Worship

Context

Despite a migraine, I was able to go to hospital for a stack of blood tests. Then my wonderful husband met me, and we went in the lift together: one floor up, and one floor down. This was truly the achievement of a lifetime for me, and I wept with joy afterwards.


Worship

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:1-3; NLT).
 

Yahweh,
Speaking and creating,
Caring, sharing,
Giving, taking;
Comfort when my heart
Is breaking:
You alone are God. 

Yahweh,
Never once forsaking,
No beginning,
No berating;
Joyful, loving,
Liberating:
You alone are God.  

You alone are God (Psalm 86:10; NLT). 

I’m nothing

Note

Greetings to all who see this post. Yesterday I received some negative comments about my way of addressing God in the day’s blog (I seek you: https://wp.me/p45bCr-bku).

This put me in a difficult position, because I can only express and share what God gives me, even though what I write may be rejected by some readers.

However, today I was shown a way forward which will hopefully honour us all. So from now on each prayer will be purely personal, addressed directly from my heart to God within. When appropriate, I will also briefly outline the context for some prayers.


Context of today’s prayer

Tomorrow I hope to face my most challenging fear: using a lift. I’ve been severely claustrophobic since early childhood, and have avoided lifts whenever possible throughout my life. Now that I use a rollator, stairs have become impossible, so it’s time to tackle this fear head-on. Sadly, with a migraine tonight, though, I may not be well enough to face it…

I am nothing but dust and ashes (Genesis 18:27; NIV). 

1. I’m nothing, God:
I’m small, and weak, and mortal –
Made of dust.

2. Without you
I can’t even pray,
But in your strength I trust.

3. I beg your Spirit,
Deep within,
To help me face my fears,

4. To intercede,
To sigh for me,
And, one day, dry my tears.

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 21:4; NLT).


References 

1. He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103:14; NLT. 

2. You cannot do anything without me (John 15:5; CEV).

We do not know how to pray as we ought (Romans 8:26; NRSV).

The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me (Psalm 28:7; NIV). 

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

The Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26; NRSV).

In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall (2 Samuel 22:30; NLT). 

Your strength will support me (Psalm 139:9; NLT). 

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13; NLT)..

4. That very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; NRSV).

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). 

What is prayer?

We do not know how to pray as we ought.
(Romans 8:26; NRSV).

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

Prayer is sharing every thought,
Sensation, feeling, word and deed
With God.

Prayer is sharing all our weakness,
Judgement, sin and selfishness
With God.

Prayer is sharing stillness, silence,
Darkness, need and loneliness
With God.

Prayer is sharing all our joys and sorrows,
Pain, fear, life and death
With God.

Prayer is listening, trusting, loving –
Facing all we undergo
With God.

Yea, though I walk in 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).


References 

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

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

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

Through loving (#2 of 3)


You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Through loving God,
We learn to love our neighbours.

Through loving them,
We learn to welcome strangers.

Through loving them,
We learn to love

Even those
Who thirst for blood,

And, loving them,
We learn to love ourselves.

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 1027; NLT).

When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified – one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:33-4; 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).

Gifts

Always rejoice. Pray constantly. Give thanks in all circumstances.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

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).

Thank you, God, for all your gifts –
The ‘good’ ones, and the ‘bad’,

The gifts that make my heart rejoice;
The gifts which make me sad;

The gifts that bring me pleasure,
And the gifts which bring me pain –

For you bring good from everything
For those who love your name.

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

We know that God make everything work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28; TIV).

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).

Don’t force your prayers

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion
(Ephesians 6:18; NLT). 

1. Don’t force your prayers –
Just be yourself,
And let the Spirit speak.
Remember:
God loves honesty,
And doesn’t want technique.

2. Pour out your heart
To God within –
Use many words, or few.
Remember:
He loves honesty,
So only say what’s true.

3. God knows what’s in
Your mind and heart;
He knows what’s in your soul.
He listens, cares,
And weeps upon your wounds
To make you whole.

He bruises, but he binds up; he wounds, but his hands make whole
(Job 5:18; NKJV).

References 

1. 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 8:26-7; TIB).

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

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

You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV). 

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

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

When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8; GNT).

Let your words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2; NLT).

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

3. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:4; NIV).

People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; NIV).

If you say, “Look here, we didn’t know about this,” doesn’t God, who examines motives, discern it? Doesn’t the one who guards your soul know about it? (Proverbs 24:12; ISV). 

This is the confidence that we have in him: if we ask for anything according to his will, he listens to us (1 John 5:14; ISV).

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7; NLT). 

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; 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).