Breathing

Context: This prayer happened as soon as I woke and began to pray this morning. I was silently repeating God’s personal name, YAHWEH, breathing in on the first syllable, and out on the second. YAH is feminine, whilst WEH is masculine, so I love how both are combined in this truly astonishing name (see reference below). The prayer begins with an in-breath.


 God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh – ‘the LORD.'”
(Exodus 6:2; NLT). 

You are the God who gives breath to all creatures.
(Numbers 16:22; NLT).

YAH: breathe in, and WEH: breathe out:
With every breath, beyond all doubt,
I breathe you in, and breathe you out –
My Maker.

I live in you, and you in me:
Creator, for eternity,
The One who comes to set me free –
My Saviour.

For I am yours, and you are mine:
You, my temple; I, your shrine;
Together, far beyond all time –
United.

We live in love, unseen, yet true:
The God who comes to make me new,
Who breathes and sighs within, for you
Are YAHWEH.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
(Song of Songs 6:3; NIV). 

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). 

Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.
(John 3:33; NLT).


Reference

“The personal name of God, Yahweh, which is revealed to Moses in Exodus 3, is a remarkable combination of both female and male grammatical endings. The first part of God’s name in Hebrew, “Yah,” is feminine, and the last part, “weh,” is masculine.”

These words are quoted from an article by David Wheeler-Reed, who is Visiting Assistant Professor at Albertus Magnus College, Connecticut. His article is well worth reading, and is available free of charge online at The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/what-the-early-church-thought-about-gods-gender-100077#. I am very grateful for being able to include his words here today.

Every heart

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).

1. I pray that all will eat your bread,
And drink your living wine,
Then faith will grow in every human heart –
Including mine.

2. I pray that all will seek your face,
And know you are God’s sign,
Then hope will reign supreme in every heart –
Including mine.

3. I pray that all will praise you,
And become your holy shrine,
Then peace will dwell in every single heart –
Including mine.

4. I pray that all will trust you, Lord,
And realise you’re divine,
Then love will overflow from every heart –
Including mine.

✝️


References

1. He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19; NLT).

He took a cup of wine […] He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood” (Matthew 26:27-8; NLT).

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness (Colossians 2:7; NLT). 

2. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land (2 Chronicles 7:14; NLT). 

What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God (Luke 11:30; NLT). 

No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope (Acts 2:26; NLT). 

3. Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens (Psalm 68:19; NIV). 

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

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; NIV).

4. Trust in God, and trust also in me (John 14:1; NLT).

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God (1 John 4:15; NIV). 

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding (Philippians 1:9; NLT).

☦️


 

We come from you

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

Put on your new nature, created to be like God –
truly righteous and holy.
(Ephesians 4:24; NLT). 

We come from you;
To you, Lord, we return,
And though we are dust,
We strive to grow like you.

Your Spirit, within,
Shows us your Son’s example,
Helping with all we feel, think,
Say, and do.

We are your home;
Your resting-place; your temple.
Filled with your Holy Ghost,
We serve your Son,

Finding you, Lord,
In all you have created,
And living with you in love,
For we are one.

🖤

Whoever lives in love lives in God,
and God in them
(1 John 4:16; NIV).

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

 


Remembering

Image: Pablo Juan, Pixabay


🖤

1. I remember the stories –
The shepherds, the star;
The stable, the manger,
The kings, from afar.

2. I remember the temple,
The questions, the joy;
My parents; their wrath –
I was only a boy.

3. I remember the wedding
At Cana, the wine
Transformed from fresh water –
My first ever sign.

4. I remember my baptism,
Miracles, feasts;
The preaching, the healing;
The scribes and the priests.

5. I remember the mountain,
The voice, and the light –
My transfiguration:
God clothed me in white.

6. I remember the colt,
The procession, the crowd;
The palms and the cloaks –
People shouting so loud!

7. I remember the supper,
The bread, and the wine;
The friendship, the sharing
With those who were mine.

8. I remember the garden,
The darkness, the fear;
The kiss of betrayal
When Judas drew near.

9. I remember the scourging –
I knew all was lost;
The robe, and the thorns,
And the weight of the cross.

10. Now all that is left
Is the blood, and the pain;
The thirst, and the dying,
As I call your name.

🖤


References

1. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them (Luke 2:6-7; NIV).

2. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious leaders, listening to them and asking questions (Luke 2:46; NLT).

3. This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory (John 2:11; NLT).

4. One day when the crowds were being baptised, Jesus himself was baptised. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy (Luke 3:22; NLT).

The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant (Matthew 21:15; NLT).

5. Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them (Mark 9:2-3; NIV).

6. The next day, the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13; NIV).

7. He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19-20; NIV).

8. He went on a little further 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).

He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

9. Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face (John 19:1-3; NLT).

Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the Place of the Skull…

10. …There they nailed him to the cross (John 19:17; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

What can I offer?

Image:Sabine van Earp, Pixabay


✝️

What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?
(Psalm 116:12; NLT).

I offer you my weak, frail flesh,
Stripped of all the health and strength of youth.
It’s yours already, Lord, for you conceived it,
Yet I have nothing else to give, in truth.

I offer you my damaged mind,
Stripped of all my hopes of paradise.
It’s yours already, Lord, for you ordained it,
But I have nothing else to sacrifice.

I offer you my small, hard heart,
Stripped of all my faith, and peace, and trust.
It’s yours already, Lord, for you assigned it,
Yet I have nothing else to yield, but dust.

I offer you my sinful life,
Stripped of all grace, though you dwell in my soul.
It’s yours already, Lord, for I’m your temple,
But you are the only part of me that’s whole.

Offer every part of yourself to him
(Romans 6:13; NIV).

✝️

May I love

Image: Keith Johnston, Pixabay


🌹

There is […] one God and Father,
who is over all and in all and living through all

(Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

1. May I love each child, Lord God,
Because they are your cradle.

2. May I love each neighbour, Lord,
Because they are your home.

3. May I love each stranger, Lord,
Because they are your temple.

4. May I love each enemy,
Because they are your throne.

5. May I love you, Father God,
Because you make and keep me.

6. May I love you, Jesus Christ,
Because you cleanse my sin.

7. May I love you, Holy Ghost,
Because you never leave me;

8. And may I even love my self –
Because you dwell within.

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

🌹


References

1. Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me (Matthew 18:5; NLT).

Jesus, […] though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7; ESV).

2. Love your neighbour (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).

3. Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).

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

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

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

He loves all his people (Deuteronomy 33:3; NLT).

5. 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).

Your hands shaped me and made me (Job 10:8; NIV).

The Lord keeps me alive! (Psalm 54:4; NLT).

6. Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you (John 21:17; NLT).

I will cleanse them of their sins (Jeremiah 33:8; NLT).

7. He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5; NLT).

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, [Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor] who will never leave you (John 14:16; NLT).

8. Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

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

The Lord is in my DNA

Image: LaCasadeGoethe, Pixabay


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

1. The Lord is in my DNA,
My cells, my bones, my blood.

2. He makes his home within me,
And he fills me with his love.

3. He makes my mind his temple,
And my heart his dwelling-place.

4. He makes my soul his kingdom,
And he fills me with his grace.

 


References

1. God created human beings in his own image (Genesis 1:27; NLT).

When God created human beings, he made them to be like himself (Genesis 5:1; NLT).

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

You have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).

2. Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).

We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5; NLT).

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

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

His word burns in my heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9; NLT).

4. The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; KJV).

We praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son (Ephesians 1:6; NLT).

We love you

Image: Roy Buri, Pixabay


1. Father, Creator,
We love you so deeply.
May all things remind us of you:
All we see, all we hear,
All we taste, smell, and touch;
All you make, Lord,
And all that you do.

2. Jesus, Redeemer,
We love you so deeply.
May we grow more like you each day:
In every emotion,
And in all our thinking;
In all that we do, Lord,
And say.

3. Spirit, Consoler,
We love you so deeply.
May we be your temple, your friend:
Praying together
With thanks and rejoicing,
Forever, Lord,
World without end.

 


References

1. Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy (Matthew 6:9; NLT).

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth (Isaiah 40:28; NLT).

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

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:4,6; NLT).

2. I am the Lord, your Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14; 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).

To acquire wisdom is to love oneself (Proverbs 19:8; NLT).

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

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

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

3. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, [Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor] who will never leave you (John 14:16; NLT).

As a mother consoles a child, so I will console you (Isaiah 66:13; NET).

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; NLT).

Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God (Romans 5:11; NLT).

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26; RSV).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion (Ephesians 6:18; NLT).

Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20; NLT).

All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21; NLT).

Truth

Image: Free-Photos, Pixabay

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

1. Jesus spoke the truth
In love –
It didn’t go down well

2. With Pharisees,
And Sadducees,
And those with stuff to sell

3. Inside the temple:
As he taught,
Each time he paused for breath,

4. The people he reproved
Rejected him,
And planned his death.


References

1. I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do (Matthew 21:31; NLT).

They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him (Matthew 13:57; NLT).

2. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority (Matthew 16:1; NLT).

My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a den of thieves (Mark 11:17; NLT).

3,4. He taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him (Luke 19:47; NLT).

He came to his own people, and even they rejected him (John 1 :11; NLT).

The Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him (John 5:16; NKJV).

Darkness

Image:skeeze, Pixabay

1. Living God,
I’m your unworthy temple,
Where you shroud yourself
In darkness from my sight.

2. My mind, and heart, and soul
Dwell in your darkness,
But your closeness comforts me
Both day and night.

3. Lord, may I accept
This inner darkness,
Trusting in your presence
And your love,

4. Then I’ll gladly walk with you
In darkness,
Where we are one,
United through Christ’s blood.


References

1. I am not even worthy to come and meet you (Luke 7:7; NLT).

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

He shrouded himself in darkness (2 Samuel 22:12; NLT).

No one has ever seen God (John 1:18; NLT).

2. He has made me dwell in darkness (Psalm 143:3; NKJV).

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).

3. You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

We have put our trust in his love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

4. If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God (Isaiah 50:10; NLT)

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

You have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13; NLT).