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.

17.12.22: Live or die

Context: Just before getting into bed, I always stand before my picture of Christ of Saint John of the Cross. I hold the frame, resting my cheek against it, whilst thanking Jesus for all that has happened during the day, both good and bad. I also ask for his help with difficult situations, and for guidance about things I don’t understand.

To my surprise, whilst I was doing this last Thursday night, today’s prayer arrived unbidden. I quickly realised it was Christ’s response to the personal disappointment and puzzlement I had just been sharing with him.

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

As for me, I am in your hands – do with me as you think best (Jeremiah 26:14; NLT).

Whether I live or die
I’m in your hands,
Subject to all your tests
And your commands;

Ready to fail, to suffer
Yet believe;
Ready to do your will,
To serve, and grieve;

Ready to pray; give thanks –
I’ve made my choice:
Ready to lose my life, Lord,
And rejoice.

Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it (Mark 8:35; NIV).

Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16; NIV).


References 

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. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT). 

The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NIV). 

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found (Psalm 11i:35; NLT). 

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

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

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

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV). 

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living (Romans 6:16; NLT).


Rosary News

Yesterday I launched The Rosary Hospital on Facebook, asking for broken rosaries, which I recycle into new ones. Here is a very simple five-decade rosary I made this evening. The only new parts are the cord and the olive-wood cross:

1.10.22: Humility

Context: This blog came to me in a split second, when I was washing my face after getting up late. It was a few days after my hospital trip to London, and I was feeling drained, lonely and rather sorry for myself. God spoke to me so personally that I was nearly knocked off my feet:

The whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Galatians 5:14; NLT).

  • Keep on offering your love to others, but don’t expect their love in return.
  • Keep on listening to others, but don’t expect them to listen to you in return.
  • Keep on taking an interest in other people’s news, but don’t expect them to show any interest in yours.
  • Keep on showing your sympathy to those who suffer, but don’t expect their sympathy in return.
  • Never try to elicit a caring response from those you think might ‘owe’ you some love in return. It won’t work, and the effort will only increase your sadness and loneliness.
  • When you’re too drained to support others, stop trying. Wait until you have some energy to spare. Say nothing; do nothing; rest.
  • Just keep on practicing Mother Theresa’s teaching on humility: “Accept being slighted, forgotten and disregarded” (reference below).

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love (Ephesians 4:2; NLT).


Reference

Here is a link to my blog about Mother Theresa’s teaching on humility: https://wp.me/P45bCr-7Ew

Enough

Those who gathered a lot [of manna] had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough
(Exodus 16:18; NLT). 

You love me, Lord,
And that’s enough.

You love us all,
And that’s enough.

You hear, and see,
And suffer, Lord, with everyone
On earth –
And that’s enough.

My grace is enough for you
(2 Corinthians 12:9; NET). 

Communion

Never stop praying
(1 Thessalonians 5:17; NLT).

Father, Spirit, much-loved Son,
May we always live as one,
Our conversation, never end –
My way, my truth, my friend.

Teacher, Shepherd, constant Guide,
May we suffer side by side,
And our communion never cease –
My hope, my joy, my peace.

Threefold God, though you are light,
I must walk by faith, not sight,
Until this earthly life is past –
And I see you, at last.

We walk by faith, not by sight
(2 Corinthians 5L7; KJV).

Easter Sunday

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:30-32; NIV).

1. Lord, may you be born again
Within my heart today,
Then I’ll always walk with you –
My life, my truth, my way.

2. May you dwell there, full of grace,
And teach me to do good,
Then I’ll grow much more like you –
In faith, and hope, and love.

3. May I share your grief and pain
Within my heart each day,
Then I’ll suffer at your side –
And watch, and wait, and pray.

4. Buried in my willing heart,
Then resurrected there,
May we always live as one –
In joy, and thanks, and prayer.

Not for deeds that we had done, but by his steadfast love alone, he saved us through a second birth, renewed us by the Spirit’s work, and poured him out upon us, too (Titus 3:5-6; ISV).


References

1. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:4; KJV). 

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

2. The child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him (Luke 2:40; NIV). 

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

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And 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). 

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).

3. Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons,  James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:36-8; NLT).

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

4. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there (John 19:41-2; NLT).

Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed – for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead (John 20:8; NLT)

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 am with you every day, even unto the end of time (Matthew 28:20; ABPE). 

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).

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

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

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).


 

We are wretched

All the days of the oppressed are wretched.
(Proverbs 15:15; NIV). 

Father,
We are wretched,
Pitiful and weak,
For we have been invaded,
And the strong oppress the meek.

Father,
We are anxious,
Hungry, thirsty, poor,
For we are now blockaded,
And the strong despise your law.

Father,
We are homeless,
Distressed in heart and mind,
Yet everyone is fragile,
And all lives are intertwined.

Father,
We are battered
By hardship, bomb and gun,
But weak and strong are suffering –
For all of us are one.

🖤


References

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).

We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other (Romans 12:5; NLT). 

If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26; CSB). 

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).

 


 

Come to me

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).

Come to me,
All you who suffer:
I will give you rest.

Take my yoke,
And let me teach you
As you face each test.

Accept your cross,
And trust in me:
The load I give is light.

Then follow me,
For you and I
Are precious in God’s sight.

🖤

Then he [Jesus] 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. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it” (Luke 9:23-4; NLT).

You are precious in my sight (Isaiah 43:4; NASB20).

 


Consequences

You did not reflect on your actions or think about their consequences.
(Isaiah 47:7; NLT). 

There will be wave on wave
Of plague,
Until we’ve realised
Everything it has to teach
About our own shortsightedness,
Our foolishness,
Our selfishness
And greed.

There will be wave on wave
Of plague,
Until we’ve suffered
Everything it has to show
About our basic unity,
Our kinship,
Our fragility
And need.

There will be wave on wave
Of plague,
Until we’ve tackled
Everything it has to say
About our deep unwillingness
To lend, give, share,
Co-operate,
And care.

🖤

Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need.
Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it.
In this way, things will be equal.
(2 Corinthians 8:14; NLT).

 


Through darkness

He lit up the way before me
and I walked safely through the darkness.
(Job 29:3; NLT). 

Jesus,
Help us when we falter:
May we share your steadfast faith.
Lead us when we walk through darkness:
Show us, Lord, your narrow way.

Jesus,
Help us when we stumble:
May we share your constant hope.
Guide us when we live through darkness:
Teach us, Lord, your truth today.

Jesus,
Help us when we suffer:
May we share your changeless love.
Hold us when we pass through darkness:
Give us, Lord, new life, we pray.

🖤

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).

Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.
(1 Peter 1:22-3; NLT).