When I clasp my hands

Context: When I was praying this morning, with my little olive-wood holding cross clasped between the palms of my hands, I saw that heaven was between them. Today’s prayer then flowed straight into my mind. After writing it, I discovered, to my great delight, that I was able to say it whilst moving smoothly between the actions described in each verse.


Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; TIV). 

1. When I clasp my hands together,
Heaven is between them.

2. When I lift my hands in prayer,
Yahweh, you are near.

3. When I fold my arms across my breast,
Christ, you embrace me,

4. And when I breathe your name,
Beloved Spirit, you are here.

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,
who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants –
men and women alike (Joel 2:29; NLT).


References 

1. Jesus summoned the crowd and the disciples and said, “If you wish to come after me, you must deny your very self, take up your cross and follow in my footsteps” (Mark 8:34; TIV). 

2. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless YHWH! (Psalm 134:2; TIV). 

You are near, Yahweh (Psalm 119:151; WEB).

3. While he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NLT). 

4. Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; WEB). 

When the Paraclete comes – the Spirit of Truth who comes from Abba God, whom I myself will send from my Abba – she will bear witness on my behalf (John 15:26; TIV).

He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22; NIV).

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

I seek you

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
(Psalm 63:1; NIV). 

1. Father God, I seek you,
Mother God, I greet you,
Mighty God, transcending all,
Your Spirit falls like dew.

2. Father, I adore you,
Mother, I implore you,
Spirit, intercede for me,
Forgive me, make me new.

3. Father, you defend me,
Mother, you befriend me,
Spirit, plead within my soul
Till I am one with you.

4. Clouds and darkness hide you,
Yet I walk beside you
In the light of your dear Son,
For Christ is shining through.

For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.
(Malachi 4:2; NLT). 

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).

His face shone like the sun (Matthew 18:2; NIV).


References 

1. Transcendent power belongs to God (2 Corinthians 4:7; RSV). 

Your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people (Isaiah 26:19; NLT). 

Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants (Deuteronomy 32:2; NLT).

2. The Spirit, too, comes to help us in our weakness. For we don’t know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit expresses our plea with groanings too deep for words. And God, who knows everything in our hearts, knows perfectly well what the Spirit is saying, because her intercessions for God’s holy people are made according to the mind of God (Romans 26:27; TIV). 

3. Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

So you also are complete through your union with Christ (Colossians 2:10; NLT). 

4. Clouds and thick darkness surround him (Psalm 97:2; NIV). 

He makes darkness his secret place, around him, his dwelling place, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies (Psalm 18:11; LSV). 

You are a God who hides (Isaiah 45:15; CSB). 

Walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8; NLT). 

Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (John 20:31; NLT). 

Lord, my Father

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
(Matthew 6:9; NLT).

1. Lord, my Father,
And my Mother,

2. Christ, my Saviour,
And my Brother;

3. Spirit: Sister,
Teacher, Lover –

4. You are God:
There is no other.

I am God, and there is no other.
(Isaiah 46:9; NKJV).


References 

1. The Almighty …blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and the womb (Genesis 49:25; NIV).

2. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Saviour (Titus 3:6; NLT). 

Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:35; NLT). 

3. God, who knows everything in our hearts, knows perfectly well what the Spirit is saying, because her intercessions for God’s holy people are made according to the mind of God (Romans 8:26-7; TIB). 

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2; NLT). 

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister” (Proverbs 7:4; NIV).

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true (1 John 2:27; NLT). 

My beloved is mine and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NIV).

A message 19.6.22.

The Almighty …blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and the womb.
(Genesis 49:25; NIV).

✝️ Greetings and blessings to everyone who visits and follows here. I pray for you all each day.

This extra message is to let you know that from tomorrow onwards, I will be using inclusive language for my blogs wherever possible. When this goes beyond my writing ability, I will try to post two versions, one using the traditional male pronoun for God, and one using more inclusive language.

I’m well aware that whilst some people will welcome this change, others would find it a big challenge if I moved suddenly to expressing a wider understanding of God. I’ve  been pondering about how best to begin this transition for some time, but today God showed me this simple way forward, to my great joy.

Later the same day:

As I look back over my recent writing, it’s proving hard to find a piece that doesn’t already use inclusive language, so you may well not notice much difference. However, I still want to be upfront that this change is on its way.

I hope very much that those who find the change difficult will not reject these prayers out of hand. To begin with, when there are two versions of the day’s blog, I will always put the traditional version at the top of the page, so you need not look any further if that is more helpful for you. This is why I have arranged the photos illustrating this message with a more traditional choice above, and a more inclusive version at the end.

I pray that, in time, embracing a fuller and deeper understanding of God will become a huge blessing for us all. Please be patient whilst I learn to adapt the way I write. I’m sure there will be times when inclusivity will present me with a steep learning curve!

✝️ With love from Ruth xxxxx

As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our mother.
(Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 59, Julian of Norwich).

Birth to bliss

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born (Matthew 1:18; NLT). 

Birth to bliss, and bliss to birth:
Christ, Messiah, here on earth.
Bliss to birth, and birth to bliss:
Now, receiving Mary’s kiss.

Light to dark, and dark to light:
Christ, transfigured, shining bright.
Dark to light, and light to dark:
Now, in anguish, broken heart.

Sweat to blood, and blood to sweat:
Jesus, weeping, facing death.
Blood to sweat, and sweat to blood:
Crucified, his pain is love.

Death to life, and life to death:
Jesus takes his final breath.
Life to death, and death to life:
He comes again, to end all strife.

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).

References

Christ died and rose again for this very purpose – to be Lord both of the living and of the dead (Romans 14:9; NLT).

The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war any more (Isaiah 2:4; NLT). 

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3-4; NLT). 

God’s presence

I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth.
(Psalm 116:9; NLT). 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

🌺 To live in God’s presence is rejoice all the time, and to rejoice all the time is to live in his presence. Nothing in life or death can ever separate us from his love, which is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

🌺 To live in God’s presence is to pray constantly, and to pray constantly is to live in his presence. There is nothing we can ever feel, think, say, or do that we don’t share with him, and that he doesn’t share with us.

🌺 To live in God’s presence is to give thanks in all circumstances, and to give thanks in all circumstances is to live in him. There is nothing we can ever experience that he doesn’t send, and from which he will not bring good.

In all things God works for the good of those who love him.
(Romans 8:28; NIV).


References

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts, fully trusting him (Hebrews 10:20-22; NLT).

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12; NLT).

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-9; NLT).

I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things (Isaiah 45:7, NLT).

Trials and sorrows (#3 of 3)

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows
(John 16:33; NLT).

1. Let’s face our trials and sorrows
Just like Christ,

2. Bearing our cross
As he bore sacrifice,

3. Doing our best to serve like him,
God’s Son –

4. Then, at last, he will say to us:
“Well done”.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matthew 25:23; NIV).


References 

1. If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. (1 John 4:17; NLT).

2. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT). 

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds (Titus 2:14; NLT). 

People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood (Romans 3:25; NLT). 

3. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Matthew 4:10; NLT).

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-8; NLT). 

Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross (1 John 5:6; NLT). 

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

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

Looking at others

No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven
(John 3:27; NLT).

Father,
Fill us with your truth;
Flood us all with hope and faith –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
We will always see Christ’s face.

Father,
Fill us with your love;
Deluge us with grace and peace –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
All our fear and hate will cease.

Father,
Fill us with your light
Until we shine, just like your Son –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
We will know that all are one.

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).


References 

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

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18; NIV). 

Before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured – his face becoming as dazzling as the sun and his clothes as radiant as light (Matthew 17:2; TIB).

We will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT). 

All is well (#3 of 3)

All is well (1 Kings 5:4; NLT). 

1. All is well,
For You are here
To set us free
From sin.

2. All is well,
For You are here,
Around us,
And within.

3. All is well,
For You are here
To set us free
From doubt.

4. All is well,
For You are here,
Within us,
And without.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them
(1 John 4:16; NIV).

God is with us (Isaiah 7:14; NKJV). 

Be sure of this: I am with you always
(Matthew 28:20; NLT).


References 

1. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds (Titus 2:14; NLT). 

2. The Kingdom of God is already among you (Luke 17:21; NLT).

The Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever (Psalm 125:2; KJV).

All who live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:16; NLT).

Christ lives within you (Romans 8:10; NLT).

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).

3. Since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him (Hebrews 10:21-2; NLT). 

4. The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; KJV). 

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). 

Whatever God gives

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show
that they should always pray and never give up
(Luke 18:1; NLT).

1. Whatever God gives,
And however you are,
Pray at once,
And pray honestly –
Just as Christ bid.

2. Whatever God takes
And however you feel,
Pray at once,
And pray honestly –
Just as Christ did.

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering
be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done,
not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge
(Psalm 62:8; NLT).


References 

1. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

Let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately (Psalm 32:6; CSB). 

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

2. Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:36-8; NLT). 

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).