11.1.23: My eyes are closed


As I woke two days ago, I began to pray without words. My eyes were still closed, and I found that I was exploring the darkness of my mind. After a time, the first words for today’s prayer arrived, so I wrote them down, then returned to my silence. And, as often happens, the rest slowly followed:

Live a life filled with love (Ephesians 5:2; NLT). 

My eyes are closed,
And I can see the darkness
Of my mind.

Lord,
Show me every corner here
That isn’t filled with love:
Please shine your light.

Keeping them shut,
I move into the darkness
Of my heart.

Lord,
Show me every corner here
That isn’t filled with love:

Please speak the truth.

With eyes still closed,
I stumble through the darkness
Of my soul.

Lord,
Show me every corner here
That isn’t filled with love:

Please save my soul!

Save my soul (Psalm 22:20; NASB20). 


References 

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT). 

Give light to my eyes (Psalm 13:3; NIV).

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5; NLT).

Make your face shine upon Your servant (Psalm 31:16; NKJV).

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).

When the Spirit of truth comes, she will guide you into all truth (John 16:13; TIB).

Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake (Psalm 6:4; KJV).

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety (Psalm 18:2; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital

Yesterday, to my delight, I received the little wooden cross-shaped beads I ordered not long ago. These will serve as the “Our Father” beads on some of my rosaries.

Although the first rosary including them isn’t quite finished, here is a photo to show how these new beads will look. The idea is that they will mark the end of each decade is a very clear and tactile way. Hopefully, this will be particularly helpful for people who have difficulties with their sight, or their sense of touch.

8.1.23: I saw your sun

Yesterday, as I surfaced from sleep, I began to pray. My eyes were still closed, but I was looking across a wide, dark plain towards distant mountains, just as dawn was approaching.

As I watched, the sun began to rise behind the peaks. Soon it was fully visible, shining gloriously in the morning sky. Then today’s prayer came into my mind, though it proved difficult to express:

The glory of the LORD rises to shine on you (Isaiah 60:1; NLT). 

The LORD God is our sun and our shield (Psalm 84:11; NLT).

I saw your sun
Rise in my mind,
As I worshipped
And prayed,

Till, over the mountains,
It shone in my heart,
Where it stayed.

Lord,
Sun of Righteousness,
Reign in my soul
All my days;

Then I will share
In your glory:
At one; unafraid.

The dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT). 

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).


References 

Since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the LORD will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end (Isaiah 60:20; NLT).

Now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:14; NLT).

Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor (1 Chronicles 16:29; 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).

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world (1 John 4:17; 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.

4.1.23: When I leave

This is the last of the four prayers I was given on New Year’s Eve. It brought me a sense of relief and comfort to grasp fully that every kind of physical, mental and emotional suffering comes to an end when we die.

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

Lord,

When I leave my body here,
I’ll also leave my pain,

And when I leave my mind for good,
I’ll leave my burdens, too.

When I leave my heart on earth,
I’ll leave my grief, as well,

But I won’t leave my soul behind, 
For it is one with you.

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

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). 

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:

28.12.22: Come, Jesus

Context: This prayer arrived on Christmas Day, and took two more days to write. Maybe I’m slowing down in my old age…

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20; NLT). 

Come, Jesus, come –
Be born again in me,
And I in you.

I’ll do my best
To share your cross,
Your love for others, too.

The way is long,
The path is hard –
My efforts seem in vain,

But, Lord, despite
My fruitlessness, I long
To serve your name.

For you’re my Saviour
And my King,
My genesis and goal,

So come, Lord, come –
I offer you my heart, mind, strength
And soul.

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:30; NLT).


References

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

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

The gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:14; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital

To my great pleasure, the rosaries posted before Christmas are gradually reaching their destinations, despite the postal strikes and challenging weather conditions.

Meanwhile, I remade my Fiat rosary with the inadequate knot. It came out much better the third time, so I have no regrets about starting again – it’s all good practice.

One exciting development (from a purely personal point of view), is that over the last few days I’ve become more confident about the strength of my joining knots, so I’ve stopped reinforcing them with superglue. It’s taken quite a while to reach this stage, but I’m pleased to be getting there. Purists don’t use glue when making rosaries – perhaps mine could be held together with faith!

If you would like more rosary news, or if you have any broken rosaries to donate, you are very welcome to contact me at “The Rosary Hospital”, on Facebook.

Lastly, here is the Fiat rosary I made today:

27.12.22: Pierced

Context: Today’s prayer came to me on the morning of Christmas Eve. It was very difficult to put into words. These verses are based on Jesus’ presentation in the Temple, when Simeon prophesied about his life, and about what was to come for Mary, his mother:

The deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul (Luke 2:35; NLT). 

Lord,
Pierce my mind
To cleanse each thought,
And pierce my heart,
For I am naught.

Then pierce my soul
Till we are one,
And pierce my flesh,
Like yours, God’s Son.

Lord,
Pierce my hands
To help me pray,
And pierce my feet
To share your way.

Then pierce my side
Till my love flows
Like yours, to all
Both friends and foes.

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


 References

I am nothing (Job 40:4; NLT).

They will look on me, the one they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10; NIV). 

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53:5; NLT).

They have pierced my hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; NLT).

One of the soldiers …pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out (John 19:34; NLT). 

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

Love the stranger (Leviticus 19:34; NKJV). 

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital 

Just before Christmas, I made myself a fiat rosary, only to discover I’d missed out one crucial bead. So on Christmas Day I took it apart and re-made it, but ran out of cord just before the final knot! Fiat rosaries are quite complicated, so yesterday I gave myself a break by making a standard five-decade rosary. This went smoothly, which helped to restore my confidence:

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.

1.12.22: Commitment

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).

Commit your way to the Lord (Psalm 37:5; NLT). 

I want to give my mind to you
By thinking as I ought,
So I commit my exile here
To checking every thought.

I want to give my heart to you
By loving all each day,
So I commit my exile here
To following your way.

I want to give my soul to you
By walking at your side,
So I commit my exile here
To you, my faithful Guide.

I want to give my strength to you,
Although it’s very slight,
So I commit my exile here
To trusting in your might.

Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Isaiah 26:4; KJV). 

29.11.22: I see

Context: I’ve tested negative for covid three times now, so despite my continuing fatigue, I decided to face yesterday’s scheduled pain treatment at the hospital. As I entered the building I began to pray for everyone there and for those around me in the busy foyer. Then I suddenly saw the oneness of all humanity, even though we temporarily inhabit separate, fragile bodies during our time on earth.

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT). 

With joy, I see at last
That all are one

One mind, one heart, one soul,
Though billions strong.

We lodge in separate bodies, Lord,
It’s true,

Yet all remain forever
One in you.

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

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