Following the horrifying death of Fusiller Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich I have felt the Spirit stirring a deep lament in my soul, and it feels right to give expression to this. This prayer stands in all its rawness, and is set to several pieces of music that we have recorded recently.
We hope that you will listen to the version with music, as it changes the dynamic and enhances it significantly, but in case you do not, the words can be found below.
Click the title below to listen:
We dare not take Your grace for granted
A Lament in the aftermath of the Woolwich atrocity.
Broken and open lies our land in Your sight;
clouds pressing down, light dim,
For through our own deliberate fault
we have rejected Your ways
and laid our inheritance bare
to powerful forces sweeping through the land.
And aimless souls scuttle and hustle
in self imposed blindness
deafened by the endless jangle
that disentangles souls from Me
And the holy ones lament,
for this is not the destiny God prepared for us,
when first He brought His word to these shores.
Lord of hosts, in acts of mercy beyond marvel,
You who have foiled and thwarted
so many seeming perfect plots,
renew now Your works of interception and intervention.
We dare not take Your grace for granted,
or say, ‘Protecting our land is the work
of those paid and appointed to do so’,
when You are looking to Your anointed ones
to be watchmen on the towers.
Dear Lord, we cry out for all afflicted by loss,
for in all our distress, You too are distressed,
and in our grief, You too are grieved.
For those provoked to lash out and respond in spite
as the result of heavy hammer blows,
with all our might we pray: Lord, ‘Stay their hand,’ –
and stay Yours, too, we pray.
Let Your brooding compassion be renewed
across our nation despite this latest loss:
from the uttermost north of Cape Wrath Sutherland
and the islands beyond,
to the softer turf and the southern surf;
from eastern Wash to craggy west;
and crowded metropolis to folded hills.
We implore the power of Your yearning,
and the breadth of Your moving.
Shine brilliant Light into our overcrowded land
and break through the lowering clouds
drawing hearts in profound soul searching
to Yours, dear Father,
in the light that knows no night.
Drop down, ye heavens, from above,
and let the skies pour down righteousness:
let the earth open,
and let them bring forth salvation,
and let righteousness spring up together;
I the Lord have created it. (Is. 45:8 KJV)
Sky above, make victory fall like rain;
clouds, pour down victory.
Let the earth receive it,
and let salvation grow,
and let victory grow with it.
I, the Lord, have created it. (Is. 45:8 NCV)
The three pieces of music are:
1) A brief chamber piece by Corelli,
2) The opening few bars of a piece from Delius’ Florida Suite (‘At night’) Delius, and an improvisation on that theme, followed by part of an extemporisation that followed and finally
3) An extract from a short piece I wrote called Frankincense.