30.8.23: I follow you

dodo71: Pixabay.

I had barely begun to pray last Sunday morning when these couplets came to me. They took several hours of concentrated work to put into words.

This happens more and more frequently. The first stage of writing takes so long that by the time it’s finished, I have missed out on the experience of wordless prayer. In fact, there is a constant, seemingly irresolvable tension between my longing to pray, and the drive to express in words what I am given, so it can be shared here.

All I can do is to echo the prophet’s words: “My work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward” (Isaiah 49:4; NLT).

So now, here is today’s blog:

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34; NLT). 

I follow you, my only Lord:
My guide, my way, and my reward.

I honour you, my Shepherd King:
My strength; the truth to which I cling.

I thirst for you, my living God:
My breath, my life, my staff, my rod.

I trust in you, my light, my love:
My daily bread from heaven above.

I worship you, my Father’s voice:
My resurrection, and my choice.

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).

Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

24.8.23: A simple way forward

Gnailhe: Pixabay.

I’ve been finding it very difficult to pray for the last few days, perhaps because of having constant migraine, but today, after asking for the Holy Spirit’s help, I was given a new, very simple way forward.

I repeated Jesus’ name silently in time with my breath, making no attempt to add any intentions of my own. Whenever a person came into my mind, I prayed for them briefly, then returned to the slow, silent repetition of Jesus’ name. 

This meant that nothing was a “distraction” any more. Instead, each distraction showed me who or what to pray about. My distractions had become part of my prayer, which was a great relief.

Eventually, some words began to come together in my mind, and today’s prayer was gently born.

I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT). 

You’re my shining light,
My living bread,
My truth, my life;
My guide, my rod,
My staff, my way;
My well, my water –
Every day.

You’re in all I see,
And taste, and touch;
You’re here, in me:
God’s Word, God’s Son,
God’s Spirit, too –
Please lead me, always,
Back to you. 

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25; NLT).


Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? (1 Corinthians 6:15; CSB).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

We are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT). 

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you (Romans 8:11; NLT). 

Thine incorruptible spirit is in all things (Wisdom of Solomon 12:1; KJV).

Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

17.6.23: Christ, our Lamb

Plaque with Angus Dei, metmuseum.org.

While I was praying without words, today’s verses simply arose from the silence, though nothing could have been further from my mind than writing a blog.

NB: For those who are interested, there is some brief Rosary Hospital news below the references.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
(John 1:36; NKJV).

1. Christ, our Lamb,
And Christ, our dove;
Christ, our lion:
You are love;

2. Christ, our bread,
And Christ, our wine;
Christ, our Word,
And fruitful vine.

3. Christ, our way,
Our truth, our life;
Christ our Saviour:
You are light;

4. Christ, our King,
Our staff, our rod;
Our resurrection,
And our God.

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
(John 20:28; NLT).


Verse 1
The Holy Spirit, in bodily form descended on him like a dove (Luke 3:22; NLT).
The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory (Revelation 5:5; NLT).
God is love (1 John 4:8; NIV).

Verse 2
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35; NLT).
He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood” (Matthew 26:27-8; NLT).
His name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13; NIV).
I am the vine (John 15:5; NLT).

Verse 3
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).
He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:6; NLT).
I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT).

Verse 4
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS (Revelation 19:16; NIV).
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection” (John 11:25; NLT).
The name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:12; NLT).

The Rosary Hospital

This is a special order, five-decade rosary I made yesterday, and finished today. It’s all packed up now, ready to be posted next Tuesday, God willing.

13.6.23: You are peace

Public Domain Pictures, Pixabay.

Seeing this prayer in my mind and heart brought a gentle end to a wonderful time of light, silence and peace last Sunday. Writing and referencing it was a labour of love.

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT). 

1. You are peace, and you are love,
On earth, below, in heaven above.
You are fire, and bread, and wine,
Our narrow way, our living vine.

2. You are pity, Shepherd King,
You shield us all beneath your wing.
You are Spirit, truth and light,
The resurrection, and the life.

3. You are Christ, our staff and rod,
So kind, so good, our Lord and God.
Teacher, you forgive and bless,
For you are strength, and tenderness.

4. Yahweh, Holy Ghost, and Son,
The One in Three, the Three in One,
Our faith, our hope, our soul, our call:
You are God, our All in all.

God will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28; TIB).


Verse 1
God is love (1 John 4:8; NLT).
The Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).
I am the living bread that came down from from heaven (John 6:51; NLT).
Jesus told him, “I am the way” (John 14:6; NLT).
I am the vine (John 15:5; NLT).

Verse 2
Yahweh is …pity (Psalm 103:8; NJB).
I am the good shepherd (John 10:11; NLT).
You are my King and my God! (Psalm 44:4; NLT).
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings (Psalm 57:1; NLT).
The LORD God is our sun and our shield (Psalm 84:11; NLT). |
God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT).
The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).
God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT).
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25; NLT).

Verse 3
Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1; NLT).
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).
How kind the LORD is! How good he is! (Psalm 116:5; NLT).
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).
You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am (John 13:13; NLT).
He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).
How he blesses them! (Psalm 107:38; NLT).
The Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Isaiah 26:4; KJV).
Yahweh is tenderness (Psalm 103:8; NJB).

Verse 4
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19; KJV).
The LORD our God, the LORD is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; NIV).
Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).
The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; KJV).
We keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call (2 Thessalonians 1:11; NLT).
You are our God! (Hosea 2:23; NLT).

27.5.23: A little is enough

Eucharistic Hosts, davideucaristia, Pixabay.

Over the past year, as my health has deteriorated and I’ve become less active, I’ve gained two stones in weight. Whilst saying grace over extra food, I’ve been acknowledging to God that I’m eating for comfort. It was clear that I couldn’t go on like this indefinitely, and I knew the right time would eventually come to cut back. Meanwhile, I couldn’t even face getting weighed.

This situation started to change a couple of weeks ago, when I had to weigh myself so that staff at the anticoagulation clinic could calculate the dose for a drug-change. Since then I’ve lost half a stone, then plateaued, despite careful eating: weight loss is a big challenge at 70, in poor health, and with a very slow metabolism and no thyroid!

Meanwhile, today’s prayer came as a complete surprise – I think it’s the first time I’ve ever written about eating:

Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11; RSV).

A little is enough, Lord,
For you give me what I need,
So when I help myself to more,
I’m giving way to greed.

A little is enough, Lord,
For you give the right amount,
So when I help myself to more,
Please hold me to account.

A little is enough, Lord,
So please help me to say, “No”,
Then turn to you, the Bread of Life,
And tell you all my woe,

For food, alone, can’t comfort me,
So, when my way is rough,
Please help me, Lord, to come to you:
Your comfort is enough.

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:13; NLT).


Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough (Exodus 16:17-18; NLT).

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again” (John 6:35; NLT).

I will comfort those who mourn (Isaiah 57:18; NLT).

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1; NLT).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; NLT).

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28; NLT).

8.5.23: My hope, my way

Stations of the Cross in Althofen; painted by Consuelo Mels-Colloredo, 1983. Neithan90, Wikimedia.

Yesterday I felt very tired, which had its up-side, as I was able to spend time putting the morning’s notes into words whilst resting. The lines in italics form a prayer within a prayer:

O Lord, you alone are my hope (Psalm 71:5; NLT). 

My hope, my way,
My light each day:
I want to do your bidding;
My peace, my Lamb,
My great “I AM”:
For you are God’s dear Son. 

My truth, my life,
My purchase-price:
You, Lord, are my salvation;
My strength, my blood,
My longed-for love:
May you and I be one.

My Lord, my God,
My staff, my rod:
My body is your temple;
My Guide, my Friend,
My start, my end:
My mind is yours, Lord, too.

My bread, my wine,
My living vine:
My heart is yours forever;
My Shepherd King,
My everything:
My soul belongs to you.

The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; KJV).

Our bodies will return to the dust of the earth, and the breath of life will go back to God, who gave it to us (Ecclesiastes 12:7; GNT).

8.10.22: Like Jesus

Context: This prayer arrived very early one blessed Sunday morning. I chose it to share with you today after my priest visited me with home communion yesterday:

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered (Hebrews 5:8; NLT). 

I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).

Like Jesus, I suffer,
Like Jesus, I yield;

Like him, I am wounded,
Like him, I’ll be healed.

Like Jesus, I bear it,
Like Jesus, I cry;

Like him, I submit,
And, like him, I will die.

For he’s my example,
My way, and my shrine;

My Priest and my Saviour,
My bread and my wine.

Like him, I will perish,
Like him, rise again –

So, with Christ as my goal,
I will not live in vain.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58; CSB).


Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT).

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us (Philippians 3:10-14; NLT).

I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church (Colossians 1:24; NLT).

I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14; CSB).


Context: Continuing my recent theme of the inner shadow-self (unconscious mind), as the seat of temptation, this blog took shape today whilst I was having a Sunday lie-in.

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
(Luke 4:1-2; NLT).  

A wolf from the desert will pounce on them.
(Jeremiah 5:6; NLT). 

Forty long days
In the desert, alone:
Thirsty, tormented,
You faced the unknown.

Nightmare temptations
Arose in your heart:
Heat, cold and weariness
All played their part.

Though hungry for bread
And for proof of God’s love,
For power, and rescue
From heaven above,

Lord, you won through,
Overcoming them all,
And that’s why you’re able
To help when I call.

So, I keep going
Though dogged here by sin,
Lord, as I wander
The desert within.

We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are –
yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15; NLT ).

Remember how YHWH, your God, led you on a wandering path through the desert for forty years, humbling and testing you, to learn what was in your heart; whether you would keep God’s commands or not.
(Deuteronomy 8:2; TIB).

My flesh, my blood

Yesterday I stirred at 6am, and all I wanted was to go back to sleep. My bed was blissfully warm and comfortable, but today’s prayer began to nag insistently in my mind until I forced myself to wake fully and discover what it wanted to say. To my great surprise, it turned out to be this wide-awake, effervescent song of praise:

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
(John 20:28; NLT). 

1. My Lord, my God; my flesh, my blood:
You fill my body with your love.

2. My Lord, my God; my bread, my wine:
You make my sinful mind your shrine.

3. My Lord, my God, my strength, my prayer:
You teach my hard, cold heart to care.

4. My Lord, my God, my sword, my shield:
You touch my soul, and I am healed. 

5. My Lord, my God, my everything:
You make my spirit dance and sing!

People in Zion will dance as they sing,
“Everything I am has its source in you.”
(Psalm 87:7; TIB).


1. If you don’t eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Chosen One, you won’t have life in you. Those who do eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Everyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in them (John 6:53-6; TIB).

We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV). 

2. As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body” (Matthew 26:26; NLT).

He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many (Matthew 26:27-8; NLT).

We are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

3. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song (Isaiah 12:2; NLT). 

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:26; NIV). 

4. He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword! (Psalm 28:7; NLT).

He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3; NKJV). 

5. I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life (Psalm 142:5; NLT).

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT). 

The LORD is my strength and my song (Exodus 15:2; NLT). 

Let them praise God’s Name with festive dance; let them sing praise (Psalm 149:3; TIB).  

In darkness

Context: Today’s poem came to me this morning. For once, I had lots of time to pray and to enjoy God’s presence, so I was relived to have a day off, with no writing. However, just as I was getting out of bed, the following arrived in a flash. It was easy to catch hold of, but much harder to write! 

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12; NLT). 

I live in darkness lit by Christ,
And walk here, guided by his steps.
I serve here, aided by his strength,
And weep here, solaced by his kiss.

I feast in darkness on his bread,
And share his water, meat and wine.
I rest here, settled by his peace,
And sleep here, cradled by his bliss.

I wake in darkness at his call,
And pray here, kindled by his fire.
I learn here, nurtured by his truth,
And thirst, like him, for God above.

Thus, I spend my life in darkness,
Hid with Christ, my Risen Lord,
And, dwelling here in paradise,
I sing in darkness, lit by love.

Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
(Psalm 42:8; NLT).


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

Your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3; KJV). 

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:6; NIV).

You have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God (1 Peter 1:23; NLT).

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43; NIV).