Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Prepare me now, O Lord, to meet you:
Open my heart to love you more
Open my mind to your truth for me
I'm eager to hear your voice, receive your love, and respond to your will.

By your Spirit
Silence any thoughts which do not align with your will for me
And show me what you want me to do.

Through Jesus Christ my Saviour, my Lord, my God, and my Friend.



Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the sinful human eye thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.


God called to Moses from out of the bush, "Moses! Moses!"

He said, "Yes? I'm right here!"

God said, "Don't come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You're standing on holy ground."

Then he said, "I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob."

Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God...

God said, 'I'm sending you to... bring my people... out of Egypt.'


Elijah was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by."

A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper...


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other,

Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
His bright glory fills the whole earth.

The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said,

"Doom! It's Doomsday!
I'm as good as dead!
Every word I've ever spoken is tainted—
blasphemous even!
And the people I live with talk the same way,
using words that corrupt and desecrate.
And here I've looked God in the face!
The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!"

Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said,

"Look. This coal has touched your lips.
Gone your guilt,
your sins wiped out."

And then I heard the voice of the Master:
"Whom shall I send?
Who will go for us?"

I spoke up,
"I'll go.
Send me!"


Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: "Since you are God's Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread."

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth."

For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, "Since you are God's Son, jump." The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: "He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone."

Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: "Don't you dare test the Lord your God."

For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth's kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, "They're yours — lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they're yours."

Jesus' refusal was curt: "Beat it, Satan!" He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: "Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness."

The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus' needs.


Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere. (Timaeus of Locris)

When we encounter the living God, often words fail us: this feeling of 'the numinous' (Rudolf Otto) may sometimes be an experience of wordless awe and wonder, fear and fascination, maybe even dread...

To be holy is to be like God. Only God is holy 'just as only people are human. God's holiness is his Godness. To speak of anything else as holy is to say that it has something of God's mark upon it. Times, places, things, and people can all be holy, and when they are, they are usually not hard to recognise' (Frederick Buechner).

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries
(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
(William Cowper)

It is the final proof of God’s omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us. (Peter De Vries)

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. (Mother Teresa)

Apart from God every activity is merely a passing whiff of insignificance. (Alfred North Whitehead). Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. (Malcolm Muggeridge)


Eternal God - God of Moses and Elijah and Isaiah and Jesus...
in whom I live and move and have my being

You have made me for yourself
and my heart is restless
until it rests in You.

In your service I will find perfect freedom...

Through Jesus Christ my Saviour, my Lord, my God, and my Friend,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.


Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.


Holy One, holy and eternal, awesome, exciting and delightful in your holiness; make me pure in heart to see you; make me merciful to receive your kindness and to share your love with all your human family; then will your name be hallowed on earth as in heaven...


O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works your hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
your power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God; to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God; to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;

But when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
sent him to die - I scarce can take it in
that on the cross, our burden gladly bearing,
he bled and died to take away my sin;

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
and take me home - what joy shall fi1l my heart!
Then shall I bow in humble adoration,
and there proclaim: My God, how great thou art!



God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we're made of mud.

If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.


Almighty and most merciful Father, I have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart. I have offended against Your holy laws. I have left undone those things which I ought to have done; and I have done those things which I ought not to have done; and there is nothing good in me. O Lord, have mercy upon me, miserable offender. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to Your promises declared to us in Christ Jesus my Lord. Grant that I may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to the glory of Your name. Amen

Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbor as myself. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me; that I may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Lord, those seven deadly sins:

1. Forgive my pride - thinking too much of myself. Enable me to be more humble - like Jesus, who lived for others

2. Forgive my envy at the success of others; help me to genuinely admire what others have without wanting it

3. Forgive my inappropriate anger, which mostly does more harm than good; teach me that I can leave most injustices I suffer for God to deal with, and to practise trustful silence more than I do

4. Forgive my gluttony - an unhealthy appetite for food, drink or anything else meant to be a means-to-living rather than ends in themselves

5. Forgive my lustful thoughts: help me to relate to others as whole persons, rather than as objects to satisfy my desires

6. Forgive my greed - accumulating too much stuff; help me to be more generous

7. Forgive my sloth - not just my laziness, but especially my loss of appetite for you, O God.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner (x3).

If I confess my sins to God, you will keep your promise and will forgive my sins and purify me from all wrongdoing...

God has forgiven me... Thank you Lord... I can now make a fresh start.

Renew me Lord. Create in me a clean heart. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Re-engage me in your service.

I commit myself to forgiving others as you have forgiven me.

I'm yours, Lord: I'm all yours.



The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, is with me.

Notes: Holy Holy Holy (Michael Smith rendition); How Great Thou Art (Celtic accompaniment); Exodus 3: 4-6, 1 Kings 19:11-12, Isaiah 6:1-8, Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 11:33-36, Psalm 103:8-12, 1 John 1:8-9, 2 Corinthians 13:14.
More on holiness.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rowland. This is just incredible! I would love to use this as a devotion for any time of day, not just in the night - when I sleep now (no more sleepless nights:):)). God has blessed you with a wonderful gift to write this litany. I hope you write many others, and if you do, I would love to use them too. This litany brings me right to the throne of God. Thank you so much for it. With my prayers and love, Christine Jones