12.8.23: Seek us

The Good Shepherd, by Theodore de Bry; Dutch: metmuseum.org.

This prayer came to me a few days ago, as I prayed before my favourite icon:

The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
(Luke 19:10; NLT). 

Lord,

Seek us when we turn away
And lose our faith in you:
Please bring us gently back again
And let us start anew.

Save us when we turn aside
And stumble, slip, or fall:
Forgive us; guide us back again –
Lord, hear us when we call.

Help us when we turn from you
In rage, grief, or despair:
Encourage us to lean on you,
And trust, Lord, in your care.

They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.
(Psalm 112:7; NLT).


Readings

Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! (Lamentations 5:21; NLT).

If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! (Matthew 18:12-13; NLT).

Who among you fears the LORD and listens to his servant? Who among you walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD; let him lean on his God (Isaiah 50:10; CSB).

They will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 10:20; NAB).

28.8.23: When we die

Kranich17: Pixabay.

These verses came to me yesterday as I was saying my final prayers in bed, late at night. This doesn’t happen very often. I broke off to begin working on it right away.

The Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matthew 10:7; NLT). 

When we die, Lord,
Heaven is near –
There won’t be time to weep,
Or fear,

For you will clasp us
To your breast,
And welcome us
To share your rest.

There won’t be any grief
Or pain –
Your touch
Will make us whole again.

Then we’ll rejoice
That life is done,
And sing forever, Lord,
As one.  

Those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! (Isaiah 26:19; NLT). 

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

14.8.23: Wordless prayer

Simon: Pixabay.

These couplets came to me last Saturday, during wordless prayer. Part of me hoped they would fade away, so I wouldn’t have to write them down, but they were much stronger than me, so I quickly gave way.

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

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 8:27; TIB).

Wordless prayer: my great adventure –
Going where the Spirit leads,

Seeing what she wants to show me,
Far beyond all human creeds.

So I listen in the darkness,
As she sighs and intercedes,

Speaks within me, though I’m silent,
Watching, as the Spirit pleads

For all: entreating, grieving, weeping,
Sweating, while creation bleeds.

He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

All creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time (Romans 8:22; NLT).


Further references 

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; RSV). 

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).

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).

29.7.23: I love you

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, by Robert Walter Weir: metmuseum.org.

This prayer overtook me yesterday whilst I was praying very sleepily, straight after waking up. It virtually wrote itself, which was an amazing experience.

Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.
(Luke 22:42; NLT).

Father,

I love you –
May your will be done.

Then, may I accept it
Like your Son.

Thank you for all you send,
Both “good” and “bad”.

In sickness, grief and pain
May I be glad,

And keep on serving.
Lord, may I grow like Christ,

Making my life
A willing sacrifice –

For this is my heart’s desire;
My only plea.

Father, I love you –
Thank you for loving me.

He loves us with unfailing love; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 117:2; NLT).

18.7.23: Bathed in light

Lindsay_Jayne: Pixabay.

These verses arrived during a period of wordless prayer yesterday morning. I resisted breaking off to write them down for as long as I could, but in the end there was no choice. This piece was extremely difficult to put into words.

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT).

1. I’m bathed in light,
In peace, and joy;
In your forgiveness
From above.

2. I sense your pity,
Grief and tears;
Your fire, your strength,
Your tender love.

3. I’m bathed in faith,
In truth, and grace,
As I receive
Your gentle touch.

4. You share my sorrow,
Loss, and pain –
Because you care for me
So much.

God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16; NLT).


References 

Verse 1:
🔻 The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).
🔻 Everlasting joy will be yours (Isaiah 61:7; NIV).
🔻 He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).
🔻 The LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other (Deuteronomy 4:3I; NIV).
🔻 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1; NIV).

Verse 2:
🔻 Yahweh is tenderness and pity (Psalm 103:8; NJB).
🔻 The Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).
🔻 The Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Isaiah 26:4; KJV).
🔻 God is love (1 John 4:8; NLT).

Verse 3:
🔻 It is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; NIV).
🔻 The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).
🔻 See, your king comes to you: he is upright and has overcome; gentle and seated on an ass (Zechariah 9:9; BBE).
🔻 I am humble and gentle at heart (Matthew 11:29; NLT).
🔻 No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one (Luke 4:40; NLT).

Verse 4:
🔻 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).
🔻 He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).
🔻 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him (1 John 4:9; NLT).
🔻 You care for people and animals alike, O LORD (Psalm 36:6; NLT).
🔻 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him (Nahum 1:7; NIV).
🔻 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital News

This Fiat Rosary uses a beautiful, recycled, mother-of-pearl centrepiece, alongside a lovely, old, silver medal from a kind donor to the Rosary Hospital. If you have any old rosary parts or broken rosaries you would like to donate for re-use, I would be delighted to hear from you via the comments button just below this caption.

1.7.23: In your arms

geralt: Pixabay.

This simple poem arrived during a time of quiet worship:

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27; NKJV).

We wake, pray, and rejoice, Lord,
In your arms;
We give, share, and receive, Lord,
In your hands.

We toil, strive, and progress, Lord,
In your arms;
We fail, sin, and repent, Lord,
In your hands.

We suffer and submit, Lord,
In your arms;
We grieve, weep, and endure, Lord,
In your hands.

We rage, doubt, and despair, Lord,
In your arms;
We hope, trust, and believe, Lord,
In your hands.

We love, serve, and remain, Lord,
In your arms;
We live, die, and unite, Lord,
In your hands.

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


References 

Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever (Psalm 28:9; NLT).

Our lives are in his hands (Psalm 66:9; NLT).

In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28; NIV).

There is…one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:6-7; NLT). 

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

Remain in me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4; NLT).

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

You…are complete through your union with Christ (Colossians 2:10; NLT). 

30.6.23: Loss

Kranich17: Pixabay.

This blog came to me during silent prayer last Wednesday morning:

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
(Lamentations 3:20; NLT). 

1. I pray for all
Who live with loss,
Who, daily, must take up
Their cross,
Facing their heartbreak,
And their tears,
Their desolation,
And their fears.

2. I pray for all
Who live with grief,
Who bear their cross
Without relief,
Facing each trouble
On their own,
Clinging, Lord God,
To you, alone.

I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
(Psalm 63:8; NLT). 


References 

Verse 1: I eat ashes as my food, and mingle my drink with tears (Psalm 102:9; NIV).

LORD, see my anguish! My heart is broken and my soul despairs (Lamentations 1:20; NLT).

I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken (Lamentations 2:11; NLT).

Verse 2: O God, let the voice of my grief come to your ear (Psalm 64:1; BBE). 

My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken (Jeremiah 8:18; NLT). 

My wound is severe, and my grief is great. My sickness is incurable, but I must bear it (Jeremiah 10:19; NLT).

I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul Psalm 31:7; NLT). 

Is not all human life a struggle? (Job 7:1; NLT). 

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT).

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4; NIV).


The Rosary Hospital

Today’s Fiat rosary. My second bulk order is progressing slowly, but well.

19.6.23: I’m smiling

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary,
Paolo Gerolamo Piola, Italian, ca. 1700, metmuseum.org.

This blog came to me towards the end of my online movement to music class yesterday, just when I was least expecting anything. Fortunately I managed to keep hold of it, and to write it down afterwards:

1. I’m smiling with you, Lord,
And laughing with you;
I’m talking with you,
And rejoicing with you.

2. I’m singing with you, Lord
And dancing with you;
I’m eating with you,
And debating with you.

3. I’m praying with you, Lord,
And weeping with you;
I’m grieving with you,
And enduring with you.

4. I’m living with you, Lord,
And serving with you;
I’m dying with you,
And uniting with you.

God has united you with Christ Jesus.
(1 Corinthians 1:30; NLT).


References

Verse 1
He talked with us (Luke 24:32; NLT).

Verse 2
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17; NIV).
I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High (Psalm 9:2; NIV).

Verse 3
He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38; NLT).
I want to suffer with him (Philippians 3:10; NLT).

Verse 4
Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them (1 John 3:24; NLT).
If we die with him, we will also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11; NLT).
Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too – and die with Jesus” (John 11:16; NLT).
Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever (1 Thessalonians 5:10; NLT).
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16; NLT).
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).

Because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God (Ephesians 1:11; NLT).

2.6.23: Don’t strive

Didgeman, Pixabay.

Today’s prayer arrived when I was still and silent. I didn’t move, or even try to remember it at the time, but afterwards, to my great surprise, I was able to write it down. This has never happened before, so I was truly grateful.

What great nation has a god as near to them as the LORD our God is near to us whenever we call on him? (Deuteronomy 4:7; NLT).

Don’t strive for God
In prayer,
For He is near,

Sharing every longing,
Loss,
And tear;

Bearing all our pain,
And grief,
And fear:

Beside us,
And within –
Already here.

The LORD is here! (Genesis 28:16; GNT).


References

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38; 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).

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens (Psalm 68:19; NIV).

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

God is with us (Matthew 1:23: NLT).

There is …one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

We are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

29.5.23: We praise you

The Healing of the Blind Man and the Raising of Lazarus Date: first half 12th century (possibly 1129–34), metmuseum.com.

This prayer arrived when I was praying without words very sleepily last Saturday morning. Having just learned how to make videos here after 10 years of using WordPress every day, here is a recording of it, in case that’s better for you than print: IMG_3546

We praise you, Lord (Psalm 21:13; GNT).

We praise you, Lord,
And worship you;
We learn from you,
And follow you;
Believe in you,
And long for you:
Our Teacher.

We love you, Lord,
And serve with you;
We trust in you,
Rejoice in you;
Depend on you,
And pray to you:
Our Master.

We grieve with you,
And yield with you;
Accept with you,
Endure with you;
We suffer and unite
With you,
Our Saviour. 

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


References

You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am (John 13:13; NLT).

Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! (Luke 17:13; NLT).

Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11; NLT).


Something extra


Here is a link to a gallery of photos which tell the story of a beautiful, short walk we enjoyed last Saturday. I apologise for having messed up my sharing of this yesterday, and hope it will work properly. I can’t claim to be a mistress of technology! Just click on the live link if you would like to view it: https://wp.me/P45bCr-eaC.