Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
I need you, Lord
I do need you. Lord, I need you now. I know that I can do without many of the things that once I thought were necessities, but without you I cannot live, and dare not to die.
I needed you when sorrow came, when shadows were thrown across the threshold of my life, and you did not fail me then. I needed you when sickness laid a clammy hand upon my family, and I cried to you, and you heard. I needed you when perplexity brought me to a parting of the ways, and I knew not how to turn. You did not fail me then, but in many ways, big and little, you indicated the better way. And though the sun is shining around me today, I know that I need you even in the sunshine, and shall still need you tomorrow.
I give you my gratitude for that constant sense of need that keeps me close to your side. Help me to keep my hand in yours and my ears open to the wisdom of your voice.
Speak to me that I may hear you giving me courage for hard times and strength for difficult places; giving me determination for challenging tasks. I ask of you no easy way, but just your grace that is sufficient for every need, so that no matter how hard the way, how challenging the hour, how dark the sky, I may be enabled to overcome.
In your strength, which has overcome the world, I make this prayer.
The cry of the human heart
Lord Jesus, you know the things that are trembling upon our lips, stirring in our hearts and along the corridors of our souls, walking on tiptoe across the cloistered spaces of our consciousness, conforming to the distant peeling of an angelus, looking expectantly upward, making prayers without words, breathing aspirations that have only wings.
Hear us, we pray, as we call upon you for help, for strength, for peace; for grace, for reassurance, for companionship; for love, for pardon, for health, for salvation—for joy. Hear us Lord Jesus.
—The Prayers of Peter Marshall, edited by Catherine Marshall. London: Peter Davies, 1955.
J.S. Bach. Ach großer König, [Ah, King so mighty]; chorale no. 6 from the St. John Passion (BWV 245, 1724)). The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists, dir. John Eliot Gardiner.
Ach großer König, groß zu allen Zeiten,
Wie kann ich gnugsam diese Treu ausbreiten?
Keins Menschen Herze mag indes ausdenken,
Was dir zu schenken.
Ich kann's mit meinen Sinnen nicht erreichen,
Womit doch dein Erbarmen zu vergleichen.
Wie kann ich dir denn deine Liebestaten
Im Werk erstatten?
(Johann Heermann, 1630)
Ah King so mighty, mighty in all ages,|
How may I fitly thy devotion publish?
No human heart could ever now imagine
What it should give thee.
I cannot with my reason ever fathom
To what indeed thy mercy may be likened.
How can I then the acts of thy compassion
In deed repay thee?
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.