spend time with you. Amen

Also a bible reading from 1 John 5:15-19 has helped me to focus on God’s love in this time of fear….

 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us.”

REV PETER

2 verses that speak of God using even the most difficult situations for good:


 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:20a

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

A playlist of Easter songs/hymns:

RUTH

My verse is on a bookmark by my bed, I read it every morning and night and often repeat it in my head during the day. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 JEANETTE

The Hymn I Love and have chosen is…

   Great is Thy faithfulness,

    great is Thy faithfulness;

    morning by morning

    new mercies I see

    all I have needed

    Thy hand hath provided-

    great is Thy faithfulness, Lord,unto me!

       And a Prayer 

    Love is giving not taking,

    mending, not breaking,

    trusting, believing,

    never deceiving,

    patiently bearing

    and faithfully sharing

    each joy, every sorrow,

    today and tomorrow.

 KATE

This is one of my favourite songs – unfortunately it is not in Mission Praise although it is on the hymnal and I have played it before the service quite often.

I have always found it inspiring and much more so recently.

Will you come and follow me (The Summons)

Some singers are too slow or without enough feeling – but this is quite a good one.