Poems and readings to reflect on and shape your faith

How to use Faith Shapers:
  • Click on ROOMS to pick a theme
  • Search for an author/poet by name
  • Explore more by using the tags
  • Feel free to share Faith Shapers
USE FAITH SHAPERS FOR:
  • Prayer or in time of personal need
  • Resource for a group meeting
  • Illustrations for a devotional address
  • Material for a church study course

Latest Posts

Elected

Though the mariner sees not the polestar, yet the needle of the compass which points to it tells him which way he sails: thus the heart that is touched with the loadstone of divine love, trembling with godly fear, and yet still looking towards God by fixed believing,...

Father’s Day

Then, kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King, The saint, the father, and the husband prays: Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing," that thus they all shall meet in future days; there, ever bask in uncreated rays, no more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear; together...

God is Smart

… God is smart. Westerners have analysis. We have synthesis. Westerners have a strong sense of individualism. We have a strong sense of community. Because Westerners have a strong sense of the value of the individual, They are able to take personal initiatives. It’s...

D Day: Lest we Forget

Lest we forget—lest we forget! If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe— Such boastings as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law— Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! For heathen heart...

World Without End

This world is not conclusion; A sequel stands beyond, Invisible, as music, But positive, as sound.   It beckons and it baffles; Philosophies don’t know, And through a riddle, at the last, Sagacity must go.   To guess it puzzles scholars; To gain it, men have...

My Signal Box

The signal box sometimes feels like one of those invitation tests: go to the wilds, endure the emptiness of yourself and return reformed. Confront that which is most you: stray to the dark realm of your bruised heart and let the light in, let the grand voice of...

Winged Life

My tender Age in sorrow did begin And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sin That I became Most thin.   With thee Let me combine, And feel this day thy victory: For if I imp (graft) my wing on thine, Affliction shall advance the flight  in me....

Low Sunday?

Often I try to analyse the quality of its silences. Is this where God hides from my searching?...   These are the hard ribs of a body that our prayers have failed to animate. Shadows advance from their corners to take possession of places the light held for an...

My Dragon?

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less; The times are winter, watch, a world undone.... And I not help....   Or what is else? There is your world within. There rid the dragons, root out there the sin. ’’Your will is  law in that small commonweal....

Homecoming

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,      If I lacked anything.   ‘A guest’, I answered, ‘worthy to be here.’ Love said,...

Our Father: Hallowed on Earth as in Heaven

Harvest Thanks Giving

Harvest Thanks Giving

Thanks be to God for the food on the table; Thank you, our daily cry. Food for today and with more for tomorrow, All of our needs supplied.   Crops from the field, fruit from the tree, Vegetables from the ground; Food from the earth, fish from the sea, Plenty to...

Walk with God

Walk with God

The Lord of all, himself through all diffused, Sustains, and is the life of all that lives. Nature is but a name for an effect Whose cause is God. He feeds the secret fires By which the mighty process is maintained, Who sleeps not, is not weary; in whose sight Slow...

God’s a Phone, Maybe

God’s a Phone, Maybe

...say God's a phone, maybe. You know you didn't order a phone, but there it is. It rings. You don't know who it could be. You don't want to talk, so you pull out the plug. It rings. You smash it with a hammer till it bleeds springs and coils and clobbery metal bits....

Harvest Thanks Giving

Harvest Thanks Giving

Thanks be to God for the food on the table; Thank you, our daily cry. Food for today and with more for tomorrow, All of our needs supplied.   Crops from the field, fruit from the tree, Vegetables from the ground; Food from the earth, fish from the sea, Plenty to...

The Bible: Bestowed Word of God

Majestic like the Sun

Majestic like the Sun

The Spirit breathes upon the Word, And brings the truth to sight; Precepts and promises afford, A sanctifying light.   A glory gilds the sacred page, Majestic, like the sun: It gives a light to every age, It gives, but borrows none.   The Hand that gave it...

Born among the trees and leaves

Born among the trees and leaves

O who will show me those delights on high Echo. I Thou echo, thou art mortal, all men know. Echo. No Wert thou not born among the trees and leaves? Echo. Leaves. And are there any leaves that still abide? Echo. Bide. What leaves are they? Impart the matter wholly....

This book of stars lights to eternal bliss

This book of stars lights to eternal bliss

Oh that I knew how all thy lights combine, And the configurations of their glory! Seeing not only how each verse doth shine, But all the constellations of the story....   Such are thy secrets, which my life makes good, And comments on thee: for in every thing Thy...

Majestic like the Sun

Majestic like the Sun

The Spirit breathes upon the Word, And brings the truth to sight; Precepts and promises afford, A sanctifying light.   A glory gilds the sacred page, Majestic, like the sun: It gives a light to every age, It gives, but borrows none.   The Hand that gave it...

Jesus Christ: Crucified God in Person

Down to the World’s Cradle

Down to the World’s Cradle

Down to that littleness, down to all that Crying and hunger, all that tiny flesh And flickering spirit – down the great stars fall, Here the great kings bow. Here the farmer sees his fragile lambs, Here the wise man throws his books away. This manger is the universe’s...

Christmas Check Out

Christmas Check Out

"I'm not looking forward to Christmas,"   The lass on the store check-out cries, Pinging the goods on the rumbling belt - The bread, and the wine, and the pies. I watch, as I stand in the fidgety queue As the lassie enlightens us all.   "The fuss and the...

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

When fishes flew and forests walked And figs grew upon thorn, Some moment when the moon was blood Then surely I was born.   And monstrous head and sickening cry And ears like errant wings, And devil's walking parody On all four-footed things.   The tattered...

Down to the World’s Cradle

Down to the World’s Cradle

Down to that littleness, down to all that Crying and hunger, all that tiny flesh And flickering spirit – down the great stars fall, Here the great kings bow. Here the farmer sees his fragile lambs, Here the wise man throws his books away. This manger is the universe’s...

Humankind: Sinful, Rebellious and Faithless

My Dragon?

My Dragon?

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less; The times are winter, watch, a world undone.... And I not help....   Or what is else? There is your world within. There rid the dragons, root out there the sin. ’’Your will is  law in that small commonweal....

Stop the Clocks

Stop the Clocks

  Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He is...

My Seasons

My Seasons

This is the weather the cuckoo likes, and so do I When showers betumble the chestnut spikes and nestlings fly And the little brown nightingale bills his best, And they sit outside at the Traveller's Rest, And maids come forth sprig-muslin dressed, And citizens dream...

My Dragon?

My Dragon?

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less; The times are winter, watch, a world undone.... And I not help....   Or what is else? There is your world within. There rid the dragons, root out there the sin. ’’Your will is  law in that small commonweal....

The Grace of God: Justifying and Converting

Homecoming

Homecoming

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,      If I lacked anything.   ‘A guest’, I answered, ‘worthy to be here.’ Love said,...

God’s Better Beauty

God’s Better Beauty

To what serves mortal beauty? Dangerous; does set dancing blood....   What do then? How meet beauty? Merely meet it; own, home at heart, heaven's sweet gift; then leave, let that alone, Yea, wish that though, wish all, God's better beauty, grace.   Gerard...

My Trumpetry

My Trumpetry

From all my lame defeats and oh much more From all the victories that I seemed to score; From cleverness shot forth on thy behalf At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh; From all my proofs of thy divinity, Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.  ...

Homecoming

Homecoming

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,      If I lacked anything.   ‘A guest’, I answered, ‘worthy to be here.’ Love said,...

Christ-likeness: Progressive Christian Living

Ring it Out and In

Ring it Out and In

 ... The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind    For those that here we see no more;    Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out a slowly dying cause,    And ancient...

Forgiven and Forgiving

Forgiven and Forgiving

History teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness, or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general - but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.   Forgiveness lies at the heart of the...

Compassion

Compassion

We in our prideful counting are answerable to you: Facing the cost of our pride, we choose you; We choose you and your compassion; We choose you, because we trust that, You do not deal with us according to our sins, Nor repay us according to our iniquities. So we...

Ring it Out and In

Ring it Out and In

 ... The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind    For those that here we see no more;    Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out a slowly dying cause,    And ancient...

Holy Spirit: in Christian Experience

Winged Life

Winged Life

My tender Age in sorrow did begin And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sin That I became Most thin.   With thee Let me combine, And feel this day thy victory: For if I imp (graft) my wing on thine, Affliction shall advance the flight  in me....

Sing Hosanna

Sing Hosanna

              Holy Spirit, New-Life Giver,             Rushing wind, and gentle inner flame,             Come, inspire us, strengthen, fire us,             to the glory of your name.   Find the riches of Christ in the stranger In the poor and those without...

Hope in the storms of life

Hope in the storms of life

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without words, And never stops at all. And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chilliest...

Winged Life

Winged Life

My tender Age in sorrow did begin And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sin That I became Most thin.   With thee Let me combine, And feel this day thy victory: For if I imp (graft) my wing on thine, Affliction shall advance the flight  in me....

Believers: Assured, Called and Prayerful

My Signal Box

My Signal Box

The signal box sometimes feels like one of those invitation tests: go to the wilds, endure the emptiness of yourself and return reformed. Confront that which is most you: stray to the dark realm of your bruised heart and let the light in, let the grand voice of...

Grow Younger

Grow Younger

My heart leaps up when I behold     A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began;  So is it now I am a man;  So be it when I shall grow old,     Or let me die! The Child is father of the Man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety....

Icy Inscape

Icy Inscape

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less; The times are winter, watch, a world undone; They waste, they wither worse; they as they run Or bring more or more blazon man's distress, And I not help....   Hope holds to Christ the mind's own mirror out To...

My Signal Box

My Signal Box

The signal box sometimes feels like one of those invitation tests: go to the wilds, endure the emptiness of yourself and return reformed. Confront that which is most you: stray to the dark realm of your bruised heart and let the light in, let the grand voice of...

The Church: Provisional but Necessary

Low Sunday?

Low Sunday?

Often I try to analyse the quality of its silences. Is this where God hides from my searching?...   These are the hard ribs of a body that our prayers have failed to animate. Shadows advance from their corners to take possession of places the light held for an...

You’re Welcome

You’re Welcome

You're welcome until you're homeless. Until you're drugged up, or drug dealing. Welcome until you're angry, or angsty, or anything other than sane....   Welcome until it's harder to let you in than keep you out. Until the questions you carry are a gospel of...

Tree of Life: Upside Down

Tree of Life: Upside Down

There is a tree grows upside down, Its roots are in the sky; Its lower branches reach the earth When amorous winds are nigh.   One lone bough there starkly hangs A Man just crucified, And all the other branches bear The choice fruits of the Bride.   When...

Low Sunday?

Low Sunday?

Often I try to analyse the quality of its silences. Is this where God hides from my searching?...   These are the hard ribs of a body that our prayers have failed to animate. Shadows advance from their corners to take possession of places the light held for an...

The Mission of God

Holy Island – What Me?

Holy Island – What Me?

Leave me alone with God  as much as may be, as the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island,  set apart, alone with You, God, holy to You.   Then, with the turning of the tide, prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world, beyond...

Far From Home

Far From Home

All day long we’ve walked, my little boy so fretful, turning in my arms to stare behind us, back along that dusty road.   It’s as if he hears a distant sound, he’s listening, it seems, but much too young to know the dreadful things we’ve heard.   Now it’s...

Flood our Hearts

Flood our Hearts

God of time and God eternal, God beyond millennia; God whose fingerprints reveal you In the atom and the stars:           Flood our hearts with hope and wonder,           Fill us with your healing love.   God, in Jesus, you have lived life, Shared constraints of...

Holy Island – What Me?

Holy Island – What Me?

Leave me alone with God  as much as may be, as the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island,  set apart, alone with You, God, holy to You.   Then, with the turning of the tide, prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world, beyond...

Moral Justice: a Vision of God’s Kingdom

Don’t Retreat

Don’t Retreat

Do not retreat into your private world, That place of safety, sheltered from the storm, Where you may tend your garden, seek your soul, And rest with loved ones where the fire burns warm.   To tend a garden is a precious thing But dearer still the one where all...

Victory?

Victory?

Professional Sports   The endless carnival of those sports constitutes a dramatic affirmation of power, wealth and virility in which victory is accomplished by many abusive exploitations, all in pursuit of winning and being top of the heap of the money game....

Human Being!

Human Being!

Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain. Sa'adi Shirazi (d. c.1291/1292), On the wall...

Don’t Retreat

Don’t Retreat

Do not retreat into your private world, That place of safety, sheltered from the storm, Where you may tend your garden, seek your soul, And rest with loved ones where the fire burns warm.   To tend a garden is a precious thing But dearer still the one where all...

Glory: Now and Then, Here and There

World Without End

World Without End

This world is not conclusion; A sequel stands beyond, Invisible, as music, But positive, as sound.   It beckons and it baffles; Philosophies don’t know, And through a riddle, at the last, Sagacity must go.   To guess it puzzles scholars; To gain it, men have...

Autumnal

Autumnal

Mars burns bright and close this October: I watch it through the window, as I lie, too-awake, in the dark. Drawn-in under covers as the cold bites, I shrink, foetal-shaped but old-fleshed, frail.   I am autumnal: dry-leaved, mud-under-foot, dark-dayed,...

SKYLIGHT

SKYLIGHT

You were the one for skylights. I opposed Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed, Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling, The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling. Under there,...

World Without End

World Without End

This world is not conclusion; A sequel stands beyond, Invisible, as music, But positive, as sound.   It beckons and it baffles; Philosophies don’t know, And through a riddle, at the last, Sagacity must go.   To guess it puzzles scholars; To gain it, men have...