Prayer Blog – January 2017 (01)

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I’m Only Human

Today I have been reflecting on these words, ‘I’m Only Human’, mainly because of a song that comes on the radio now and again. I usually have the radio on in the car for background noise and for keeping up with local news, weather, traffic reports etc. So, largely, the music goes unnoticed. However, now and again a song will grab my attention and, as I am sure you have experienced, get into your head. You keep hearing the lyrics, the beat of the music etc., and it won’t go away. That’s how it has been with me for the song by Rag N Bone Man, ‘I’m Only Human’.[1]
human

In this song he repeatedly uses those words. Perhaps the repetition is what makes it stick in your head. Some of the words are quite poignant and powerful:

Some people got the real problems. Some people out of luck. Some people think I can solve them. Lord Heavens above. I’m only human. I make mistakes. I’m only human. That’s all it takes. To put the blame on me. Don’t put the blame on me.

It’s a classic example of finding something of a deep searching for meaning to life and there being a God; more to life than our mere human existence, in our culture, through songs, poetry, film, arts etc. but outside of mainstream Christianity. The proponents of mission dia (Mission of God) would cite this as an example of God at work in the world, outside of the church. So, find out where he is at work and join him there.

Sometimes we think that the world has gone all secular and is no longer looking for God. To be sure, if we accept the lyrics as an excuse i.e. we are not responsible for our actions as we are only human: then we end up with all sorts of problems, even anarchy perhaps. However, being ‘only human’ can also mean that we accept that we are limited in our capacity to change things by ourselves but reliant on help from outside ourselves. After all, to quote Rag N Bone Man again: ‘I’m no prophet or Messiah. Should go looking somewhere higher. I’m only human after all’.

I concur with that but in following my calling, as a minister, I constantly speak to people who are only human and need to be pointed higher, people with brokenness in their lives. We are all broken in one way or another and need to admit to that, honestly, before God. To be human is to be sinful, by default position, therefore we muck up constantly. But God is the God of forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. We find our way to him, and to that, by faith and by his grace.

Upon reflecting on those word, ‘I’m only human’, I have been trying to hold them in the context of a broken world, with broken lives, my own human limitations and at the same time pray that God’s healing would be administered to all humans who need fixing.

Many come to mind: those who are broken spiritually, mentally, and otherwise physically. How do I help them and myself, when I’m only human? The prayer which follows helps me in this respect as it is an honest acknowledgement that I, and we all, need God. I hope you find it helpful also, as a means of accepting and confessing our total dependence on God.

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Thursday – Wholeness: Morning Invocation
(From a Celtic Prayer Book)

Holy Reconciler, marrying our darkness and light, bringing sunlight to the short dark days, come wind or rain, cleanse me with your healing grace as I set this day.

Sprinkle healing on my roots that the wounds of my story may be the source of my wholeness;
sprinkle healing on my head that I might be protected this day from all that would harm; sprinkle healing on my heart that I might see with compassion not judgement;
sprinkle healing on my body that I might have wellbeing in health and in diminishment; sprinkle healing on my path that I might see for the next step and trust that that is enough as I go forth with you this day. [2]
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[1] Full words found at: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Rag-n-Bone-Man-2/Human

[2] Tess Ward, The Celtic Wheel of the Year: Celtic and Christian Seasonal Prayers (Ropley, Hants, UK: O Books, 2007), p2

 

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