21.11.23: You know me

I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
(Psalm 38:18; NLT). 

When I say, each day, “I’m sorry”,
You don’t want my lame excuses,
My defences serve no purpose:
Lord, you know exactly what I’ve done.

When I ask for your forgiveness,
You don’t like my sly evasions,
You don’t need my mitigations:
Lord, you know exactly what I’ve said.

When I beg for absolution,
You refuse my explanations,
My denials make no difference:
Lord, you know exactly what I’ve thought.

Yet, when I must stand before you,
You will not reject me, for you sent
And shared my trials and sorrows,
So your Spirit, deep within me,
Pleads on my behalf for mercy:
Lord, you are my Maker, and my Soul.

The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
(Genesis 2:7; KJV).


References 

You know everything I do (Psalm 139:3; NLT).

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD (Psalm 139:4; NLT).

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

You perceive my thoughts (Psalm 139:2; NIV).

LORD, you know my heart (Jeremiah 12:3; NLT). 

O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).

The words you speak come from the heart – that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you (Matthew 15:18-20; NLT).

The LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance (Psalm 94:14; 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).

I will rejoice and be glad in your faithful love because you have seen my affliction. You know the troubles of my soul (Psalm 31:7; CSB). 

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; NKJV). 

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). 

What is the hope of the sinner when he is cut off, when God takes back his soul? (Job 27:8; BBE).

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NKJV).

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. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will (Romans 8:26-7; AMP).

Yahweh is mercy and tenderness (Psalm 111:4; NJB).

God will get back my soul (Psalm 49:15; BBE).

God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself (Psalm 49:15; NIV).

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

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

27.9.23: Heaven

trestletech: Pixabay.

This prayer arose spontaneously out of my silence yesterday, resolving my long-standing fear of having to meet my mother again one day, in heaven.

My mother is a part of me,
And I, Lord, am a part of her.
Despite the suffering she caused,
Our primal linkage will endure.

Lord, I’ve forgiven her abuse –
Through prayer, I’ve let it go, at last.
I understand her suffering,
Her rage, her devastating past.

I used to dread that I would have
To meet her when my race is run.
But now I know she cannot hurt me
Any more, for we’ll be one

In you, the God who heals us all.
No harm will come to me, just good,
For when you take me in your arms,
I’ll meet my mother in your love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
(1 John 4:16; NLT).


References

None will harm or destroy another on My entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is filled with water (Isaiah 11:9; HCSB).

Nothing harmful will take place on the LORD’s holy mountain. Just as water fills the sea, the land will be filled with people who know and honor the LORD (Isaiah 11:9; CEV). 

They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the LORD’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9; NET). 

The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox (Isaiah 65:25; NIV).

In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken! (Isaiah 65:25; NLT). 

The LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5; NIV).

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

7.9.23: Golden darkness

ivoxis: Pixabay.

Yesterday morning, as I greeted my icons one by one, the first words of this prayer came directly into my mind. These verses attempt to describe experiencing the presence of Christ during wordless prayer: in life, whilst dying, and in paradise. We can dip in and out of this experience until we die, but after death it will be all we know, and all we want to know.


Be silent before the LORD, all humanity.
(Zechariah 2:13; NLT). 

Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
(Exodus 20:21; NLT).

1. Golden darkness deep within,
Far from stress, and shame and sin:
Lost in worship, bliss and peace
We rest, in life, with Christ, our Priest.

2. Golden splendour all about,
Letting go of dread and doubt:
Lost in rapture, joy and love
We walk, with Christ, to heaven above.

3. Golden glory all around,
Free from pain, with mercy crowned:
Lost in ecstasy, we soar
To join with Christ, for evermore.

Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17; NLT).


References

1: Life

I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches from secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord (Isaiah 45:3; CSB).

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). 

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-9; NLT).

We have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God (Hebrews 4:14; NLT). 

2: Dying

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them (Luke 2:9; NLT). 

Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT). 

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings (Hebrews 10:22; NIV). 

Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them (Mark 9:2-3; NLT).

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too” (John 14:1-3; JB).

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).

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

3: Beyond death

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God (Hebrews 1:3; NLT). 

He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies (Psalm 103:4; NLT).

Those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31; 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). 

25.8.23. The temple

jplenio: Pixabay.

This prayer arrived yesterday during silent contemplation of Jesus’ name. I saw that I would like to be a constant, open channel for the Holy Spirit to act through on earth. However, this would be a very tall order, given all my physical, mental and spiritual limitations.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? (1 Corinthians 6:19; NLT). 

I long to be the temple
Of your Spirit,
Living in your joy, and peace,
And light;
Dwelling in your mercy, love,
And patience;
Staying in your presence
Day and night. 

I yearn to be the dwelling
Of your Spirit,
Praying through your wordless sighs
With trust;
Resting in your pity, strength,
And power:
One with you, my Lord,
Though I am dust. 

I am only dust and ashes (Genesis 18:27; NAB). 

23.8.23. Don’t wait

Our Lady of Pentecost: commons.wikimedia.org.

Yesterday, when I touched my icon of the Holy Spirit falling on all those present at Pentecost, the first two lines of this prayer came insistently into my mind. Immediately, I wrote them down, then set about discovering where they would lead me. Within half an hour, the shape, and most of the words for today’s prayer were safely set down. The rest then followed more slowly, throughout the day.

The LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT). 

Don’t wait for me to grow
Before you come, Lord.
Don’t wait for me to fail
Before you save.

Don’t wait for me to pray
Before you fill me.
Don’t wait for me to plead
Before you give.

Don’t wait for me to change
Before you rescue.
Don’t wait for me to weep
Before you kiss –

For I’m a sinner, through and through,
Despairing,
So come, Lord God, have mercy,
And forgive.

The tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13; NIV).


References

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously (Isaiah 55:7; NLT).

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4; NLT).

20.8.23: A dedication (#2 of 2)

Capilladeadoracion: Pixabay.

Today’s blog is the group version of, “A dedication (#1 of 2)”, which I posted on the 13th of August. If you would like to check out that earlier, individual prayer, here is a link:
https://wp.me/p45bCr-eSN.

May your kingdom come.
(Luke 11:2; GNT).

Father,
May your kingdom come
In every life,
To make us one.

Jesus,
May your will be done
In every mind,
Till we are one.

Spirit,
May your pity dwell
In every heart:
Please make us one.

Yahweh,
May your mercy reign
In every soul,
Then we’ll be one.

Saviour,
May your kingdom come
Throughout this world:
Your will be done.

May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:10; NLT). 

8.8.23: Gold (#2 of 2)

Photo of an icon on my bedroom wall: a copy of “Christ the Redeemer”, by Andrei Rublev.

This prayer arrived very late last Sunday night, just as I was settling down to sleep. It comes a little closer to describing what I saw and experienced the same morning. If you would like to read that earlier attempt, which is called “Dazzled”, here is a link to it: https://wp.me/p45bCr-eQk.

NB: As I was writing today’s prayer, I realised that when working on the earlier piece mentioned above, I noted down some of the rhymes used in today’s verses. However, at that time I had no idea how they might come to be used.

I create light and darkness.
(Isaiah 45:7; CEV). 

Gold; deep shadow;
Dappled sun and shade –

Though my eyes are closed,
You are arrayed

 In light and darkness,
Mercy, love, and grace –

But, when you claim my soul,
I’ll see your face.

They will see his face.
(Revelation 22:4; NLT).


References 

Darkness and light are the same to you (Psalm 139:12; NLT). 

There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light (Matthew 17:2; NIV).

Darkness was your robe (Psalm 18:11; CEV). 

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

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity (1 Corinthians 13:12; NLT). 

31.5.23: Forgiveness

The Prodigal Son, after Sir John Everett Millais. Engraved and printed by Dalziel Brothers in 1864.

Just as I was about to go down for breakfast two days ago, the first lines of today’s prayer struck me. I wrote them down on my iPad, then set off again, only for the next few lines to arrive before I had reached my bedroom door. This happened several times, until the whole piece was roughed out. It was an awesome experience.

Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? (Matthew 9:5; NLT).

Forgiveness
Is the same as healing,

Mercy
Is the same as love,

And weakness
Is the same as strength,

When we have faith
In Christ above.

Cling to your faith in Christ (1 Timothy 1:19; NLT).

A person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16; NLT).


References

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love (Psalm 51:1; NLT).

When I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10; NLT)).

God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:24; NLT).

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory (1 Peter 1:21; NLT).

God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that 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 2:9-11; NLT).

19.5.23: Nothing I need

Image by Christopher Kuszajewski from Pixabay.

Two days ago, I received these verses during wordless prayer. Most unusually, I was able to write them down, then continue the silence without it being broken.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence (Psalm 16:11; NLT).

There’s nothing I need
But your presence,
Nothing to do
But your will;

Nothing to say
But, “I love you”,
Nothing to see
But your light.

There’s nothing to utter
But, “Jesus“,
Nothing to offer
But thanks;

Nothing I want
But your mercy,
Nothing to do
But unite.

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


References

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

Be silent before the LORD, all humanity (Zechariah 2:13; NLT).

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

God is light (Job 33:28; NLT).

God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that 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 2:9-11; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! (Psalm 57:1; NLT).

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

Yes, 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).

10.5.23: Thank you

Image by Izabela Rutkowska from Pixabay.

This prayer came to me quite some time ago, so today I’ve chosen it for my blog:

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).

Thank you, Father, for your gifts
Of grace, and faith and inner peace.

Thank you for your only Son,
Sent down to us from heaven above.

Thank you for his narrow way,
His light and truth, which never cease.

Thank you for your mercy,
Your forgiveness and unfailing love.

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).