Be still, for the presence of the Lord

Day one of this project to sing through the hymn book (see the pinned introductory post for details).  For copyright reasons I’m not putting the full words up here but will link to other online sources where possible.

We’re still in the Christmas season (the Eighth Day of Christmas today) but as “Sing Praise” only has a few Christmas carols I will leave those to December, and start with some general ones appropriate to a new year. Today’s song is “Be still, for the presence of the Lord”, a modern one popular in many churches.  It reminds us that prayer and worship start with being still – ‘centring prayer’ as some people call it.  It calls us to “bow down before him now, in reverence and fear”.  There are thirteen references in the Bible to bowing down to God, a practice very familiar to Muslims but less so to Christians. It’s worth trying this physical symbol of our humility in God’s presence, or at least kneeling in prayer.

The second verse reminds us of the possibility in the stillness of being surprised by Gods’ sudden glorious presence around us, much as the shepherds were surprised by the angels’ song at the birth of Jesus or the wise men discerned God’s purposes in the appearance of a new sign in the sky.  The final verse, appropriate for a new year, responds to God’s work of cleansing and healing – “No work too hard for him, in faith receive from him”.  Whatever your current needs for cleansing and healing, bring them to God in humility and ask him to make his presence known in your life this year.