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One of the most powerful songs the Lord has ever given Linda emerged out of a time of singing in tongues as a small group of us prayed in the New Year over thirty years ago, when Linda was left singing this exquisite melody on her own.

It was many months before the Lord gave her the words for it: themes that refer to many stirring episodes, from the angel of the Lord finding Hagar in the desert after she was chased from her home right through the birth of Jesus (and the suffering that followed that) to the sure and certain plans of God for Israel despite their chequered past and their many wanderings. It is a truly anointed offering that we pray will bless you very much.

I played this piece during an intercession time during the Love Song in Jersey a few days ago to draw us into intercession for the tens of thousands of Iraqis displaced by IS who are literally fleeing for their lives, in ways so reminiscent of Hagar and other tragic episodes in the history of the region. May its power and beauty draw you close to the Lord, and perhaps inspire you to find creative ways to draw others close too.

I moved on from praying about those in distress in Iraq to the victims in Nepal — not just from the earthquake but from the huge numbers (over 15,000 a year by many estimates) of those who are lured from Nepal into the Asian sex trade – a figure that may well be increasing as a result of the disruption caused by the quakes. We cried out to the Lord for Him to move in power against this terrible vice.

A voice is heard in Ramah. There is weeping in the air.
Rachel mourning for her children, Lost and in despair.
This is what the Lord says, “Rachel, won’t you dry your eyes?
I have heard devotion in your cries.”

A baby boy called Ishmael is crying all alone.
Hagar couldn’t watch him die, she wept her way back home.
The angel of the Lord said to her, “Do not be afraid.
Your son will have a nation, not a grave.”

I heard the sound of the new-born child in Bethlehem Judea.
Mary took him in her arms; her heart was full of cheer,
For God had sent this child to earth to conquer sin and death.
To the weary He will give eternal rest.

Set up the sign, put up the posts, see the road is marked.
Return, O virgin Israel. Although your past is scarred,
Your Lord has made a covenant unlike ones of the past.
He will put His laws into your hearts.

Oh prisoners, take up your bags, the Lord has set you free,
From north and south, and east and west, wherever you may be,
Although the journey will be hard, the way is marked for home.
Yahweh will not let His children roam.

Come to Me all you who thirst and eat from My own hand.
The lame will walk, the blind will see, their heads will be adorned.
Instead of tatters of despair you’ll wear a crown of praise.
The splendour of the Lord shine on your face.

Musicians
Linda Entwistle, Susannah Herzog, Shirley Richards, Helen Rees, Peter Richards, Julian Chan, Geraldine Foster, Corinne Frost, Jo Garcia, Mike Halliday, Thomas Herzog, Nicola Gerrard, Sarah Miller, David Booth, Keith Entwistle, Jane Horsfall. © Linda Entwistle, MFOT 1985.