God is continually renewing the whole of creation, and is active in the whole cycle of life, in all its fullness.
In this section we offer some suggested Bible readings and prayers that you may like to use when praying either for your own personal renewal, or for the future of Livability and the people we work with.
Our lives follow cycles like the trees. God’s Spirit helps us grow and mature. God uses the trials of life to make us wiser and complete. In our “autumns,” God picks up the pieces of our shattered lives and makes something beautiful. In our “winters,” God gives us the strength to endure even the harshest circumstances of life. And, in our “springs,” God breathes new life into us.
God is with us during all the cycles of our life – to provide a refuge from life’s trials and to equip us to do our best. And time after time when we stumble, God is there to gather us up, redirect our lives, and provide us with strength to meet life’s challenges.
– James L. Chappell
(Originally printed in The Upper Room magazine for 3 November 2008. Reprinted copyright 2008 by the Upper Room Inc. PO Box 34004, Nashville TN37203-0004 and used by permission of the publisher)
(a possible translation of Ezekiel 37)
Preach to the dry bones in the church and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
This is what the Lord says to you.
I will breathe into your dead bodies and you will come to life.
You will begin to smile at one another and offer a hug.
You will welcome the strangers, visit the sick
and volunteer to help those who are helpless.
I will put breath into you and you will come to life.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Can God still breathe life into the church?
Of course – but are we ready to receive it?
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you!
After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.
And with that he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit.
Open my lips, my God:
and our mouths will declare aloud your praises.
Open my eyes, my God:
and our seeing will delight in wonder at your glory.
Open my ears, my God:
and our hearing will pick up your readiness to care.
Open my heart, my God:
and our feelings will reflect your love and pity.
Open my mind, my God:
and our thinking will welcome new understandings.
Open my will, my God:
and our commitment will mirror your faithfulness.
Open my hands, my God:
and our giving will transmit your generosity of spirit.
Open my life, my God:
and our living will reveal your presence in our world.
Copyright © 2002 Psalms of Life by John Hammersley
Based on a prayer by David Adam