Prayer, spiritual development, personal growth, faith, exploration, wholeness,

My blend

Hello everyone. Much of the news has been bad recently, so today I’m posting a more lighthearted prayer by way of compensation:

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The baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35; NLT).

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

People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God (Luke 13:29; NIV).

I can never get away from your presence! (Psalm 139:9; NLT).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

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Son of Man, I am a Quaker
With a pantheistic flavour,
And a subtle Catholic influence
From youth.

I combine your Holy Scripture
With a dash of Celtic mixer,
And The Book of Common Prayer
Thrown in for truth.

I blend Buddhist meditation
With my Christian contemplation,
For both of these are simply
Wordless prayer.

So, rejoicing in your birth,
I pay homage to the earth,
And celebrate your presence
Everywhere.

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Prayer

Fruit

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong with our lives (2 Timothy 3:16; NLT).

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NLT).


Holy Spirit,
As I read my Bible,
Please help me
To understand,
Learn,
Remember,
Change,
And grow,
So my reading
Produces good fruit
In my life.

I ask this
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen.

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THE QUAKER MEETING

Hello to all readers. The context of this short reflection is that yesterday I attended my first Quaker Meeting for a long time, and found the friendly, tolerant silence a huge relief.


The Quaker Meeting

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20; NLT).

He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?” Matthew 26:40; NLT).

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him’ ” (Luke 4:8; NLT).

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).

Be silent before the LORD, all humanity (Zechariah 2:13; NLT).


Lord,
Thank you
For this precious time
With Friends:
An hour to wait for you,
Watch with you,
And worship you –
In blesséd silence.

Amen.

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Reading the Bible

Reading the Bible

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16; NIV).

Don’t forget my words or turn away from them (Proverbs 4:5; NLT).

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice (Luke 11:28; NLT).


Holy Spirit,
I’m sorry to be
So ignorant
About the Bible,
Slowly wading through it,
Then forgetting
Most of what I read.

Please help me
To remember,
And to practice,
What I learn
Through studying
God’s Word.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

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Unworthy

Unworthy

In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have only done our duty’ (Luke 17:10; NLT).

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me,  for I am a sinner’ (Luke 18:13; NLT).

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him’ ” (Luke 4:8; NLT).


Lord,
I am your unworthy servant;
I don’t even do my duty!

Have mercy on me;
Heal and forgive me.

Help me to start afresh,
And to serve you alone.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

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Revelation

Revelation

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge (Psalm 19:1-2; NIV).

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3.16; NIV).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1; NIV).

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ ” (Matthew 4:4; NIV).

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27; NIV).

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2; NIV).

Father,
Thank you for revealing yourself
Through creation,
Through Scripture,
And through your Son.

Please help me

To reach out to you
And find you –
In the Bible,
In prayer,
In contemplation,
In your world,
And in everyone I meet.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

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True or false?

Hello everyone. Some people believe they should try to take every word of the Bible literally, even when it contradicts itself. Perhaps this is because they fear that allowing themselves to understand it at any other level might somehow risk destroying its essential truthfulness and trustworthiness. However, the Bible is a library of books, written in many different genres, including history, paradox, prophecy, poetry, myth, story, riddle, parable etc, each of which needs to be understood in its own way. This means that seeing them all as being “literally” true, closes our minds from exploring their rich psychological, emotional and spiritual depths…

True or false?

* For God does speak – now one way, now another – though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings (Job 33:14-16).
* …let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise (Proverbs 1:5-6).

God breathed inspiration
Into the hearts and minds
Of those who wrote the scriptures.

Their books describe mysterious events,
Angelic visitations, evil spirits,
Miracles and visions,
Dreams and nightmares,
Prophecies and revelations.

Their authors sing psalms to us,
Recite poetry and proverbs,
Describe how God’s messages were acted out,
Relate the stories and parables they heard,
And share with us ancient legends
From the dawn of time.

Like all writers
They employ symbol and simile,
Icon and imagery,
Paradox and metaphor,
Allegory and archetype
To express abstract concepts
Reaching far beyond the superficial facts
Of past events.

So if their words aren’t literally true,
Does that mean they must be wholly false?

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