4.3.23: In Paradise (for B.)

This prayer came to me yesterday morning, and is dedicated to my friend B.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-3; NLT; my emphasis). 

May I spend this day

With you, my Lord, 
In Paradise –

No matter what God gives
Or takes,

My life,
A willing sacrifice

To you, the One
Who paid my price:

Lord Jesus, you, alone,

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9; NIV).


Yea, 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). 

If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NLT).

I have paid the price to set you free (Isaiah 44:22; NLT).

God paid a high price for you (1 Corinthians 7:23; NLT).

22.2.23: Holy Spirit

Today’s prayer arrived last Friday morning:

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-7; NRSV).

Holy Spirit,
Pray within me:
Pray on my behalf for others.   

Holy Spirit,
Pray within me:
Pray that I’ll grow more like Christ.

Holy Spirit,
Pray within me:
Saying, “Yes”, with me to sickness,

Thanking God
For all he sends:
My life, a willing sacrifice.

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

20.2.23: Breast Care Clinic

Today I went for my appointment at the Breast Care Clinic, because of a lump on my sternum, so this blog has two parts: one written before my consultation, and one after.

Part 1: 7.30am

I woke early, began to say the Lord’s Prayer, and the last sentence of these two verses came immediately into my mind, staying there insistently:

Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:1-2; NLT, my emphasis).

These words, especially that final sentence, will be my watchword today as I find out God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for me. God’s will is, in fact, my vocation.

Part 2: 2.30pm 

After a morning at the Breast Care Clinic, I’m now back home, absolutely exhausted. Tests showed that the lump is not cancerous, so all is well and no treatment is necessary. Everyone at the clinic was really kind. Thank you so much to all who have prayed for me and sent their good wishes.


Everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! (Romans 11:36; NLT). 

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

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done (Matthew 26:42; NLT, my emphasis). 

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other (Ecclesiastes 7:14; 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).

I beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the vocation to which you have been called: with all humility and meekness, with patience, supporting one another in charity (Ephesians 4:1-2; CPDV).

26.12.22: Faith

Context: Today’s prayer came to me whilst I was praying on the morning of Christmas Eve. I was so grateful to receive it:

I love you, LORD (Psalm 18:1; NLT). 

I love you, Lord, and I have faith
That you love me still more.
Please help me where my faith falls short,
For it is weak and poor.

I love you, Lord, and I have faith
That you have sent your Son
To help us when our faith falls short,
So we can all be one.

Please rid me, Lord, of every sin,
And help me to follow Christ.
My mind, heart, soul and strength are yours
In humble sacrifice.

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).

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:17; NIV).


Context: This prayer started to arrive just before the appointment with my consultant, and (to my great surprise), continued to arrive after it! My doctor couldn’t give me any definite news, though some conditions have now been ruled out. It’s looking more and more likely that I have Autonomic Neuropathy, so the next step will be a trip to London for more detailed tests. These should lead to a conclusive diagnosis. Meanwhile, here is today’s prayer:

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
(John 16:33; NLT).


1. I put my trust in you
To help me face each test.
Depression and anxiety?
Well, all you send is blest.

2. Sorrow, fear and suffering?
Your will is my command.
Darkness, panic, grief and tears?
I place them in your hand.

3. For these have now become my “pearls”,
My pearls beyond all price.
Through them, Lord, I learn to grasp
Your perfect sacrifice.

4. My trials are now my offerings:
I share them all with you,
While you, Lord, share them all with me,
And love to help me, too.

5. Thus, you show me how to live,
To learn, and grow, and care
For others, while you help me face
The burdens I must bear.

6. My faith, my pain, my love, my life:
I lay them at your feet.
My Lord, my God, my All-In-All,
Your healing is complete.

Those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction (Job 36:15; NIV).

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly
we are wasting away, yet inwardly
we are being renewed day by day.
(2 Corinthians 4:16; NIV).


1. I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life (Psalm 143:8; NIV). 

The LORD your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT). 

Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal (Job: 5:17-18; NIV).

2. He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39; NLT). 

 3. The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant’s search for fine pearls. When one pearl of great value was found, the merchant went back and sold everything else and bought it (Matthew 13:45-6; TIV). 

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you (Isaiah 30:20; NLT).

4. When Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer” (Hebrews 10:5; NLT).

God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time (Hebrews 10:10; NLT). 

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

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

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:15-16; NLT). 

Then Jesus said, “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. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30; NLT).

5. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT). 

His command is that you walk in love (2 John 1:6; NIV).

The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 28:7; NLT). 

6. “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT). 

Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28; NKJV). 

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again (Psalm 71:20; NIV).

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). 

I bow down

All the families of the nations will bow down before you (Psalm 22:27; CSB). 

Honour the Lord (Psalm 29:2; NLT). 

I bow down before you,
Honouring your love and light.

I bow down before you,
Honouring your sacrifice.

I bow down before you,
Honouring your truth and grace.

For now, I bow in faith alone,
But soon I’ll see your face.

Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!” (John 20:29; CEV)

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

Trials and sorrows (#3 of 3)

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows
(John 16:33; NLT).

1. Let’s face our trials and sorrows
Just like Christ,

2. Bearing our cross
As he bore sacrifice,

3. Doing our best to serve like him,
God’s Son –

4. Then, at last, he will say to us:
“Well done”.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matthew 25:23; NIV).


1. If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; 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).

2. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT). 

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds (Titus 2:14; NLT). 

People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood (Romans 3:25; NLT). 

3. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Matthew 4:10; NLT).

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-8; NLT). 

Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross (1 John 5:6; NLT). 

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

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

What matters

Christ is all that matters (Colossians 3:11; NLT). 

1. Only one thing matters:
To sit at Jesus’ feet,
And listen to his teaching,
For all his words are sweet.

2. Only one thing matters:
To practise what he taught,
By loving all our fellows
In word, and deed, and thought.

3. Only one thing matters:
To grow much more like Christ,
Until we live as one with him,
And share his sacrifice.

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering
(Romans 8:17; NLT).


1. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42; NLT). 

Wisdom is sweet to your soul (Proverbs 24:15; NLT).

2. I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return (Philippians 1:10; NLT).

If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples (John 8:31; NET). 

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6; NIV).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

3. 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). 

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).

Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).


If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
(Romans 8:17; NLT).

1. Take up your cross without complaint.
Shoulder it with perfect love.
Bear it well, and serve, like Christ –
Then you will share his sacrifice.

2. Take up your cross; submit to God.
Shoulder it with constant prayer.
Bear it well, and do not sin –
Then you will share one mind with him.

3. Take up your cross, for God is near.
Shoulder it with thanks and joy.
Bear it well till life must cease –
Then you will share his perfect peace.

4. Take up your cross, as Jesus did.
Shoulder it with hope and praise.
Bear it well: it sets you free –
Then you will share his victory. 

Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne.
(Revelation 3:21; NLT).


1. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45; NLT).

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT). 

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38; NIV). 

2. Submit to God and be at peace with him (Job 22:21; NIV). 

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

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

3. He is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27; NIV).

Always be joyful … Be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16,18; NLT).

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27; NLT).

4. As we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too (2 Corinthians 1:5; RSV). 

Rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:13; RSV). 

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us (Romans 8:37; NLT).


A prayer for us all

Some readers felt I was judging President Putin in yesterday’s prayer, though that was not my intention. I want to acknowledge their helpful reproof, and to say how sorry I am. In the hope of putting things right, today I’m posting an earlier version of the same prayer, which applies to us all. It comes with my love and thanks to everyone who visits here, to every deeply-appreciated, faithful follower, to all those who leave “likes”, and especially to those who send comments, whether positive or negative. I value you all very highly, and pray for you all each day. With love from Ruth xxxxx

I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
(Ezekiel 36:26; NIV).

1. Lord,
Remove our stony hearts –
Give us new hearts, of flesh.
Please take our greed and hate away –
Help us to start afresh.

2. Lord,
Remove our cold, hard minds –
Give us the mind of Christ.
Please take our selfishness away –
Show us your sacrifice.

3. Lord,
Remove our iron souls –
So we can share all pain.
Please take our love of power away –
May we be born again.


Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
(John 3:3; NLT).



1. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17; NIV).

2. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; 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).

God presented Jesus as a sacrifice for sin (Romans 3:25; NLT).

3. Iron has entered his soul (Psalm 105:18; LSV).