A Prayer for Ukraine and Russia

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and Russia.

Lord we ask for peace for those who need peace, reconciliation for those who need reconciliation and comfort for all who don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Lord may your Kingdom come, and Your will be done. 

Lord God, we ask for you to be with all – especially children who are suffering as the crisis in Ukraine deteriorates. Lord for those who are anxious and fearful. For those who are bereaved, injured or who have lost their lives. And for those who have lost loved ones. Lord hear our prayers. 

Lord, we ask that decisions makers hear Your voice. Parents protecting their families – deciding whether to stay or leave. Church leaders as they support and comfort people. And Lord we ask for wise actions from global leaders – who have the power not only to start wars, but to stop them too.  

And Father God we cry out for an end to this crisis. We pray for all your children, both Ukrainian and Russian, for there are no winners in war. We pray for mercy, peace, and truth – because You are light, hope, power, and love. Amen. 

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see god

83. This Beatitude speaks of those whose hearts are simple, pure and undefiled, for a heart capable of love admits nothing that might harm, weaken or endanger that love. The Bible uses the heart to describe our real intentions, the things we truly seek and desire, apart from all appearances. “Man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart” (1Sam 16:7). God wants to speak to our hearts (cf. Hos 2:16); there he desires to write his law (cf. Jer 31:33). In a word, he wants to give us a new heart (cf. Ezek 36:26).

84. “Guard your heart with all vigilance” (Prov 4:23). Nothing stained by falsehood has any real worth in the Lord’s eyes. He “flees from deceit, and rises and departs from foolish thoughts” (Wis 1:5). The Father, “who sees in secret” (Mt 6:6), recognizes what is impure and insincere, mere display or appearance, as does the Son, who knows “what is in man” (cf. Jn 2:25).

85. Certainly there can be no love without works of love, but this Beatitude reminds us that the Lord expects a commitment to our brothers and sisters that comes from the heart. For “if I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have no love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor 13:3). In Matthew’s Gospel too, we see that what proceeds from the heart is what defiles a person (cf. 15:18), for from the heart come murder, theft, false witness, and other evil deeds (cf. 15:19). From the heart’s intentions come the desires and the deepest decisions that determine our actions.

86. A heart that loves God and neighbour (cf. Mt 22:36-40), genuinely and not merely in words, is a pure heart; it can see God. In his hymn to charity, Saint Paul says that “now we see in a mirror, dimly” (1 Cor 13:12), but to the extent that truth and love prevail, we will then be able to see “face to face”. Jesus promises that those who are pure in heart “will see God”.

Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness.





Here I Am, Lord

I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save

I, who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night

I will go Lord, if You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

I, the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away

I will break their hearts of stone
Give them hearts for love alone
I will speak my word to them Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go Lord, if You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

I, the Lord of wind and flame
I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them
My hand will save

Finest bread I will provide
‘Til their hearts be satisfied
I will give my life to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go Lord, if You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

Oh, I will hold Your people in my heart

Original Meaning of ‘Here I Am, Lord’ in Isaiah 6:8

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

The Story of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is March 17.

St Patrick is traditionally associated with the Shamrock plant, which he used to explain the concept of the Trinity.

St Patrick’s value doesn’t really come from the historical details but from the inspiration of a man who returned to the country where he had been a child slave, in order to bring the message of Christ.

Facts in brief

  • St Patrick really existed
  • Taken to Ireland as a slave at age 16
  • Escaped after 6 years
  • Became a Christian priest, and later a Bishop
  • Returned to Ireland as a missionary
  • Played a major part in converting the Irish to Christianity
  • Some of his writings survive, the Confessio and the Letter to Coroticus

Doubtful extra facts in brief

  • Born in 387 AD in Scotland, in Kilpatrick
    • alternative sources suggest he was born at Banwen in Wales
  • His original name was Maewyn Succat; he became Patrick when he became a bishop
  • Studied in France at the monastery of St Martin’s in Tours
  • Went to Ireland in 432 AD
  • Died either in 461 AD, or 493 AD (unlikely)
  • Taught by Saint Germaine

Patrick’s life

Patrick’s early life

Patrick’s family lived on a small estate near the village of Bannavem Taburniae. (This name cannot be placed on any current map of England or Wales.)

Although his father was a deacon, Patrick was not a believer:

I did not, indeed, know the true God

Saint Patrick, Confessio, translated from Latin

Enslaved by pirates

In his teens, Patrick was captured by a gang of Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland. Patrick came to believe that this was a punishment for his lack of faith.

He was put to work for six years herding sheep and pigs on Slemish mountain in County Antrim. While he was a shepherd, Patrick spent much of his time praying.

I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.

Saint Patrick, Confessio, translated from Latin

Escapes after six years

In an escape bid (while he was a captive in Ireland), Patrick stowed away on a boat bound for Britain, and it landed not far from where his parents lived.

Patrick decided to follow his vocation to become a priest, and after a dream he was inspired to return to Ireland.

I seemed to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.

Saint Patrick, Confessio, translated from Latin

Patrick spent several years studying before he felt ready to take up the life of a missionary.

Patrick’s return to Ireland as a missionary

Patrick eventually returned to Ireland, as the country’s second bishop, and brought the message of Christ to many people who had never heard it.

As a missionary Patrick baptised many thousands of people.

It was not an easy task. Patrick tells how his life was at risk, and how he was sometimes imprisoned by the local pagan chiefs. We know that Patrick sometimes made things easier by giving gifts to the chiefs.

Poignantly, Patrick also writes of his longing to leave Ireland.

How I would have loved to go to my country and my parents, and also to Gaul in order to visit the brethren and to see the face of the saints of my Lord! God knows it! that I much desired it; but I am bound by the Spirit

Saint Patrick, Confessio, translated from Latin

But he knew his duty, and remained in Ireland.

Patrick had problems not only with himself, and the local pagans, but suffered from some backbiting by fellow clergy who accused him of seeking to win personal status.

The claim nearly broke his heart, but anyone who reads his Confessio will soon realise that Patrick was the last person to think that he deserved any glory for himself.

I ought unceasingly to give thanks to God who often pardoned my folly and my carelessness, and on more than one occasion spared His great wrath on me, who was chosen to be His helper and who was slow to do as was shown me and as the Spirit suggested.

Saint Patrick, Confessio, translated from Latin

Patrick’s writings

Patrick’s world

Patrick clearly perceived Ireland and Britain to be far apart, but he also perceived Britain and Gaul to be very close.

Seeing the world like that is as much a matter of theology as geography.

Jerusalem was believed to be the centre of the world and around Jerusalem were countries which were occupied by the Romans. On one particular far-flung corner was the island of Ireland – the last bastion of paganism (as Patrick saw it).

Patrick’s education

Patrick not only knew the language of his British parents but studied and understood Latin. Just how much Latin would have been used in Ireland (so far away from Rome) by that time is uncertain, but in his own writing there is evidence that he was well read in both secular writing and the Scriptures.

And in addition to the language of his British parents, and the Latin he learned as a priest, Patrick would have had to speak Irish to communicate God’s message to the people.

Patrick’s mission

Patrick believed that when “every nation” had heard the gospel, Christ would then return, and it seems he believed that he was the person to bring this message of Christianity to the land that represented this “final hurdle” of God’s plan.

Patrick’s writings

In Ireland, probably towards the end of his life, Bishop Patrick wrote about his life and work in the Confessio.

He begins:

I am the sinner Patrick. I am the most unsophisticated of people, the least of Christians, and for many people I am the most contemptible…

I was taken into captivity in Ireland – at that time I was ignorant of the true God – along with many thousand others.

This was our punishment for departing from God, abandoning his commandments, and ignoring our priests who kept on warning us about our salvation…

St Patrick, Confessio, translated from Latin

Myths about Patrick

Was Saint Patrick Irish?

No he wasn’t; he was British. When he was a child, raiders from Ireland came and took him from Britain.

In Ireland, he was sold as a slave, and spent about six years tending sheep and pigs around Slemish (a mountain formed from the plug of an extinct volcano just outside Ballymena in what is now Co Antrim).

As a stowaway, he returned to his parents, but felt called by God to return to preach to the people of Ireland.

Did St Patrick bring Christianity to Ireland?

Probably not. There’s good evidence that there were believers in Ireland before Patrick arrived.

Pope Celestine had sent Palladius to that part of the world years before.

Anyway, it would be unlikely that a country with such strong trading links with the Roman Empire would have remained untouched by Christianity.

Did St Patrick drive the snakes out of Ireland?

No he didn’t, because it’s unlikely there ever were any snakes in Ireland.

The snake may be a reference to serpent, a symbol of evil, and the driving out a reference to Patrick’s mission to rid Ireland of pagan influence.

Source: BBC/Religions

Joy in Living

When gently descending, the rain in soft showers,

With its moisture refreshes the ground,

And the drops, as they hang on the plants and the flowers,

Like rich gems beam a lustre around.

Thomas Brerewood, ‘Spring, A Pastoral Ballad’


Our Father, Open our hearts and our eyes this day to behold with wonder and awe the beauty of Your creation. Nurture an awareness in each of us, Lord, that You are close by, even though we cannot see You. Assure us of Your love and overwhelm us with the need to share it with others. Help us to find the way and the words. Renew in us, Lord, a fresh sense of joy in living for, as Your children, we have life eternal. O Holy Spirit, lead us to shine as a light in this world so that others may come to know Your love, peace and hope for them also. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV

The Heart of Worship


Lord Jesus, You are my first love. Lord, I love You with all of my heart. I really need you and am fully dependent on You today. Lord Jesus, I open my entire being to You without reservation. Lord, fill me with Yourself today. Amen.

And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from whole mind and from your whole strength.

Mark 12:30

the heart of worship by matt redman

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You

It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You

It’s all about You, Jesus
When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come

Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required

You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus

I’m sorry, Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You (it’s all about You)
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus

I Thank Thee God, That I Have Lived

I Thank Thee God, That I Have Lived by Elizabeth craven

I thank thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys:
The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk;
The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
Hills and the lovely, heather-covered moors;
Music at night, and the moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy;
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of Kin and fellowship of friends
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.

I thank Thee too, that there has come to me
A little sorrow and sometimes defeat,
A little heartache and the loneliness
That comes with parting and the words ‘Good-bye’;
Dawn breaking after weary hours of pain,
When I discovered that night’s gloom must yield
And morning light break through to me again.
Because of these and other blessings poured
Unasked upon my wondering head,
Because I know that there is yet to come
An even richer and more glorious life,
And most of all, because Thine only Son
Once sacrificed life’s loveliness for me,
I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.

Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest

God Speaks

The following excerpt is from Vantage Point: A New View of Rest, Rhythm and the Work of God by Brenda Jank.

God speaks to us through creation. He speaks to us through His Word. He speaks to quiet hearts. (Busy hearts, too, but the reception can be fuzzy.)

When I was little, I was baffled – baffled by Jesus’ desire to pray. “Why would Jesus want to pray?” Prayer was about getting stuff. “He was God,” I reasoned. “Jesus didn’t need anything.”

Jesus needed nothing. Jesus desired the presence of His Father.

Do you think he was homesick? Maybe. Am I ever homesick? Do I ever long for the presence of my Father?

Over the years, prayer for me has moved (and is moving) from getting things to getting God.

Part of that journey includes dialogue – embracing a relational attitude to prayer. It’s about learning to listen to God, not only in His Word (which is primary), but how to listen to God in stillness.

For me, listening to God in prayer is attending to His Presence. It is being still. It is knowing He is present. It is entering into a stillness that is quiet enough to hear His heartbeat and His song. It is where I feel most deeply loved.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV rises up to spotlight this truth.

The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Stillness reminds me I occupy a treasured place in the heart of God. This promise is found in Psalm 46:10a NIV.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10a NIV

In stillness, God reveals Himself to me. I cannot see God. I cannot hear God. I cannot feel God.

But I can know God. And in knowing God, He assures me of my identity, directs my footsteps and shapes my heart’s desires.

Rest in the Sabbath

Prayer For Sabbath

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You are the Author of Love and Life.
You have given us the opportunity to work this past week the privilege of serving You and Your Kingdom in visible and invisible ways.

For the work of our hands and heart, we thank You.

We thank you for the things we did out of duty and the things we did out of delight for projects, demands, chores, sore muscles and acts of kindness for all that was planned and unplanned.

Lord, receive it as our gift to You.

For all that was left undone because of distraction or laziness, forgive us, Lord Jesus.
For all that was left undone because we obeyed the Spirit’s leading, we recognize Your handiwork and give You thanks.

Now, the Sabbath lies before us and we are ready to cross the threshold.
Lord Jesus, You are the Light of the world
You created and crafted this day of Sabbath Rest.
You bless it.
You crown it with glory.
You call it holy.
Through it, You call us out of darkness into Your love and light.
It is to be a day of refreshment and celebration.
It is a day of devotion and delight. Set apart since the beginning of time,
You alone release us from the bondage of duty and demand.
As Your chosen people, we will embrace this day of Sabbath Rest.
In keeping it, we remember You as our Creator and Rescue Redeemer.
We do this now, with joy.

Enter our home and hearts today.


Dear Lord, help me to make every Sabbath about you. Quiet my heart, give rest to my soul, and refocus my spirit for true renewal comes only from you. Holy Spirit please help me to be intentional with my time and worship, and encourage me to find rest in you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Source: https://prayerist.com/

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 New International Version (NIV)

Love, for the Day Is Near

Love Fulfills The Law

 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Day Is Near

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Romans 13:8-13 New International Version (NIV)