For the month of October, Linda Crossley reflects and offers prayers through hymns.
My starting point for these reflections was a number of hymns that have special meaning and significance for me in my Christian journey.
That two hymns in StF and a Psalm (NIV) should start with the exact same phrase – the Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want – surely tells us that the message, though simple, is profound. I could recite the whole of Psalm 23 from my Church of England primary school, and grew up singing the Scottish Psalter version of the hymn. However, it is the modern hymn, by Stuart Townend (StF 481) which I love to sing now. Like its predecessor, it is often sung at funeral services; I first sang it at that for a dear local preacher friend, and many of us sang it at the funeral of Julie Hulme.
This year’s Chelsea Flower Show included the Bible Society’s Psalm 23 garden – beautiful greenery, slowly moving waters, subdued shades of flower – which the designer describes as a restorative psalm, one of solace and encouragement. You can read and watch more about this at the RHS website.
The words of the hymn’s refrain, set to a beautiful harmonised tune, speak to me so powerfully.
“And I will trust in you alone, and I will trust in you alone, for your endless mercy follows me, your goodness will lead me home.”
This has been a comfort to me again and again, during the lonely and worrying times we experienced in 2020, and at other times of personal difficulty. God loves us and cares for us in this earthly life, and will lead us into the house of the Lord when it is over. Pray for anyone known to you, maybe even for yourself, if they or you have lost that great trust, that it may be restored to them.
Please click the button to download the complete set of prayers for the month.