13.1.23: Prayer #1

I find that interceding for others can easily become a burden. More and more people are added to my list, and hardly anyone is ever crossed off. Praying for them all can become a lengthy, repetitive, exhausting task, rather than a caring, heartfelt appeal for God to help them. Sometimes I’m just not well enough to manage it at all, even though I don’t want to neglect anyone who is suffering.

As I was reflecting on this a couple of days ago, today’s prayer came to me:

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).

It doesn’t need to be a burden:
Pray, right now, for everyone,

Asking God to heal and bless them:
Simply pray through Christ, the Son.

Let the Holy Spirit pray
On your behalf, to God above.

Lift this troubled world to heaven:
He will help us all, with love.

The Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26; AMP).

After writing, then saying, this prayer, I suddenly saw that I could use my rosary to help me pray for others. So I tried it out, like this:

Holding the first bead of the first decade, I waited silently to see who came into my mind, then I prayed for them. Moving on to the next bead, I waited again to see who came to mind, and so on. When no more names appeared, I knew my intercessions were finished for the moment.

With this approach, I didn’t have to think about who to pray for, which was a relief. It also felt less mechanical than using a list – more natural, spontaneous, and supported by the Holy Spirit.

I quickly saw that I could use my rosary like this to pray discreetly for others in different settings, such as during medical treatments, or journeys, whilst walking, or waiting somewhere, and so on. Normally, I do this without a rosary, but find that it’s very easy to be distracted, to forget who I’m praying for, or even to forget that I’m praying. The more creative I can be with my intercessions, the fresher and more alive they will become. I already know that there will be more on this topic over the next few days. God is good!


References 

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

You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father (John 14L13; NLT).

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

I am the one who wounds and heals (Deuteronomy 32:39; NLT).

7.1.23: Spirit

Yesterday was a bit of a struggle in terms of fatigue and pain, so this prayer, written earlier in the week, seemed like a good and cheering choice for today:

Pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20; RSV). 

Spirit of the Living God,
Please fill my mind,
And heart,
And soul.

Then pray
On my behalf,
Till all who suffer
Are made whole.


References 

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

We are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT). 

The Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26; AMP).


The Rosary Hospital

On the plus side, I finished the beadwork of a fiat rosary which was ordered as a gift. Tomorrow I hope to complete it, ready for posting.

31.12.22: Lord, save us! (with thanks for the safe crossing of C.O.)

Context: Yesterday I woke to the sound of a roaring sea, knowing that my friend was crossing to the island at that time. As I prayed for him, today’s blog burst into my mind. It is my prayer for all people in 2023:

It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within (Mark 7:20-23; NLT). 

Lord,

Please calm
Our raging storm
Of greed, and hate,
And war.

Heal every mind,
And heart, and soul –
Lord, save us!
I implore.

Change us,
As you changed Saint Paul,
For we, too, hate, oppress,
And kill.

In every mind,
And heart, and soul
Please whisper:
Peace, be still.

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm (Mark 4:39; NKJV).


References 

Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” (Matthew 8:25; NKJV).

Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. …As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:1;3-6; NLT). 

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:11-12; NLT).

What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! (Matthew 10:27; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital 

Yesterday, to my great joy, I received a package of beads and special Fiat rosary centrepieces, which I ordered several weeks ago from America. Having tracked their long journey, including the surprising information that delivery had been unsuccessfully attempted at 7am on Christmas morning, I was delighted to lay hands on them. In the evening I celebrated their arrival by making the first section of a Fiat rosary:

30.12.22: Catch me out

Context: Waking with a migraine yesterday morning, I sleepily started saying the Lord’s Prayer. But when I got to “Forgive us our trespasses”, today’s prayer arrived with a bang. I knew I had to write it down immediately, though I always worry because this means breaking off my prayer. Of course, I tell myself that listening and writing are just another way of praying, but I’ve never fully resolved this inner conflict.

Anyway, the background to this prayer is that I lived with constant anxiety as a child (and even as an adult). I knew that everything I did was being watched, and would be roundly and angrily condemned if it was not to my mother’s liking. It’s still very hard for me to grasp that God is nothing like my mother.

The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6; NLT). 

You don’t wait to catch me out
In sin –
You’re rooting for me daily, Lord,
Within.

You don’t wait with rage
Till I confess –
You wait till I repent, Lord,
Then you bless.

You don’t wait
To punish my mistakes –
You wait to heal me,
When my poor heart breaks,

Because you love me, Lord,
And sent your Son –
To help me grow like you,
For we are one.

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


References 

God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple (1 Corinthians 3:17; NLT).

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). 

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT). 

Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24; 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).


The Rosary Hospital 

Below is a photo of a five-decade rosary I made on Wednesday. Very daringly, it left home yesterday without glue. I’m deeply hoping it will stay together properly. If not, at least I’ll be able to remake it for the recipient.

29.12.22: I start again

Context: Today’s prayer describes a rare moment late one evening, when I was able to accept and believe that God really had forgiven all my sins. This meant I could start afresh next day, without looking back, to my great joy. These verses arrived the next morning:

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 faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23; NLT). 

I start again today, Lord,
Without sin –
For you forgave me yesterday,
And healed my guilt within.

I start again today
Without a grudge –
For I’ve forgiven all who hurt me:
You, alone, will judge.

I start again today, Lord,
Without fear –
For you will walk beside me
Giving comfort, always near.

I start again today
Without regrets –
Instead, I’m looking forward,
For you’ve cancelled all my debts.

When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both (Luke 7:42; ESV).


References 

He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:2; NLT). 

Her guilt has been removed (Isaiah 49:2; NASB20). 

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NIV). 

Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12; NLT).

Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all – the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; NLT). 

God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12;14; NLT). 

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). 

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory (Romans 5:2; NLT). 

Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world (1 Peter 1:13; NLT). 

24.12.22: You’re here

Context: Yesterday morning I looked out of my bedroom window, as I often do when I get up. The sea was roaring, and the wind was blowing the rain hard against the glass. As I watched, I thanked God for being in the storm. Then I rejoiced that God is present in our painful inner storms, as well as in the sunnier times of our lives. The first two lines of today’s prayer arrived instantly, with the rest quickly following:

From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance. Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him (Psalm 50:2-3; NLT). 

You’re here, Lord, in the storm,
And in the sun.

You’re here, Lord, in defeat;
In battle won.

You’re here in every failure,
And success.

You’re always here –
To comfort, heal and bless. 

I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20; NLT).


References 

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

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12; NLT). 

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).

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! (Psalm 103:3; NLT). 

15.12.22: That’s easy

Context: I wrote this poem quite a while ago, after experiencing a series of shattering realisations during prayer. Yesterday I rediscovered it amongst my drafts, and decided to post it today:

I love you, Lord (Psalm 18:1; NLT).

The Father himself loves you dearly (John 16:27; NLT). 

I love you, Lord – that’s easy!
But: You love me, too – that’s hard!

Why do you love me, Yahweh?
Why do you guide and guard? 

You know my every weakness,
And my sins are all too real,

So why do you help and comfort me?
Why do you cleanse and heal? 

Ah! It’s because you’re perfect, Lord,
Pouring out love and peace,

And sending your Son to make us all one:
Your mercy will never cease.  

His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34; NKJV).

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.

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). 

1.11.22: Heal all living souls

Context: Today’s and tomorrow’s prayers form a linked pair:

Now he will heal us (Hosea 6:1; NLT). 

Lord,

Heal all living souls,
I pray,

And guide us
To your narrow way.

Teach and strengthen us
Each day,

Until all seek your face,
And say: I love you.

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek (Psalm 27; 8; NIV). 

I love you, LORDyou are my strength (Psalm 18:1;NLT).


The rosary-making project

Most of the materials I need to make rosaries arrived yesterday, to my delight. The main piece of kit I don’t have yet is the special rosary tool, which is coming all the way from America.

In the evening I enjoyed making a practice chaplet representing one decade, as seen above. I really need to sit by an expert to learn this craft, especially as my brain can’t distinguish between left and right for making the knots.

However, I managed to add some beads to a little cross on a cord, which I bought from a lovely lady in the UK. My addition is very simple indeed, but I’m still very pleased with the result!