4.12.22: Step forward

Context: After a very tiring day last Friday, I fell deeply asleep in the evening. When I woke at about 10pm, these lines were already forming in my mind, so I wrote them down, and worked on them yesterday:

He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward” (Mark 3:3; NKJV). 

Step forward,
And never look back;
Trust in Jesus:
There’s nothing we lack.

Step forward,
And don’t turn aside;
Trust in Jesus:
Our Shepherd and Guide.

Step forward,
And never give up;
Trust in Jesus,
Who drank from God’s cup.

Step forward,
And never give in;
Trust in Jesus,
Who pardons our sin.

‘I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” (Matthew 9:6; NLT).


References 

Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62; NLT). 

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1; NIV). 

Be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left (Deuteronomy 5:32; NIV). 

My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done (Matthew 26:42; NLT). 

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up (2 Corinthians 4:1; NLT). 

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Mark 14:38; NLT). 

2.12.22: Forgive me

Context: I chose this prayer from my storehouse whilst waiting for treatment at the hospital. Because of having had Covid, I’ve missed several weekly sessions there,  so it was good to start picking up my old routines again, and to see the familiar reception staff and nurses. Unfortunately, I somehow accidentally pressed the “publish” button, so it has gone out early, as a bonus for today!

Do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour…

Lord,
You know my faithless heart:
Forgive me; make me fair and kind.
You also know my foolish thoughts:
Forgive me; let me share your mind.

Lord,
You know my careless words:
Forgive me; may I speak with love.
You also know my fragile soul:
Forgive me; heal me; make me good.

Lord,
You know my selfish deeds:
Forgive me; may I serve like you.
You also know my wasted years:
Forgive my sins, and make me new.

…Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:30-32; NLT).


References

For the honour of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins (Psalm 25:11; NLT).

Put new life into us, and we will worship you (Psalm 80:18; CEV).


Rosary-making news:

Again, no post for me today, as I wait keenly for all my rosary-making materials to arrive so I can get properly launched. Every day I say, “Thank you, Jesus”, when I see the empty letter-box, and strive to practice patience, which is very hard! It will arrive at the correct time, I’m sure, so I need to accept this situation, just any other.

21.11.22: Lifeline prayers

Context: Despite coughing and sweating my way through the night with covid, when I woke next day and began to pray, I received some insistent words almost immediately. The four brief, lifeline prayers included in this blog seem to be virtually all I need now, given my new highly isolated and simplified lifestyle:

“Why so dispirited?” I ask myself. “Why so churned up inside? Hope in God!” I know I’ll praise God once again, for you are my Deliverance; you are my God (Psalm 43:5; TIB).

When I feel alone and blue,
With dismal thoughts I can’t subdue,
This is what I say:
I love you, Jesus. 

When I feel ashamed and sad,
Full knowing I’ve done something bad,
This is what I pray:
Forgive me, Jesus.  

When I feel ignored and hurt,
Self-pity turned to high alert,
This is what I sigh:
Forgive them, Jesus. 

When you give, and when you take,
No matter how my heart may break,
This is what I whisper:
Thank you, Jesus. 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).


References 

I love you, LORD, my strength (Psalm 18:1; CSB). 

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21; CSB).


Rosary news

Yesterday afternoon I made a blue and white rosary, but the final stage (the attachment of the crucifix), failed QC. However, one of the best things about learning to make rosaries is the joy of taking them apart so I can re-use the beads for my next attempt.

18.11.22: Commitment

Context: Yesterday I was able to pray silently for a while, which has been impossible since I became ill with Covid.

The day before I had felt very sad not to have died, but yesterday I saw that as long as God wants me to live, I will live, however exhausted I am, and that when God wants me to die, I will die. So now my only aim is to say, “Yes” to God, and to give thanks for everything God sends. Whether I live or die, I want to embrace God’s will completely.

As part of this realisation, some verses swiftly arrived to crystallise my thinking. Today’s blog owes a great deal to a special prayer I say every day. It’s used by the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, and is quoted in full below the references.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Lord,

Forgive my sins,
Though they are many,
As I forgive the people
Who’ve hurt me.

I’m ready now to live, Lord,
At your pleasure;
I’m ready, now, to die,
When you decree.

No matter what you send
May I give thanks, Lord;
No matter what you take
May I say, Yes –

Today, and every hour,
And every moment,
With steadfast faith, hope, love,
And humbleness.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time (1 Peter 5:6; NIV).


References

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

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

The LORD gives both death and life (1 Samuel 2:6; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

Put on mercy, kindness, gentleness, humbleness of mind, meekness [and] patience (Colossians 3:12; LB).

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3; NIV).

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


COLW prayer:

O Mary, teach us always
To say YES to the Lord,
Every moment of our life.

O Mary, teach us always
To give THANKS to the Lord,
Every moment of our life.

(Page 17, Community of Our Lady of Walsingham Prayer Book, Verbum Publications, 2019).

16.11.22: I believe in Jesus

Context: Both my husband and I have covid, so I’m not able to write at present. However, here is a prayer which arrived a short time ago. I chose it because it seemed to follow on from yesterday’s (https://wp.me/p45bCr-cKC):

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

I believe in Jesus,
For he is all I need:
He heals my mind,
Forgives my sins,
And hears me when I plead.

I believe in Jesus,
For he is all I seek:
He heals my heart,
Redeems my life,
And helps me when I’m weak.

I believe in Jesus,
For he alone can save:
He heals my soul,
And cares for me –
His humble, willing slave.

Whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else (Mark 10:44; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:4o; CSB). 

15.11.22: Even me?

Context: This prayer was written a few days ago, but being unable to write at present (because I’m ill with Covid), has given me an unexpected opportunity to use it here today.

NB: My husband started to feel ill yesterday, and has now also tested positive for covid, so we are in isolation.

God already loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God (John 16:27; TIB).

Lord,

Do you love even me?
And do you hear my every plea?
And do you really set me free?
You do.

You’re the way, the door, the key.
You teach, forgive and guide. You see
My sins, yet still you guarantee
It’s true.

Yahweh, Son and Spirit: Three
In One, God for eternity –
May all believe, and bow the knee
To you.

“As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God” (Romans 14:11; NIV).


References:

Christ has truly set us free (Galatians 5:1; NLT).

He hears us (1 John 5:14; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; NLT).

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7; NKJV).

You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life (Deuteronomy 30:20; NLT).

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11; NLT).


Reading: Isaiah 45:22-24; NIV

Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth;

For I am God, and there is no other.

By myself I have sworn,

My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked:

Before me every knee will bow;

By me every tongue will swear.

They will say of me, “In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength.”

13.11.22: Jesus

Context: The evening before writing this prayer, I realised I was developing a respiratory infection. Next morning, after a rather strange and feverish night, this little blog came to me before I had even started to pray. It was surprisingly hard to put into words. NB: The infection turned out to be covid

When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8; NIV). 

May my prayers be simple:
“Thank you, Jesus.”

“I love you, Jesus”:
May this be my praise.

May my words be plain:
“Forgive me, Jesus.”

May your Spirit
Set my heart ablaze.

May my prayer be:
“Jesus, I forgive them.”

May I do your will,
And serve your name.

May my conduct show
I follow you, Lord:

One with you in joy,
And grief, and pain.

The person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17; NLT).


Reading: Luke 11:2-4; NLT

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
And forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

30.10.22: Pray for others

Context: I like to pray on behalf of those who cannot pray, and those who do not pray. There is a clear precedent for this in the Old Testament, when God says: “My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf” (Job 42:8; NLT).

Furthermore, Jesus himself intercedes on behalf of us: “Because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Hebrews 7:24-5; NLT).

So, praying on behalf of others is the theme of today’s blog, which arrived a few days ago, just before my hospital trip to London:

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). 

Lord God,
Thank you for making us all.
We belong to you,
And we are part of you.

Please forgive our sins,
Restore our minds,
Repair our hearts,
And heal our souls.

Help us to love you,
And one another,
So we can share your oneness,
And your joy.

I ask this
In your dear Son’s name.

Amen.

Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy (Philippians 2:16-17; NLT).

Reading: John 17:21-3; NLT

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

22.10.22: Healing

Context: Yesterday I woke late, and began to say my familiar morning prayers. Suddenly I saw how fragile we all are, and the profoundly damaging effects our experiences can have on our minds, hearts, souls and bodies. Then, this simple prayer immediately flowed:

How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble! (Job 14:1; NLT). 

Lord,
Heal our fragile, injured minds –
Forgive our sins:
Help us to share.

Please heal our fragile, broken hearts –
Forgive our sins:
Help us to care.

Lord,
Heal our fragile, damaged souls –
Forgive our sins:
Help us to pray,

And heal our fragile, mortal flesh –
Forgive our sins:
Help us today.

Lord, help us! (Joel 1:19; NLT).


References

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone (James 4:14; NLT). 

He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here. But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him (Psalm 103:14-17; NLT).

Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name (Psalm 79:9; NLT). 

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves (2 Corinthians 4:7; NLT). 

20.10.22: God’s will


Context:
Yesterday I went into town to do a small amount of shopping and have my covid booster. It was diverting at the time, but afterwards I was absolutely exhausted. It can still sometimes come as a shock to realise how limited I am now in terms of what I can do.

After a long sleep in the afternoon, I tried to work on what I had been given when I woke up that morning. However, I was too tired to make any progress with it. So here is a prayer from my storehouse, instead:

“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Mark 14:36; NLT).

You came to do the Father’s will
Because you trusted in God’s name.

You wanted to forgive my sins,
To heal my guilt, and end my shame.

So, Lord, you lived and died for me,
Because you shared the Father’s aim:

To spread his love and tender care –
Please help me, now, to do the same.

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same” (Luke 10:36-7; NLT).