Author Archives: Joy Lenton

#UTCOP – How Can We Seek Sacred Pauses in Our Lives

How Can We Seek Sacred Pauses in Our Lives

by Joy Lenton

How-we-can-seek-sacred-pauses

Prayer can feel like deep mystery as well as the simplest and most natural activity of all. There are no set formulas, no wrong way to pray.

We learn and grow in the doing of it.

Methods may help us to find our feet or keep thoughts focussed but they are never intended as things to enslave and prevent freedom of expression.

The acronym below is a suggestion to aid us in coming to prayer, a possible preparation process that can help us to engage more fully with knowing God. It is intended to encourage greater mindfulness in how we come to God and growing awareness of how precious it is to be in communion with Him.

Prayer is primarily about being in a dependent, loving, surrendered relationship and continual conversation with God.

Pause   ~  from busyness. Breathe deep. Exhale. Just be. Take time to taste the sacred in the secular. Ready yourself to receive.

Reflect  ~ on God’s goodness and grace, your need for mercy and forgiveness, His provision for every problem you may encounter.

Ask     ~  boldly because you come in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Because you are God’s beloved child. He longs to hear your voice and answer every need.

Yield    ~  the answer, outcome and timing to God. Yield your mind and heart, your will, your life and your desires to His greater plans and purposes.

Engage  ~  your senses; sharpen your spiritual antennae. Be fully present and in the moment. Listen attentively.

Respond   ~  with gratitude, thanksgiving and praise, with a deep abiding appreciation of God’s will and ways, with obedience, with a surrendered spirit.

Dear Father,

Help us to take sacred pauses out of our schedules so that we can co-labour with you to set them according to your schedule.

Show us how to take opportunities to listen and learn in an open dialogue with you, to experience a meeting place between the miraculous and the mundane, the eternal and the temporal as heaven touches earth.

May each divine encounter leave us changed and transformed by grace, renewed by Holy Spirit’s touch and revived by your amazing love.

Amen.

Tweetables:

There are no set formulas, no wrong way to pray. We learn and grow in the doing of it. (tweet this)

 

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

#UTCOP – Praying Through Poetry #2

#UTCOP – Praying Through Poetry #2

by Joy Lenton

Praying-Through-Poetry

Thanks to LadyHeart at Morgue File for the image.

Lord,

You are our Rock, our Strength in times of trouble
through all the length of days, in every struggle

Whenever hardship comes our way You’re there
responding swiftly to our every prayer

Your presence brings a lasting peace
with comfort, reassurance, ease

Even though we often feel alone
You never leave us on our own

Holy Spirit continually reveals
You as the One who saves and heals

The Word made flesh who imparts
truth and hope to weary hearts

So no matter what calamities we will face
may we always rely on Your continual grace

Trust in the message seen and heard
Love poured out in Your written word

To read Joy’s other prayer check her post from September 2.

Tweetable:

Joy Lenton shares her prayer through poetry. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

#UTCOP – A Month of Prayer – Praying Through Poetry

Praying Through Poetry

by Joy Lenton

 

Praying-Through-Poetry

Thanks to Ladyheart at morgue file for the image.

Father,

There’s so much grief and pain in our hearts
in a world where lives are torn apart
With war and conflict on every side
we need a safe place, shelter to hide

Men, women, children in captivity
Please provide a way for them to be free
With broken hearts and wounded souls
we need your touch to make us whole

Physically, mentally, we need release
from anxiety, shame, into your peace
When all feels dark and black as night
reveal your presence shining bright

Amen

Tweetable:

Pray with us this month. Join #UTCOP for a month of prayer. (Tweet this)

 

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

#UTCOP – What is Vital Communion?

What is Vital Communion?

by Joy Lenton

What-is-Vital-Communion

Prayer can be a continual conversation with God as our hearts turn toward Him for help, strength and guidance throughout the day.

Or there may be strict set apart times specifically for Bible reading and prayer as ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication or similar practices.

At other times we can sense an inner call to just simply come and be in His presence. No agenda. No particular purpose other than to love God and be aware that He loves us.

Those moments are to be treasured. They can be hard sought and fought for in a world that cries out for our constant attention.

Any time given to God is time enhanced beyond measure.

The poem below arose while I listened to God recently.

‘Vital Communion’

Make way for mellow moments
Give in to the Now
Yield to soul craving
and find it life-saving

Pause. Breathe. Give thanks.

The world can wait, you know full well
busyness will capture you soon enough

This is a time for listening
Wait upon Holy Spirit’s touch
Seek a better way than rushing
headlong straight into a new day

Be aware. Be present. Be here.

For this is where earth and heaven collide
This is where rest, joy and peace abide

Vital communion between you and Me
and the very best place for you to be

©JoyLenton2014

As we learn to discern and listen to God’s voice, the more He will speak to our minds and hearts.

Being a Christian is all about the wonder of being brought into relationship with God Himself, our heavenly Father who made and sustains us.

It is a gift of grace to see the Father’s face mirrored in Jesus and get to know Him for ourselves.

And when we come aside, make time, switch off noise and hurry, we find He has been waiting here all along with a heart heavy with love for us.

Maybe He’s whispering an invitation to you today; maybe He’s missing your company; maybe He’s longing to pour blessings out upon you?

Prayer:

Father, We are so easily distracted and impacted by the world around us and its multiple messages we heed, yet you desire us to pay more attention to your voice instead and spend quality time in your presence.

Help us to see our need of you. How vital it is to our spiritual and physical health and strength to be refreshed, restored and renewed by your Spirit.

Speak to us in ways we cannot miss. Encourage us to lay aside all that hinders and prevents us from reaching out to you and receiving all that you long to give us.

Amen

Tweetable:

Any time given to God is time enhanced beyond measure. (Tweet this)

 

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

by Joy Lenton

how-can-i-have-a-conversation-with-God

Have you ever thought that you wouldn’t bother God with your concerns?

Maybe they feel too small or huge to hand over to Him and you wonder if it might be wasting His time; and isn’t He just too busy taking care of really important things/people to be free to take care of me? Thankfully, no and no.

Nothing matters more to our loving heavenly Father
than being available to us ~ all of the time.

There are no constraints. No limits to His love, patience, kindness and compassion. We can take every concern to Him in prayer and be reassured that He hears, will take it seriously and respond appropriately.

There are promises in His word reminding us of God’s faithfulness, steadfastness and fatherly care, yet we so often feel we cannot share This _ fill in the blank.. with Him. Maybe shame or fear hold us back, or anxiety about how to pray and what to say. Because we are apt to forget how much He loves us, how we are no surprise to our Creator, how He has paid the price to set us free from the worst of ourselves to become our best true selves in Christ.

Sometimes we get lost in the silence and fail to listen for the gentle whispered reply. Sometimes we draw back because prayers seem to go unanswered and we are just too hurt to pray again. Sometimes God speaks clearly but we don’t like what He is saying.

No matter the cause, God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic,
simple and natural to our lives as breathing.

Long words and pious speech are not necessary. We can say nothing or chat just as we would to our best friend, because that’s just what He is. In everyday conversation with those we love and are comfortable around there will be times of sitting in a companionable silence, times of non-stop exuberant chatter, times of leaning on the other where tears alone speak volumes. So it is with God.

He invites us to come just as we are.

To share our moments and our days, be caught up in His will and ways, and to let our hearts break with what breaks His. We have all of heaven’s resources at our disposal, Holy Spirit interceding for us when words fail, an alertly attentive Father above whose heart spills with tremendous grace and love, so what’s stopping us?

Come to Him today.

He won’t rebuke you for any delay but He will welcome you and me with arms wide open.

Prayer:

Father, forgive us for making prayer a thing to fear, a chore, ritual or dutiful habit rather than a conversation with The One who loves us beyond measure and rejoices over us with singing. Help us to make time to talk to you and time for you to speak to us, knowing our lives will be greatly enriched, our journey of life and faith enhanced and our hearts rewarded by peace and joy for every minute we offer to you. Amen.

Tweetables:

 God invites us to come just as we are. (tweet this)

God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic, simple and natural. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

How Our Heavenly Father Doesn’t Miss a Thing

How Our Heavenly Father Doesn’t Miss a Thing

by Joy Lenton

How our Heavenly Father

Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing; let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a Saviour~ Hillsong ‘Mighty to Save’

Life can alter in a day. My husband’s minor cold symptoms escalated to major. Quarantined with a continual cough, weakness and pain, he hacked and sneezed his way through several days and nights.

Co-incidentally, cupboards were almost bare, cash flow practically non existent, and I was forced into acting as nurse and carer to him instead. I rang for help. My brother-in-law shopped for us. A neighbour fetched necessary medication.

We survived, able to cope due to the kindness of family and friends. God ensured I could keep going, providing increased energy and strength to match the needs.

And as I set about preparing the simplest of fare to keep us fed and watered, my heart was filled with deep gratitude to God.

For our heavenly Father doesn’t miss a thing.

He is always looking out for us. His mercies, loving kindness and compassion are new every morning.

Yes, we lived on snacks (Christmas party food, anyone?), lots of toast, pre-prepared, microwaveable meals for a while. Dust collected in corners, dirty laundry piled up, but we managed.

Each person has gifts which bless and benefit others.

Kindness, like encouragement, is within the reach of all.

Learning to give and receive is both art and grace. 

Prayer:

Lord,
Help us learn to be both generous givers and grateful recipients of your grace and goodness as it reaches us through the hands of others. May we trust you to meet all our needs day by day. Amen.

Tweetables:

Kindness, like encouragement, is within the reach of all. (tweet this)

Our heavenly Father doesn’t miss a thing; He is always looking out for us. (tweet this)

Here is the wonderful Hillsong praise song Mighty to Save.

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of my days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

Are You Running on Empty?

Please welcome a new contributor to Under the Cover of Prayer, Joy Lenton. 

Are You Running on Empty?

Are-you-running-on-Empty---Joy-Lenton

by Joy Lenton

A notice flashed across the screen, catching me off-guard in the midst of activity. A warning. Power low, battery at only 10% ~ oh dear! Puzzled, I gazed at the wire connected to my laptop as it had been for hours, gave it a tug, pulled it out and pushed it in again (very technical), jiggled it a bit and sighed as nothing changed on the display. So I did what I usually did when in doubt…and called my husband through.

He soon assessed the situation. I definitely had all the right wires in place, but I had failed to realise  the plug had been inadvertently switched off. Oops!

And it made me think..do I heed the warning signs of fatigue in my body signalling a need to rest and recharge?

Am I conscious of staying plugged in to The Source of all might, strength and power Himself?

Do I try to run on empty as I go through the day and neglect to refuel on His word in the same way I need to have regular meal breaks to sustain me?

How easy it is to lose track of God during our days, turn deaf ears to His voice, try to live by our own strength alone.

All may appear to be going swimmingly for a while, but we’re actually depriving ourselves of vital energy, nourishment and guidance to equip us to live life well and to the fullest.

Will you join me in seeking to pause and rectify that right now as we turn our thoughts again to God’s will and ways?

Dear Lord,

You have designed us to live in complete dependence on You, not to deprive us of any good thing but to ensure we have all the resources we need to live as You intend us to. Remind us to stay tuned to Your voice, to turn to You as each day begins and seek Your face. We know that time spent in Your Presence is never wasted.

Only You can fully equip and enable us to be ready for all that lies ahead.
Only You are able to offer all the energy, strength and wisdom we need.

Lead and guide us by Your word.
Grant us hearts that are hungry to hear from You.

Provide us with all that we need to also help, support and encourage others.

To Your praise and glory. Amen.

Tweetables:

Am I conscious of staying plugged in to The Source of all might, strength and power Himself? (click to tweet)

How easy it is to lose track of God during our days, turn deaf ears to His voice. (click to tweet)

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy Lenton is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.
As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.
She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.
You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on Twitter, Facebook, Google + or Pinterest.