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There is a phrase from the Greek of the New Testament: Kyrie Eleison which means, “Lord, have mercy”.

The phrase can be found in three places in the Gospel of Matthew. When a Canaanite woman pleads for Jesus to heal her demon-possessed and suffering daughter (15:22); when a father pleads for Jesus to heal his son who suffers from seizures (17:15) and when two blind men at the roadside cry out to Jesus to give them sight, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (20:30). In each of these accounts the cry for healing is expressed as a plea for Jesus to show mercy to them.

Kyrie Eleison is also used in many prayers and liturgies especially among the more traditional churches. It is a reminder that we are dependent on the Lord’s mercy. It is because of His mercy that we have recieved grace and forgiveness where we should have received judgement and condemnation.

There have also been a great many songs written with the the title Kyrie Eleison and one such song, written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend caught my attention because of its lyrics. 

I really feel that these words capture the attitude that we should have as we seek the Lord’s mercy to bring healing in this time of disease and brokenness. Instead of linking in the song I am just going to share the words themselves, like a poem, so that we can all appreciate their impact and we can make this our prayer for mercy.

Kyrie Eleison (Getty, Townend)

Kyrie Eleison have mercy
Christe Eleison have mercy

As we come before You with the needs of our world
We confess our failures and our sin
For our words are many yet our deeds have been few
Fan the fire of compassion once again

When the cries of victims go unheard in the land
And the scars of war refuse to heal
Will we stand for justice to empower the weak
Till their bonds of oppression are no more

If we love our God
With all our heart mind and strength
And we love our neighbours as ourselves
Then this law of love will heal the nations of earth
And the glory of Christ will be revealed

Lord renew our vision to be Christ where we live
To reach out in mercy to the lost
For each cup of kindness to the least in our midst
Is an offering of worship to the throne

Kyrie Eleison have mercy
Christe Eleison have mercy


God Bless


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