23.11.23: One with Christ

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).

May we be one with Christ
In prayer:
Joining with him
In peace and love.

May we be one with Christ
In all:
Seeing his face
In friend and foe.

May we be one with Christ
In joy:
Praising with those
In heaven above.

May we be one with Christ
In grief:
Yielding with him
On earth below.

Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done” (Matthew 26:36-9, 42; NLT).


References

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. 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 (John 17:21-3; NLT).

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

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

Your immortal spirit is in every one of them (Wisdom of Solomon 12:1; GNTA).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NLT).

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NLT).

I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting, “Praise the LORD! (Revelation 19:1; NLT).

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38; NLT).

2.11.23: Friendly darkness

Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

Come, friendly darkness,
Take my hand,
And guide me
To your promised land,

Where Jesus’ light
Forever shines,
Beyond the bounds
Of human minds.

There, I will see him
Face to face,
Receive his
Comforting embrace,

Then join those sitting
At his feet,
To rest a while, and talk,
And eat.

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31; NLT).

26.10.23: Acceptance (for M.)

A very warm welcome to M,  who joined here yesterday!

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10; NIV). 

Accept whatever way of life
God sends:
The ups and downs;
The enemies; the friends.

Follow the way of death
Our Saviour trod:
Back to the Father;
Back to the Lord, Our God.

Comforted by his Spirit’s
Constant care,
Always remember:
God is everywhere

In every person,
Situation, place:
Pouring out love, forgiveness,
Hope, and grace.

We praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son (Ephesians 1:6; NLT).

31.8.23: Things I used to do

Walking on the Isle of Man in 2009.
Collecting litter with my beloved electric bike in 2018.
Using my new electric wheelchair in 2023.

Yesterday I woke early, remembering immediately that I would be setting off on a journey today for a hospital trip to the United Kingdom. It will be my first time travelling alone for several years. I’ll be using a wheeled walking frame, so my packing has had to be pared down to the absolute minimum.

Despite feeling slightly anxious, I managed to pray for a while before today’s blog began to emerge. It puts into words the losses I experience as I get older, steadily becoming more limited by my health, energy and mobility issues. 

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

Lord,

1. Help me to give up gracefully
The things I used to do,
To offer thanks, and let them go,
Returning them to you.

2. One by one you take my joys,
The things I used to do,
Like walking, cycling, seeing friends –
I yield them all to you.

3. My energy, my health, my strength,
The things I used to do,
They fade and die, but faith remains,
Surrendering to you.

4. Day by day you take away
The things I used to do,
So we draw ever closer,
While I’m coming back to you.

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


References 

Verse 1:
*Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).
*Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Mark 12:17; NIV).

Verse 2:
*Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (Habakkuk 3:17; NLT).

Verse 3:
*I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go (John 21:18; NLT).
*Maryam said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of THE LORD JEHOVAH; let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38; ABPE).

Verse 4:
*May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; NLT).
*I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).
*Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7; ESV).
*The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:24-5; NIV).

1.8.23: You take away my health

PublicDomainPictures: Pixabay.

This prayer took me by surprise as it arrived just after lunch last Sunday . It relates back to “Take my mind”, so here is a link in case you would like to check out that diary entry: https://wp.me/p45bCr-evh.

NB: Because I have so little energy, I now try hard to keep references to a minimum. However, they seemed so essential to today’s prayer that I’ve included them this time.

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

1. Lord,
You take away my health,
My pleasures, and my liberty;
My comfort, and autonomy –
Yet will I cling to Thee.

2. Lord,
You take away my friends,
My neighbours, and my family;
My church, and my security –
Yet will I worship Thee.

3. Lord,
You take away my choice,
My strength, and my mobility;
My self-esteem, and dignity –
Yet will I follow Thee.

4. In death,
You’ll take away my days,
My body, my identity;
My individuality
Yet will I trust in Thee.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.
(Job 13:15; KJV).


References 

Verse 1:
* When you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go (John 21:18; NLT).
* Cling to him (Deuteronomy 10:20; NLT).
* I cling to you (Psalm 63:8; NLT).

Verse 2:
* He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me (Job 19:13-14; KJV).
* You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).
* Worship the LORD your God (2 Chronicles 30:8; NLT).
* You alone are the one we worship (Isaiah 26:13; NLT).

Verse 3:
* He has taken away my strength (Psalm 102:23; NET).
* Jesus said to him, “Follow me” (Matthew 8:22; NET).
* Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NIV).
* Let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives (Galatians 5:25; NLT).

Verse 4:
* Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (Habakkuk 3:17-18; NLT).
* The LORD gives both death and life (1 Samuel 2:6; NLT).
* The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).
* Trust in God, and trust also in me (John 14:1; NLT).
* I trust in God (Psalm 56:4; NLT). 

24.7.23: God is Spirit

Didgeman: Pixabay.

When I was praying yesterday morning, I saw the simultaneous Threeness and Oneness of God, all happening continually and eternally in a never-ending moment of nowness. However, I found this pretty well impossible to put into words, so today’s blog is sadly just a pale glimpse of what I was given; I did my best.

  • God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT).
  • The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3; NIV).
  • Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! (John 14:9; NLT).

God is Spirit – this we know,
And Jesus is God’s human face.

The Holy Ghost is their shared soul,
Uniting them in love and grace.

For God is Three, and God is One:
Our Origin, our life, our end;

Our Elohim, our Guide, our Judge;
Our Saviour, Advocate, and Friend.

  • The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11; NLT). 

Note: Elohim means: Supreme, Mighty One.

5.7.23: Everything

Jesus blessing the bread and wine, British, first half 19th century: metmuseum.org.

This prayer arrived whilst I was part-way through posting yesterday’s blog. I had to scribble it down in my notebook, for fear of forgetting where I had got to.

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).

1. Lord,
You’re everything to me:
My way, my truth;
My life, my Friend;

2. Lord,
You’re everywhere to me:
Throughout this world;
Beyond its end;

3. Lord,
You’re everyone to me:
In all who live,
Both great and small –

4. In good and bad,
In life, and death:
I know you, Lord,
My all, in all.

Their eyes were opened, and they knew him.
(Luke 24:31; KJV; my emphasis).

Christ is all, and is in all.
(Colossians 3:11; NIV).


References 

Verse 1: 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).

This is my beloved, this is my friend (Song of Songs 5:16; NIV). 

Verse 2: I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night – but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you (Psalm 139:7-12; NLT).

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over everything, through everything, and in everything (Ephesians 4:5-6; GWT). 

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

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:4-6; NLT).

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Verse 4: 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). 

In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years (Isaiah 63:9; 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). 

29.6.23: Take my mind

RedHeadsRule: Pixabay.

Today’s prayer arrived when I was praying sleepily after waking up late. My nights are often very short and disturbed, so I’m always grateful when I sleep for longer than usual. I saw the beginning and the structure of whole piece first, then the words simply fell into place.

All I have is yours (John 17:10; NIV). 

1. Take my mind, Lord,
Take my heart,
Take my body –
As you will.

2. Take my friends, Lord,
Take my life,
And take my soul –
I’ll love you still.

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


References 

Verse 1: 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).

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

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

Verse 2: You have taken from me friend and neighbor –  darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NIV).

You take away life, and you give life (1 Samuel 2:6; CEV).

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (Habakkuk 3:17-18; NLT).

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

6.6.23. You are our Father

Ramdion, Pixabay.

This prayer arrived yesterday morning whilst I lay very still, praying without words. I have included more references than usual, as Biblical imagery about God is so rich.

O LORD, you are our Father (Isaiah 64:8; NLT).

Will I, who causes others to give birth, not also give birth myself, says the Lord? Will I, who bestows generation upon others, be barren myself, says the Lord your God? (Isaiah 66:9; CPDV).

You are our Father,
And our Mother;
You are our Sister,
And our Brother;
You are our Husband,
Wife, and Lover;
You are our God:
We want no other.

You are our Bridegroom,
And our Bride;
You are our Shepherd,
Way, and Guide;
You’re the Companion
At our side;
Living within us:
You provide.

You are our Master,
Saviour, Friend;
Teach us, Lord, help us,
And defend;
Pardon our sins,
Our faults, transcend;
Make us like you, Lord:
Love without end.

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

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! (Lamentations 3:22; NLT).


References

Humankind was created as God’s reflection: in the divine image God created them; female and male, God made them (Genesis 1:27; TIB).

For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant (Isaiah 42:14; NIV).

You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth (Deuteronomy 32:18; NIV).

As a mother consoles a child, so I will console you (Isaiah 66:13; NET).

Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50; NLT).

I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine (Song of Songs 6:3; NLT).

You are our God (2 Chronicles 14:11; NLT).

God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride (Isaiah 62:5; NLT).

I promised you as a pure bride to one husband – Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; NLT).

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need (Psalm 23:1; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I am the way” (John 14:6; NLT).

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

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

God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat (2 Corinthians 9:10; NLT).

You are my Master (Psalm 16:2; NLT).

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior, my God is my rock, in whom I find protection (Psalm 18:2; NLT).

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).