11.11.22: Thank you, Jesus (with thanks to E.S.)

Context: Early yesterday morning, during silent contemplation, some words started to thrust themselves upon me. I tried ignoring them, hoping they would drift away. However, they became more and more insistent, until eventually I had to write them down.

Their source was a story told during a zoom session I had attended a few days earlier. The meeting was part of a two-year process of spiritual formation and discernment which I recently joined. The speaker described her dear friend’s practice of responding immediately to events she saw as negative by saying, “Thank you, Jesus.”

This approach to life’s many trials and sorrows certainly beats other reactions, such as impatience, anger, swearing, stress, blaming others and self-pity. Accordingly, I have now started using this practice myself.

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

So, as soon as anything happens which I feel to be “negative”, I respond to it immediately by saying, “Thank you, Jesus”. With practice, this approach rapidly starts to become habitual. It’s remarkable how quickly it defuses my negative reactions, turning my mind straight back to God, and getting events into perspective.

An example

A good example of this happened yesterday when I wanted to print a single copy of a prayer from my iPad. The printer is in another room, so I couldn’t see what was happening. After a short time I became aware of a characteristic sound: paper crashing to the floor every few seconds. I hurried to the printer, which was churning out page after page.

My old reaction of instantaneous irritation rose up for a split-second, but then I remembered my new practice, said, “Thank you, Jesus”, spontaneously beginning to laugh as I picked up the paper. All the sting of the event had been removed by those three little words. Then I cut the pages in half and stapled them together to make a little notebook, bringing good from bad.

Opportunities for practicing

Here are a few general examples of opportunities to introduce this practice, but I’m sure you can quickly think of  many more:

Trivial irritations and frustrations
Minor misunderstandings and disappointments
Spilling, dropping, or breaking something
Making a mistake, getting something wrong
Accidents and falls
Events not working out as I had hoped
Someone hurts me
Failing at something
Delays, postponements and cancellations
Sickness, pain and disability
Undergoing medical treatment
Receiving bad news
Losing the capacity to do something I used to manage, or enjoy
Losing someone I love, or someone I rely on
Feeling depressed, anxious, afraid, or panic-stricken

Three precious words

To these, and more, as they occur, I will now respond as quickly as possible with those three, precious, deceptively simple words: “Thank you, Jesus”. What a difference they make! Why not try it for yourself?

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 7:25; CSB).


References 

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

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:17; NIV). 

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God, and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

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

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you (Isaiah 30:20; NLT).

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

Patient endurance is what you need now (Hebrews 10:36; NLT).

Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realise that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NLT).

The LORD your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT).


Rosary news:

I’ve run out of cord, but more is on order, so will hopefully arrive soon. Meanwhile, today I put all my kit into an organiser box, rather than having it loosely mixed up together in a tray:

Shadow-self

Context: Earlier this week I unexpectedly got in touch with some deeply-buried aspects of my shadow-self, which was absolutely shattering (see https://wp.me/p45bCr-bWz). Lots of tears, prayers and much painful honesty followed. In the end, of course, it proved to be a very healing experience. 

What is the shadow-self? 

Robert Johnson describes the shadow-self as the “…dumping-ground for all those characteristics of our personality that we disown.” 

He goes on to remark that “These disowned parts are extremely valuable and cannot be disregarded.” This is because “To honor and accept one’s own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus holy, and the most important experience of a lifetime” (see pp ix-x, “Owning your own shadow – understanding the dark side of the psyche”, Robert A. Johnson; HarperCollins 1993).

The same author later comments that “To own one’s own shadow is to reach a holy place  – an inner centre – not attainable in any other way. To fail this is to fail one’s own sainthood and to miss the purpose of life” (Ibid, p17).

The Bible shows that Jesus, too, had a shadow-self. Some of his most significant experiences brought him face-to-face with his inner temptations, anger, anguish, fear, doubt and despair. Thus, as we strive to become more like him, we, too, need to face, own, accept and integrate our shadow selves, just as he did. 

Following the dramatic emergence of parts of my own buried shadow-self, this prayer surfaced whilst I was saying grace before breakfast:

Trust in God always, my people;
pour out your hearts before God our refuge.

(Psalm 62:8; TIB). 

1. I face my shadow-self with God,
Like Jesus, in the wilderness,

2. And show my shadow-self to God,
Like Jesus, in the Temple.

3. I share my shadow-self with God,
Like Jesus, in Gethsemane,

4. And give my shadow-self to God,
Like Jesus, on the cross.

Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice,
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
(Mark 15:34; NLT).


Jesus called out with a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
When he had said this, he breathed his last.
(Luke 23:46; NLT).


References 

1. Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matthew 4:1-3; NLT). 

Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone’ ” (Matthew 4:5-6; NLT). 

Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9; NLT). 

2. Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” (John 2:13-16; NLT).

3. 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.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! 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 26:37-39; NLT). 

A dream: 13.8.22.

Context: A few nights ago I had a vivid, strange and disturbing dream:

I saw a group of very young children who had just been separated from those whose task it was to take care of them. The children weren’t old enough to walk, so they were having to crawl along a rough, narrow, dirty street, moving away from their carers, and towards an unknown destination.

All of them were wailing. It was a heartbreaking sound. In his distress, perhaps blinded by tears, one little boy blundered head-first into a stone wall. He slumped to the ground, and I was shocked to hear him cry out, “They don’t love us any more”, in utter despair, hopelessness and desolation. After that he stopped moving. It was clear that he had given up the will to survive.

My heart went out to him. I jumped up and ran to him, putting my arms round his small body to comfort him. At that moment, I woke up with my arms clasped around my pillow. Instantly, even before I could begin to pray, several realisations struck me hard: 

What I realised

Everything I experienced during my childhood laid the foundations of my mental health during adult life.

This includes how I was treated by those who brought me up, as well as by those I was exposed to at school, in churches, clubs, hospitals and all other settings.

Thus, for good or ill, I have been influenced and affected by all the relationships and events I experienced during my formative years.

Comments

From my dream, and from the realisations which followed immediately afterwards, I understood even more clearly than before that the damage done to me in childhood caused the wounds and scars I have carried into adulthood.

These wounds shaped the person I have become, including all I feel, think, say and do. They affect how I behave, relate to others, cope with suffering, treat the world, understand God, and even whether or not I want to live. They also affected how I brought up my son, and how I reacted to having a miscarriage.

My dream showed me the mechanism by which so much of my psychological distress and mental illness has been caused. Only God can fully heal the inner damage I sustained, and the consequences with which I have had to live.

I am the LORD who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NLT).

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
(Psalm 147:3; NLT). 

Home shrines

1. Welcome

Hello! A warm welcome to everyone who visits “Seeking God’s face”, and to all who follow here regularly. I pray for you all each day.

2. Home shrines

This blog brings a very simple message: to suggest that many people could find joy, comfort, support and self-expression through having a home shrine, especially those of us who are sick or disabled, and can no longer go to church.

3. My shrine 

My shrine is in my bedroom, on the chest of drawers. In this room, I can close the door, and pray in private. The shrine has developed slowly over several years, having started with the large wall cross, a few flowers, a candle, and an incense burner. 

Whenever I want to, I make changes to it, removing items that have served their purpose, and introducing others which are particularly significant for me at the time. As my faith becomes increasingly universal, I plan to incorporate relics from other faiths. Nothing is included out of a sense of obligation or pressure.

4. Personal spiritual practices

A home shrine offers an opportunity for the daily expression of personally meaningful spiritual practices. For example, I stoop to kiss the small wooden cross at the front, just as a priest kisses the altar before saying mass. Then I dip my fingers in the small bowl of holy water, blessing myself with the sign of the cross. Sometimes I do this in the Roman Catholic way, sometimes in the Russian Orthodox style, just as I wish. 

Occasionally I light a candle or an incense stick, though I never leave these burning in my absence or whilst I’m asleep, in case of fire.

5. Prayers

My shrine includes two framed prayers which mean a lot to me. Their presence enables me to include them in my daily worship whenever I want to, and reminds me of the words, if I forget them.

The first is about the “little way” of Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, whose name I took at confirmation (https://wp.me/p45bCr-acZ), whilst the second is a prayer for world peace (https://wp.me/p45bCr-aCa).

Sometimes I am able to stand in front my shrine to pray for a minute or two. However, when I’m too tired, unwell, cold, or lightheaded to do this, I simply begin praying there, then get into bed to continue whilst lying down. Last thing at night, it’s a pleasure to thank God for all my day has brought, both good and bad. Then I say goodnight, and settle down to sleep.

6. Icons

Whether I’m just passing my shrine, or staying a little longer, I often touch each icon with love before I move on. My room also includes three large wall icons, hanging at just the right height to touch, hold gently with both hands, and kiss, as I whisper my prayers.

7. A very private place 

Some people might scoff at these  practices, judging them to be sentimental, foolish, pointless, or even idolatrous. However, for me the beauty of my home shrine is that it is a very private place where I can be honest with God without any kind of  formality, using my own words, however few or many they may be. It’s also a very good place to “be still and silent” before God, for a few, precious moments. 

8. A safe place….

Furthermore, my shrine gives me a “safe place” to return to in my imagination when I need extra support in the outside world. This grounding effect is enhanced by a holding cross, made in Bethlehem from the prunings of olive trees. When I received it, I blessed it at my shrine, then left it there overnight to absorb the essence of its peace and beauty.

9. …coupled with a holding cross 

During the daytime, I wear this cross around my neck on a long cord, hanging beneath my clothes. When I need it, I discretely retrieve it with the cord. Visualising my shrine whilst holding my cross hidden in the palm of one hand, or clasped between both, is a great source of help, strength and comfort. I do this when I face traumatic events, flashbacks, unpleasant medical treatments, pain, strong emotions, interpersonal conflict, or feared situations. Despite its small size, this little cross powerfully re-connects me to the peace and safety of my shrine. 

At night, I have a similar cross, but on a much shorter cord. Secured around my wrist, it stays in my hand whilst I am asleep. This cross is a tangible, comforting reminder of God’s presence each time I wake up.

10. Final words 

It feels strange to share these very personal, central aspects of my life with you, yet it seems important to do so. The opportunities offered by home shrines for spiritual nourishment, and for direct, free self-expression before God are far too valuable to keep to myself.

May God bless you all each day.
With much love from Ruth xxxxx

 

References

1. Welcome

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them (1 Timothy 2:1; NLT). 

3. My shrine

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private (Matthew 6:6; NLT).

5. Prayers 

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God, and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

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

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you (Isaiah 30:20; NLT).

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

Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NLT).

7. A very private place 

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

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

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

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

Be still and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10; NLT).

Be silent before the Lord, all humanity (Zechariah 2:13; NLT).

8. A safe place…

You have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress (Psalm 59:16; NLT). 

This I declare about the Lord: he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him (Psalm 91:2; NLT). 

9. …coupled with a holding cross

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18; NLT).

When I wake up, you are still with me! (Psalm 139:18; NLT).

10. Final words

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

She is mine

My hands have made both heaven and earth;
they and everything in them are mine.
I, the Lord, have spoken! 
(Isaiah 66:2; NLT).

All of you together are Christ’s body,
and each of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27; NLT).

1. She is mine!
She’s my body –
So do her no harm.

2. He is mine!
He’s my body –
Don’t hurt, or destroy.

3. They are mine!
They’re my body –
Don’t wound, rape, or kill.

4. You are mine!
You’re my body –
Like me, do God’s will. 

I have come down from heaven not to do my will
but to do the will of him who sent me (John 6:38; NIV).

God’s will is for you to be holy 
(1 Thessalonians 4:3; NLT). 

References 

1-2. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9; NIV). 

3. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13; KJV). 

4. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his (Psalm 100:3; NLT).

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God (Psalm 143:10; NLT). 

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; KJV).

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)

Heal our hatred

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
Heal me, for I have sinned against you”
(Psalm 31:4; NLT).

1. Lord,
Heal our hatred
With your love,
Our lies and boasting
With your breath;
Our lust for power
With your tears,
Our cruelty
With your distress.

2. Lord,
Heal our malice
With your blood,
Our greed and envy
With your pain;
Our barbarism
With your death:
Then we will all
Be whole again.

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole
(Isaiah 53:5; NLT).


References 

1. He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).

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

Jesus wept (John 11:35; NLT).

He became anguished and distressed (Matthew 26:37; NLT). 

2. The blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7; NLT).

Christ suffered physical pain (1 Peter 4:1; NLT).

Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; NASB95).

His hands make whole (Job 5:18; NKJV ). 

Good Friday

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
(Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Beyond all torment, come what may,
Is Christ,
Who tells us how to pray.

Beyond all darkness and distress
Is Christ,
Who teaches us to bless.

Beyond all anguish, hate, and blood
Is Christ,
Who shows us how to love.

Beyond all hunger, thirst, and pain
Is Christ,
Who died, and rose again.

Beyond all terror, grief, and war
Is Christ,
Who lives for evermore.

I died, and behold I am alive for evermore.
(Revelation 1:18; RSV).


Prayers for peace

Introduction

Many of us are praying for peace, so I thought it might be helpful to group my prayers on this subject into a little book. I add to this page regularly, so they are in date order, starting with the most recent at the top.


She is mine 27.5.22.

All of you together are Christ’s body,
and each of you is a part of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:27; NLT).

She is mine!
She’s my body –
So do her no harm.

He is mine!
He’s my body –
Don’t hurt, or destroy.

They are mine!
They’re my body –
Don’t wound, rape, or kill.

You are mine!
You’re my body –
Like me, do God’s will. 

God’s will is for you to be holy.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3; NLT). 


All are one in Christ 27.5.22.

Didn’t one God create us?
Why then do we act treacherously against one another?
(Malachi 2:10; NIV).

There is neither Jew nor Gentile,
Male nor Female,
Slave nor Free.

There is neither Black nor White,
Kin nor Stranger,
You nor Me.

There is neither Saint nor Sinner,
LBGTQ,
Nor Straight.

There is neither East nor West,
Creed nor Dogma,
Church nor State.

There is neither Friend nor Foe
Nor Refugee,
Nor Us, nor Them

For All are one in Christ:
Our Mother, Father, Spirit, Soul.
Amen.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,
nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28; NIV).


Heal our hatred 10.5.22.

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
(Psalm 31:4; NLT).

Lord,
Heal our hatred
With your love,
Our lies and boasting
With your breath;
Our lust for power
With your tears,
Our cruelty
With your distress.

Lord,
Heal our malice
With your blood,
Our greed and envy
With your pain;
Our barbarism
With your death:
Then we will all
Be whole again.

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
(Isaiah 53:5; NLT).


I pray for peace 2.5.22.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
(Psalm 34:14; NIV).

I pray for peace in every mind,
In every heart, Lord,
Every soul.
May every life be filled with peace –
Forgive us;
Make us whole.

I pray that peace will reign on earth.
Lord, hear me:
Bring an end to war!
May every nation live in peace –
Today,
And evermore.

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.
(Isaiah 2:4; NIV).


Sad and angry 23.4.22.

The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord.
(Psalm 14:2-4; NIV).

How sad and angry
You must be
To witness
All our cruelty,
Our hate,
And inhumanity –
Our lack of love,
Lord God.

I beg you
For a halt to strife,
Respect
For every human life,
Forgiveness,
And an end to war –
Then peace will reign
For evermore.

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


Easter Saturday 16.4.22


The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
(Galatians 5:22-3; NLT). 

Lord,
I pray for peace, not war,
For kindness, Father, evermore,
For self-control in every mind:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done. 

Lord,
I beg for joy, not war,
For patience, Father, evermore,
For gentleness in every heart:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done. 

Lord,
I plead for love, not war,
For goodness, Father, evermore,
For faithfulness in every soul:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done. 

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.
(Matthew 6:10; KJV).


Good Friday 15.4.22.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
(Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Beyond all torment, come what may,
Is Christ, who shows us how to pray.

Beyond all darkness and distress
Is Christ, who teaches us to bless.

Beyond all anguish, hate, and blood
Is Christ, who teaches us to love.

Beyond all hunger, thirst, and pain
Is Christ, who died, and rose again.

Beyond all terror, grief, and war
Is Christ, who lives for evermore.

I died, and behold I am alive for evermore.
(Revelation 1:18; RSV).


Hearts of stone 6.4.22.

Surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.
(Jeremiah 4:4; NLT).

Take away our hearts of stone,
Our foolishness and pride:
Please give us tender hearts of flesh –
Your teaching, Lord, our guide.

Take away our hearts of flint,
Our anger, hate and greed:
Then give us gentle, loving hearts –
Your pattern, Lord, our creed.

Take away our hearts of ice,
Our senseless use of force:
And give us warm, responsive hearts –
Your gospel, Lord, our source.

I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
(Ezekiel 36:26; NLT).


 Even when we don’t trust others 4.4.22.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you …

Even when we don’t trust others,
Father, may we offer peace.

Even when they hate and curse us,
May we serve them, doing good.

Even when we fear them deeply,
May we help and bless them all,

And even when they treat us badly,
May we pray for them, with love.

… pray for those who mistreat you.
(Luke 6:27-8; NIV).


World-wide justice 3.4.22.

Let true justice prevail.
(Deuteronomy 16:20; NLT).

We pray for world-wide justice, Lord:
For shame about the lies we’ve spun;
For confession, and contrition
As we weep for what we’ve done.

We pray for widespread mercy, Lord:
For sorrow that we’ve used brute force;
For repentance, and forgiveness
As we face our deep remorse.

We pray for global fairness, Lord:
For readiness to love our foe;
For penance, and for reparation
As we pay back all we owe.

We pray for perfect wisdom, Lord:
For faith and hope; an end to war;
For reconciliation, truth
And peace on earth, for evermore.

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


Beyond all weariness 27.3.22.

All glory to him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time,
and in the present, and beyond all time!
(Jude 1:25; NLT).

Beyond all weariness and pain
Is Christ, who died, and rose again.

Beyond all worry and dismay
Is Christ, who teaches us to pray.

Beyond all anguish and despair
Is Christ, who shows us how to care.

Beyond all fear and loss of hope
Is Christ, who always helps us cope.

Beyond all ignorance and sin
Is Christ, the Lord, who dwells within.

Beyond all darkness, war, and strife
Is Christ, who gives eternal life.

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good.
(Romans 2:7; NLT).


Pray for peace 19.3.22.


I will pray for peace.
(Psalm 122:8; CEV).

I pray for peace in every mind,
That pride and hate will always fail,
That all will turn to you at last, Lord God,
And faith prevail.    

I pray for joy in every heart,
That rage and greed will always fail,
That you will reign in every life, Lord God,
And hope prevail. 

I pray for truth in every soul,
That lies and force will always fail,
That all will grow in unity, Lord God, 
And love prevail.

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love –
and the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).


A prayer for peace 18.3.22.

Let true justice prevail.
(Deuteronomy 16:20; NLT).

Father,
May your justice reign,

Your wisdom bring
An end to pain;

Your truth be praised,
Your kingdom come,

Your peace prevail –
Your will be done.

May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:10; NET).


Save us! 17.3.22.

Lord, save us!
(Matthew 8:25; NLT).

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we are ignorant and weak.
The last thing we remember, Lord, is:
Blessed are the meek.

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we are always wanting more.
The last thing we consider, Lord, is:
Blessed are the poor.

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we pursue what makes us glad.
The last thing we acknowledge, Lord, is:
Blessed are the sad.

Jesus,
Save us from ourselves,
For we are blind, and immature.
The last thing we reflect on, Lord, is:
Blessed are the pure.

I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Matthew 18:3; NLT).


Fire against fire 16.3.22.

Nation will go to war against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom.
(Luke 21:10; NLT). 

Fire against fire,
And hate against hate;
Fear against fear:
Lord, it’s too late!

Hope beyond hope,
And light beyond light;
Strength beyond strength:
Lord, you are life!

Peace upon peace,
And good upon good;
Truth upon truth:
Lord, you are love!

God is love.
(1 John 4:8; NLT).


A prayer for us all 12.3.22.

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

Lord,
Remove our stony hearts –
Give us new hearts, of flesh.
Please take our greed and hate away –
Help us to start afresh.

Lord,
Remove our cold, hard minds –
Give us the mind of Christ.
Please take our selfishness away –
Show us your sacrifice.

Lord,
Remove our iron souls –
So we can share all pain.
Please take our love of power away –
May we be born again.

Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
(John 3:3; NLT).


A prayer for President Putin 8.2.22.

You do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful,
poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17; NIV).

Lord,
Remove his stony heart
And give him a heart of flesh.
Take his hate and greed away –
Help him to start afresh.

Lord,
Remove his hard, cold mind
And give him the mind of Christ.
Take his lust for power away –
Show him your sacrifice.

Lord,
Remove his iron soul
So he can share our pain.
Take his ruthlessness away –
May he be born again.

Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
(John 3:3; NLT).


Truth beyond falsehood 9.3.22.

Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
(Psalm 144:11; NLT).

Truth beyond falsehood,
Hope beyond fear,
Peace beyond battle –
Lord, you are here. 

Faith beyond anguish,
Rest beyond pain,
Light beyond darkness –
Father, you reign. 

Joy beyond terror,
Wine beyond gall,
Life beyond bondage –
Love, beyond all.

Three things will last forever –
faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).


The song of the dead 8.3.22.

No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light.
(Isaiah 60:19; NLT).

Father, brighter than the sun,
Jesus, every battle won,
Spirit, all your work is done:
We love you.

Lord, we walked the path you trod,
You, our guide, with staff and rod,
Leading us straight back to God:
We love you. 

Every enemy outrun,
Here, no hatred, fear, or gun,
All will live in union:
We love you. 

Father, we have run our race,
Jesus, we can see your face,
Spirit, overwhelming grace:
We love you. 

Lord, in paradise, at last,
Every pain and grief is past,
You have saved us, held us fast:
We love you. 

Now, our joy, Lord, has begun,
Now, we hear you say: Well done!
Now, we know you, Three-In-One,
And love you.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.
(1 Chronicles 29:11; NLT).


We are wretched 4.3.22.

All the days of the oppressed are wretched.
(Proverbs 15:15; NIV). 

Father,
We are wretched,
Pitiful and weak,
For we have been invaded,
And the strong oppress the meek.

Father,
We are anxious,
Hungry, thirsty, poor,
For we are now blockaded,
And the strong despise your law.

Father,
We are homeless,
Distressed in heart and mind,
Yet everyone is fragile,
And all lives are intertwined.

Father,
We are battered
By hardship, bomb and gun,
But weak and strong are suffering –
For all of us are one.

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free,
male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28; NLT).


A prayer for President Putin 2.3.22.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
(Luke 6:27-8; NIV).

Father,

I pray that President Putin will come to his senses, repent and turn to you, and that you will forgive his sins.

May he follow Christ, taking him as his way, truth and life, his Teacher, example and guide.

Please heal him in mind, heart and soul. May he be born again, and be filled with your Holy Spirit.

I pray that he will come to know, accept, and return, your perfect love.

May he recognise and love you in every human being, and in this astonishing world you have created – the only place in which we, your people, can live together.

Thank you for hearing my prayer, Lord.

 I ask all this in your dear Son’s name. Amen.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:8; NIV).


Hear my heartfelt prayer 28.2.22.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.
(Psalm 102:1; KJV).

Hear my heartfelt prayer, Lord God:
End our greed and hatred.
Take away our minds of stone,
And make our thinking like your own:
Loving; joyous; full of peace –
Help us, I implore you.

Hear my earnest prayer, Lord God:
Turn us from all evil.
Take away our hearts of stone,
And make our passions like your own:
Patient; kindly; generous –
Till all of us adore you. 

Hear my urgent prayer, Lord God:
Forgive our sins; have mercy.
Take away our souls of stone,
And give us spirits like your own:
Faithful; gentle; self-controlled –
Then all will bow before you.  

Bow down and worship the Lord.
(Ezekiel 46:3; NLT).


Prayer for peace 24.2.22.

Friends, let us pray for peace in Ukraine, and for peace in President Putin’s heart:

I pray that President Putin will become a Christian through revelation, as Saint Paul did, that he will suddenly come to his senses, realise what he’s doing to his fellow human beings, repent, and experience a profound conversion of mind, heart and soul.

I ask all this in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
(Isaiah 65:25; KJV).

In anguish (for M)

Blessed be the Lord!
Day after day he bears our burdens;
God is our salvation.
(Psalm 68:19; CSB).

Lord,
In anguish,
And distress,
Hour after hour,
You watch with us.

Lord,
In sickness,
Fear, and pain,
Day after day,
You care for us.

Lord,
In heartbreak,
Loss, and grief,
Month after month,
You comfort us.

Lord,
In birth, and life,
And death,
Year after year,
You carry us.

♥️

He lifts them up, and carries them.
(Isaiah 63:9; LSV).

 


 

In birth (for C.)

The eternal God is our hiding place; he carries us in his arms.
(Deuteronomy 33:27; CEV).

In birth,
We have no sense of loss:
You keep us in your warm embrace.
Lord, we are always dear to you,
Safe in your mercy, love and grace.

In life,
Whatever we confront,
You carry us, and share each tear.
Lord, we are always close to you,
Even in sorrow, pain and fear.

In death,
We have no cause for dread:
You hold us, as we quit this flesh.
Lord, we are always part of you,
Despite our sickness and distress.

In bliss,
Our souls will see your face;
Your hands make whole; your presence calms.
Lord, we are always one with you,
Safe in your everlasting arms.

💙

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.
(Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).