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).

26.11.22: You wake me

Context: I’m slowly improving after becoming ill with Covid just over two weeks ago. Yesterday I walked about 100 yards, which was exhausting, and resulted in a migraine.

Today I’d like to share a poem I wrote a short while ago. That day, I woke at about 5.30am. Still drowsy, I hoped to go back to sleep, but started to say The Lord’s Prayer, as usual. However, within moments my words ceased, as my soul was filled with the most delightful light, warmth and love. All too soon, I had to surface, so I could write about what I had experienced. It wasn’t easy to put into words, but here is the result:

God awakens me morning after morning – wakens my ear, to listen like a student (Isaiah 50:4; TIB). 

God of all people,
All creatures, all things,
You wake me so gently,
For sleep, Lord, still clings,

And over all people,
All creatures, all things,
You call to me softly:
The King of all kings.

You live through all people,
All creatures, all things,
And though I’m still drowsy
You give my soul wings,

Then, in all people,
All creatures, all things,
You stir up my spirit,
Until my heart sings. 

Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! (Zephaniah 3:14; NLT).

There is …one God and Creator of all, who is over all, who works through all and is within all (Ephesians 4:5-6; TIB).

9.11.22: All souls

Context: A few days ago, I suddenly saw that the souls of the living and the souls of the dead are exactly the same. As always, I looked for further information about this in the Scriptures, and here is the result:

  • The souls of all the living, and the souls of all the dead are just the same, because to God all are alive:

He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive (Luke 20:38; NIV). 

  • Our souls come from God, remain part of God during our exile here, then return to God:

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). 

Behold, all souls are mine (Ezekiel 18:4; HNV). 

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

  • Every soul belongs to God:

Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NIV). 

  • The purpose of our lives is to become more and more like God:

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). 

24.10.22: My flesh is weak

Context: Today I’m in London again, for further specialised hospital tests. These trips are a big challenge, because of my limited mobility and chronic fatigue. There’s something good to look forward to, though, as I’ve sent for all the basics I need to start learning the craft of making rosaries. If there’s any news worth reporting, I’ll include it when the time comes.

Following the prayers posted here for the last two days, today’s strikes a more optimistic note. It continues to build on the recent, recurring theme of inner healing:

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41; NIV). 

My flesh is weak,
My mind is scarred,

My heart is crushed,
My soul, afraid; 

And yet, my spirit
Leaps with joy

Because you love me:
Lord, I’m saved!

God’s love toward us is great, God’s faithfulness, eternal (Psalm 117:2; TIB).

You are the God who saves me (Psalm 25:5; NLT).


References 

He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 104:14; NLT). .

I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart (Psalm 38:8; NLT).

Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18; LSB).

Fear came upon every soul (Acts 2:43; RSV). 

How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! (Luke 1L47; 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). 

God already loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God (John 16:27; TIB).

God’s love toward us is great, God’s faithfulness, eternal (Psalm 117:2; TIB).

Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved (Joel 2:32; NLT).

7.10.22: Here I am

Context: Yesterday I woke up very late. Whilst I lay still, praying without words and longing to see into my soul again, this prayer arrived:

Here I am. Did you call me? (1 Samuel 3:5; NLT). 

Here I am, Lord. Did you call me?
Speak: I long to hear your voice.

You are all in all to me, Lord,
Speak, for I have made my choice –

You’re my faith, my hope, my Saviour,
You’re my God, my great High Priest;

You’re my bread, my living water,
You’re my wine, my inner peace;

You’re my fire, my strength, my spirit,
You’re the light within my soul;

You’re my way, my truth, my life,
And you’re the One who makes me whole.

Jesus, though I’m weak and sinful,
You will come to set me free –

Speak; your servant, Lord, is listening,
And you’re everything to me.

Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening (1 Samuel 3:9; NIV).

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).


 Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10; NIV.

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was.

Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.

So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

5.10.22: My sun

Context: My apologies for accidentally posting an “extra” blog yesterday whilst working on it. This is a mistake it’s impossible to undo after it’s happened. It took me a while to recover my equilibrium and confidence afterwards, so I could continue writing and editing.

As I lay in bed, praying without words, I saw again that Yahweh is in everything. However, this time I saw a little further, grasping with joy and relief that God is even present in my darkness:

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

My sun, my cloud, my darkness;
My way, my staff, my rod;
My joy, my tears, my sickness;
My guide, my truth: my God.

My prayers, my sighs, my anguish;
My way, my staff, my rod;
My mind, my heart, my spirit;
My life, my love: my God.

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

There is …one God and Creator of all, who is over all, who works through all and is within all (Ephesians 4:5-6; TIB).


References

Clouds and thick darkness surround him (Psalm 97:2; NIV).

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

Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light (Micah 7:8; NLT).

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).

Christ is all, and is in all (Colossians 3:11; NIV). 

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

20.9.22: The source of prayer

Context: Yesterday, I woke and began to pray, as usual. My list of people to pray for was at hand, but it is long, and I was weary of pushing myself to pray for each one in turn. So instead I just opened myself to being led in prayer.

Almost immediately, I received the first line of today’s blog, and wrote it down, then waited quietly, to see what would happen next. This is what I experienced:

The source of prayer is deep within. It comes from God, who lives in every soul (1).

God is our breath, our spirit, and our Saviour (2).

So I allowed God’s Spirit to guide my prayers (3). 

I prayed very simply for those who came to mind, feeling peaceful and unhurried (4).

To my considerable relief, no further insights arose from the dark depths of my unconscious mind. This meant I wouldn’t have to spend the day trying to express something that was difficult to put into words.

After praying for others until no more names appeared, I worshipped in silence until my prayer reached a comfortable, natural ending (5). 

It was bliss (6).


References 

1. You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

2. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT). 

I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:3; NLT). 

3. 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).

4. 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). 

5. YHWH is in the Holy Temple: let all the earth be silent in God’s presence (Habakkuk 2:20; TIB). 

6. Thou makest me to know the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy, in Thy right hand bliss for evermore (Psalm 16:11; JPS Tanakh 1917). 

My flesh, my blood


Context:
Yesterday I stirred at 6am, and all I wanted was to go back to sleep. My bed was blissfully warm and comfortable, but today’s prayer began to nag insistently in my mind until I forced myself to wake fully and discover what it wanted to say. To my great surprise, it turned out to be this wide-awake, effervescent song of praise:

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

1. My Lord, my God; my flesh, my blood:
You fill my body with your love.

2. My Lord, my God; my bread, my wine:
You make my sinful mind your shrine.

3. My Lord, my God, my strength, my prayer:
You teach my hard, cold heart to care.

4. My Lord, my God, my sword, my shield:
You touch my soul, and I am healed. 

5. My Lord, my God, my everything:
You make my spirit dance and sing!

People in Zion will dance as they sing,
“Everything I am has its source in you.”
(Psalm 87:7; TIB).


References 

1. If you don’t eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Chosen One, you won’t have life in you. Those who do eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Everyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in them (John 6:53-6; TIB).

We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV). 

2. As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body” (Matthew 26:26; NLT).

He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many (Matthew 26:27-8; NLT).

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

3. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song (Isaiah 12:2; NLT). 

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

4. He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword! (Psalm 28:7; NLT).

He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3; NKJV). 

5. I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life (Psalm 142:5; 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). 

The LORD is my strength and my song (Exodus 15:2; NLT). 

Let them praise God’s Name with festive dance; let them sing praise (Psalm 149:3; TIB).  

After the Eucharist (for J.K.)

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you cannot have eternal life within you
(John 6:53; NLT).

Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine,
and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me
(John 15:4; NLT). 

1. After the Eucharist,
Stay in my hands,
Then, all I touch will be blessed.
Stay on my tongue, Lord,
Remain in my thoughts,
Then I will pass every test.

2. After the Eucharist,
Stay in my heart,
Then, I’ll serve others with care.
Stay in my blood,
And remain in my bones,
Then, I’ll help others, through prayer.

3. After the Eucharist,
Stay in my life,
Till this long exile is done.
Stay in my spirit;
Remain in my soul –
Then, we will always be one.

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


References 

1. When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16; NLT).

We …touched him with our own hands (1 John 1:1; NLT). 

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

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

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

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

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

2. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11; NLT). 

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35; NIV).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? (1 Corinthians 6:15; CSB).

Pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them (1 Timothy 2:1; NLT).

3. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8; NIV).

My heartfelt prayer

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.
(Psalm 102:1; KJV).

1. Hear my heartfelt prayer, Lord God:
End our greed and hatred.
Take away our minds of stone,
And make our thinking like your own:
Loving; joyous; full of peace –
Help us, I implore you.

2. Hear my earnest prayer, Lord God:
Turn us from all evil.
Take away our hearts of stone,
And make our passions like your own:
Patient; kindly; generous –
Till everyone adores you. 

3. Hear my urgent prayer, Lord God:
Forgive our sins; have mercy.
Take away our souls of stone,
And give us spirits like your own:
Faithful; gentle; self-controlled –
Then all will bow before you.  

🖤

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

Bow down and worship the Lord (Ezekiel 46:3; NLT).

 


References

1. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord (Psalm 14:2-4; NIV).

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

All of you should be of one mind. Sympathise with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it (1 Peter 3:8-9; NLT).

2. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14; NIV).

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

I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever (Jeremiah 32:39; NLT).

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things (1 Chronicles 29:11; NLT). 

3. 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). 

I will …put a new spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:26; NIV).

We have all been baptised into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13. 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).