Thanks for friends who keep on loving,
finding ways to help us grow,
celebrating our achievements,
sharing in our pain and woe.
God is glimpsed where love is faithful:
mirrored here in time and space.
Thanks to God for friends who love us:
Christ revealed in every face.
Other people help to shape us
when they take the time to share
words of wisdom, honest actions
through our journey in God’s care.
In our faithful, honest learning
we discover things unknown.
Thanks to God for friends who teach us:
seeking talent yet ungrown.
When we find our friendships challenged
through mistakes and different views,
we discover deeper living
as the love of God renews.
For in Christ we see forgiveness;
know a strength still to embrace.
Thanks to God for friends who keep us:
making real the gift of grace.
Praise to God for this great gifting
of relationship and friend:
imaging divine relating;
found in heaven with no end.
Bless us Maker, Word and Spirit
as companions on the way.
Thanks to God for friends who help us
to fulfil our lives each day.
© Gary Hopkins
Metre: 87 87 D
Suggested tunes: Heanish or Ode to Joy
Available in Singing the Faith, no. 619
Eternal source of humankind
be near us in life’s stress:
relieve the strain of troubled mind,
dispel our worries, let us find
your comfort and closeness.
When daily pressures take their toll
in endless busyness,
as social systems claim control
and drown the murmurs of our soul,
enfold us in stillness.
Come, Holy Spirit, help us heed
the presence of your dove:
subdue the noise of selfish greed,
of wealth creation and false need
with whispers of your love.
O guide us through life’s complex maze
with gentleness and peace:
to soothe the rush of hectic days,
come calming Spirit, clear the haze
and let us find release.
© Gary Hopkins 2013
Metre: 86 886 (6)
Suggested tune: Repton
When our views are varied
and emotions strong,
when belief feels threatened,
claiming others wrong;
show us how to listen
and to not accuse,
open and respectful
to each other’s views.
If we let division
distract from Christ’s reign,
we neglect our calling
to aid those in pain:
Justice must speak louder
than our claims to right;
love must be our essence,
living in the light.
God, forgive your people
in our broken state;
we your church have fostered
prejudice and hate.
Let us embrace difference
in our unity;
for the church is richer
Through a dim-lit mirror,
partial truth we know
and as we discover,
grace and love must grow.
Let God’s truth shine brighter
into every place
till we know completely
and see face to face.
© Gary Hopkins 2012
Metre: 65 65 D
Suggested tune: Evelyns
As I stumble through my life, God,
there are times when I despair,
long to know your presence near me,
find an answer to my prayer.
Still, I speak and hope you hear me,
hear the words I try to say,
wondering if you care about me
and what happens day to day?
Round each corner of my life, God,
I can question where you are,
think you’re missing, never listening,
only watching from afar.
As I gaze into the darkness,
pondering what my life’s about,
I remember all we’ve been through
and I wonder why I doubt.
Then I know you’ve never left me,
always been there from the start,
and I’m sorry for my doubts, God,
we will never be apart.
Help me lean on all you’ve promised,
know that on you I depend:
as you’ve kept me, so you’ll keep me
from this day until the end.
© Gary Hopkins 2012
Metre: 87 87D
Suggested tune: Nettleton
The gift of freedom brings us choice
which often makes us torn:
should we fulfil our earthly wants
or live our lives reborn?
Each choice we make is like a drop
that falls into a lake
and ripples out beyond our sight
with power to make or break.
God, make us wise to our impact
in choices we control
and help us choose the way of Christ
that makes another whole.
Forgive us, God, when freedom brings
enslavement and abuse;
encourage us to sacrifice
and think each time we choose.
O God of love, expand our minds
to see beyond the shore
and look at how each drop affects
the world that you adore.
© Gary Hopkins 2012
Metre: 86 86
Suggested tune: Contemplation