When praying is hard


It is in our weaknesses he’s most sufficient
In our desperation he gives great comfort
And while the world crumbles he’s a sure rock
But it’s not always easy to walk up to him
At times we find it hard to knock his door
Many times we hide from our only helper
To do everything but seek him in prayer


It’s not out of ignorance we remain silent
No, we know we’ve nowhere else to run
Sometimes we’ve tried everything else
But the pride in us says I can handle it
Tomorrow I’ll pick myself up and fix it
I’ll rid myself of this need once and for all
Only it never works and we know it, don’t we?


Sometimes it’s the guilt of our self righteousness
We judge him by our own expectations
How would he receive us back we wonder
But he’s no fellow man and we know it
He knows us and yet chose to love us in Christ
If it was merit that opens his door none would ever enter
No, it’s the needy men like us that he embraces by grace


Lord forgive the trespass of seeing you like fellow men
The sin to think you only accept me when I do well
How low I would bring you to bribe you with my deeds
But you see me in Christ and draw closer in my need
Help me kill this pride that hides in good deeds
Crown me with the humility that prayer requires
Show me how desperate I am without you


Teach me to see you as a father not merely a teacher
To see I don’t need to earn favor to meet you
So often I go back to that old religion of works
But I would have the Gospel of grace bring me to you
Grant me the spirit of a child to run without care to my father
The humility to look to you first in my need
And a heart that sees my desperate need of you


Give us the gratitude of the Gospel


When I find myself wanting what my neighbor owns
When I crave to outdo my friends in everything
And to be the one everyone talks about
I miss a deep wound in my heart for my ambition
I need that Gospel that says you already have everything


Why do we so often miss the blessings the Lord has given?
Why do we murmur and complain when we are so privileged?
We get so angry that God has refused us our craving
We walk bitterly when he seems to bless others more
We need that assurance that says we are deeply loved


It’s not once that we celebrate others with a bitter soul
Wanting to look happy but dying with jealousy within
Our friends gets married before us and we hate them for it
They get that car or that job and they become an enemy
Dear Lord please grant us the joy of the Gospel


Help us remember what we already share in the Gospel
The great spiritual blessings we own together in Christ
Give us a genuine desire to celebrate with our brothers
Kill the the lust and craving to outdo each other
Give us the gratitude needed to genuinely rejoice with others


Rid our hearts off the bitterness of competition
Cause us to rejoice in the prosperity of others
Remind us the wealth we own in your heavens
Help us outdo each other in good works down here
Give us the gratitude of the Gospel in all circumstances

Made for more than the perfect Weekend

Ever felt like the anticipation of rest is more than the rest we actually get. You know when it’s a Thursday evening and you tell yourself just one more day and it’s the weekend. That feeling when you know Saturday morning lie in is coming. When you don’t need to snooze the alarm. It’s even better when you’ve had a long week. You can feel the dancing in your brain imagining all the rest you’ll get.

Unfortunately sometimes weekends don’t always deliver. Something happens that makes it hard to rest well. A sick child, a mourning friend or a bad quarrel with a spouse. Or you get that full weekend but perhaps the fear of the coming crazy week robs you the rest you anticipated. And even when we’ve got the perfect weekend we know it’s not going to last. Monday tends to come quicker than we imagine. And if you are unemployed rest becomes an unwelcome friend.

What is it with rest that is so fleeting? We want it so much but it always seem to escape us. The entertainment world tells us we can get it, just pay for Netflix. Go out hiking with friends or do nyama choma. But none of it seems to deliver on our wild craving for it. Are we just ungrateful people? It’s possible. Have we become too obsessed with rest that we miss the good occasional blessings of it? I think we have.

But there are also many things that make good rest one of those rare things despite God putting it in our weekly calendar. Perhaps the longing for perfect rest is like what C.S Lewis called a desire for something in the world beyond. It’s ingrained in us but can’t be fully realised in our present world. Perhaps we were made for rest because we were made for God. Isn’t it striking that we meet the idea of rest right at the beginning of our creation story.
Genesis 2 tells us;

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2 NIV.

Of all the things you think about God have you ever associated him with rest? That he’s for rest and fun? Perhaps our pagan religious roots has made God feel like a man who hates rest and is anything but fun. We might even think a good Christian taking a day off is ungodly. It’s no wonder sometimes people can feel church is no fun. Like God is out to get me busy and heaven is all about Keshas and crusades. Well not really. The God we find in Genesis 1&2 works and after that enjoys his eternal rest. Actually our work is supposed to point us to that unattained rest. We were made for this rest with God.

The Hebrew author commenting on this says;

9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4 NIV.

Now that makes heaven fun doesn’t it? God isn’t calling us to a choir of angels flipping our wings up and down. He’s inviting us to take a holiday with him in his perfect creation. Just imagine going on a safari with Jesus with Paul driving. Man oh man! You must be like man I could do with that like now. Maybe you are not the outdoor kind of guy. Think about this then, playing a snooker game with King David. Or maybe it’s Timothy, David feels like the hunting kind of guy. Though he might enjoy a bit of dance for those with more than a left leg.

Now I know I’m making some of you uncomfortable with this but maybe it’s our imagination that needs a bit of work. I don’t for once imagine a boring heaven like our mystical religious world portrays it. Nor do I presume a hellish paradise with drugs and prostitution as the wicked man would want. I think the God who calls us to rest, the God who imagined the beauty of creation and one who really cares for his children is a lot more fun than we imagine. His is actually the right kind of fun. And in Jesus we can long for that perfect rest and for more than a weekend.

Listen to how Isaiah puts it and tell me if that’s not some perfect way to rest. Isaiah 25 says;

6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
Isaiah 25 NIV.

You heard that right. God is calling you to a heavenly party after party. Great meat, good wine, no tears, no death and no evil. If we got that even for a weekend it’d be worth everything wouldn’t it? Imagine having it for eternity. A life of fun with the Almighty and all knowing God. Imagine what his idea of fun is when you remove sin, death and Satan in the capture. I know I can’t wait. Can you?

This is our story


It was among the pigs where he found us
We were outcasts driven outside the city
Thinking we had it all but ours a kingdom of dirt
Garbage was our fortune and dung our treasure
Until he found us in this mess we called the good life


He didn’t wait for us to look for him
In truth we thought we had it all
He couldn’t send his highborn servants for us
No he walked down the dumping site
And embraced us despite our foulness


Why did he care about the rot of society?
Why would the son of God walk among thieves?
To love and die for a smelly people like us?
Surely it wasn’t for something special we could offer
We were helpless, blind and lost without knowing it


I would love to say mine was a better story
That among the street urchins I was the best
But what could a street boy offer the king of kings
If I was any better it was the zeal of my treachery
It was the multitude of my sins that begged his mercy


Ours is a story of rags to riches
Not that we’ve nailed the good life here and now
But the good Lord has bought us for himself
He’s clothed us with his robe of righteousness
And made us sons and heirs in his eternal house