Circle of prayer

Storm clouds looming.

I was out for a walk on a beautiful calm reflective day, when the water was like crystal. However in the distance storm clouds were moving, and soon were overhead bringing a deluge of rain. The contrast between the dark menacing clouds and the softness of the light on the water was dramatic.

I think this is a metaphor for our lives- where there can be so much beauty and light, but there are also threatening things on the horizon- pressures and worries about finance, health and the wellbeing of others. We always seem to be walking a line between light and darkness, good and evil.

When I was mulling on this, I remembered the old celtic form of prayer, encircling prayers, where we pray for a person or situation to be encircled in the love and care of God. It seems such a powerful way of praying in a life where there is so many disturbing and unsettling news.

There are so many verses in the bible that are prayers for protection against danger.

‘ Have mercy on me O God, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings till danger has passed’ Psalm 57:1

‘ The Lord will fight for you- you need only be still.’ Exodus 14:4

Just knowing that on difficult days, God is protecting us, and even fighting on our behalf is such an encouragement. We need to trust, and stay close to Jesus.

Circle me Lord, when the storm clouds roll in, Lord Jesus, keep protection within, and danger afar, when life feels disturbing, keep peace within, and dissension away. Lord Jesus, encircle us in your light, and love and beauty. Holy spirit, may we find shelter in the storm, encircle us in your care and keeping till the morning light breaks, and all is calm and tranquil. Then may we give thanks, and seek to go on our path of doing your will once again, with trust and confidence, Amen.

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