Don’t forget July thanksgivings!

FMF:Forget.

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is: Forget

There were so many things jostling for position in my thoughts when considering the word ‘forget’:-

all my experiences and understanding of dementia; the call to ‘forget not’ the wonders and commands of the Lord; and my own clumsy stories of forgetfulness; but the subject that won my attention, to consider for these five minutes, is ‘forget’-fulness as the reason for my monthly gratitude blog.

About 18 months ago, in the space of about 48 hours, I witnessed three wonderful, miraculous and diverse answers to prayer. Of course this was tremendously encouraging to my own faith and prayer life – I saw what an enormous privilege and honour it was, to pray and see the power of prayer changing lives.

But what struck me most was that I so often pray about things and then completely forget about them. When the emergency has passed and all is well, I forget about the sweat, anxiousness and concern of those moments and I slip so easily into taking for granted the healings, the protection and the countless blessings that have taken place. Sometimes I didn’t remember to even ask the person how the situation had progressed, for which I had been praying.

The emergencies capture my attention and I pray, but then I forget.

So I began not only writing down my prayers, which helps me to focus intentionally in prayer, but also every couple of days to reflect on what I was praying for and check in to see if those prayers were already answered, or need revising.

Those answered prayers are then recorded in a little thanksgiving book.

The practice of reflecting allows me to see the miracles, blessings and answers to prayer all the time and to constantly encourage me to pray more.

More importantly for me, it reminds me to stop and say ‘Thank You’. I always have this image of the ten lepers who begged Jesus for healing and were cleansed as they went on their way… but the one who came back to thank Jesus, he was made whole!

I want to always remember to acknowledge, notice, recall, remember and praise and thank my God for all the prayers He has answered every day and to never forget all of His benefits.

I like to do this publicly each month, to praise God publicly and to encourage you to not give up praying, and to keep looking for those answers to prayer in your every-day life.

My five minutes are over now, but I will take this opportunity to now include my heartfelt gratitude for all the prayers answered during the month of July – those specific prayer intentions, as well as all of those general heartfelt longings for loved ones and the groans of the Spirit, that I know He hears.

(I had not forgotten to do my monthly thanksgiving, but I have been extra-specially busy these past Summer weeks. It is too easy to let it slip and allow busy-ness to become an excuse to forget again.)

So specifically I thank and praise God for:

For help, ideas and blessings during the two Sunday School lessons

For the kindness, prayers and support of friends and church family during some difficult weeks

For the prayers for me for freedom

For your many promises to me, especially psalm 103

For the safe travel connections for my sons and for the opportunity for them to holiday together

For another powerful EH weekend training and for all the work You did in and through us

For a blessed visit and couple of days with J and V

For the dedication of the refurbished building, and for the dedication of K, and the blessed fellowship connections and gatherings for each

For showing me images and memories, and guiding me in my own healing journey with You

For a blessed trip to Cheltenham and laying to rest of R’s ashes and for the smooth arrangements and renewed relationships and contacts.

For precious times with grandchildren

For breaking strongholds and revealing truth

For J and J and their willingness to help professionally

For your Peace in the storms and for financial help

For a lovely party for J and S and all the precious guests

For a precious family day out together

For a blessed time of fellowship and connection with S

For faith, peace, hope in you

Glory to God in the Highest Heaven and Glory to God deep in my heart.

Don’t forget to say thank you.

Please be the one leper who comes back daily to say thank you.

Open Heaven for simple people – reblog

You must all know how much I’m leaning about prayer over the last 12 months and how amazed I am at how God hears our prayers and answers even mine!! Yes, me. He listens to me!

Dear Jennifer, at ‘Feeding on Jesus’ blog, has produced a short audio ‘devo’, as she calls it, on this subject that has captured my heart.

Please listen and be blessed with the truth in this message.

Thank you Holy Spirit for giving Jennifer this truth to share so beautifully with us.

Click on the link below and listen for 10 minutes.

Remembering to say thank You for November

The more I have reflected these past months on answered prayer and thanksgiving, the more I realise that my attention is shifting to giving thanks and praise to God no matter what the circumstances. My prayers may not be answered the way I want, but His ways are higher, better, wiser and more perfect than my ways… I need to trust that God is always Good, always Righteous and always Faithful.

Today I revisited the story of the old lame man, begging since youth at the temple gate… He thought he wanted money from Simon Peter and John, but what God wanted to give him far surpassed his wildest dreams and gave him back his true life and dignity as a child of God.

This is God’s way.

Praise His wonderful name.

Despite this, I still bring my requests in confidence to my Father in heaven, knowing that He asks us to come with confidence and to ‘cast all our cares on Him’.

I often find visualising a prayer very helpful, so I will share, as an example, a scene I am currently praying for a lady I met last week, called ‘S’. (She has a form of blood cancer that she is told is inoperable, terminal and now simply a matter of time. I asked her if I could pray for her and she said although she is a Catholic, she is not really practising her faith.) The scene I have been praying through, and seeing in my mind’s eyes, is that she will hear the knock of Jesus on her heart’s door and will let Him in and go along to Mass; that she will receive the Eucharist and then the body and blood of Jesus will course through her veins – from the crown of her head to the souls of her feet – and she will feel it’s healing, life-giving power running through her; that the hospital check-up will reveal her ‘remission’ and that she and all her loved ones will give glory to her Lord and Saviour. As I prayed this I touched the crown of my head and followed through my whole body down to the souls of my feet and felt and saw the tingling new life.

This is only my way of visualisation and it helps me to focus my prayers. I may never see the lady in the shop again. With some prayers we never know how or when they were answered – not in this life anyway. Like with the lame man at the temple gate, God may have better plans and do it His way. But I do know that God has heard my prayers for ‘S’ and will answer them.

For the month of November, I have been blessed with many specific answers to prayer, for which I want to publicly give God all the glory and honour and praise:

For all the insights and refreshing in preparing the blog-posts about remembrance so far this month.

For the examples of so many Saints and martyrs who have helped to preserve the church and teach the faith as it was handed down from the apostles.

For showing me how to synchronise all this research into church and group lesson plans too.

For my personal remembrance of a late but loved friend; and

for my anniversary of 37 years since my baptism.

For ‘C’ being fully off the smoking now, though still ‘vaping’.

For blessing and refreshing ‘L’ and ‘D’ in their body, hearts and minds.

For blessing ‘B’ with a job.

For blessing ‘I’ with encouragement and a new sense of purpose and commitment.

That teas and coffees and richer fellowship is now returned and established back at church.

For giving ‘D’ courage and blessing as he ‘breezed’ through his first and second successful cataract operations in November and that he can already drive safely alone (after 6 months not able).

For wisdom and clarity to gather and submit all the relevant tribunal evidence requested in good time.

For all the kind letters of support and prayers over this time.

For motivating and helping me to wisely restructure and update everything in my business.

For dinner with ‘C’ and for his creative support with my book.

For a further remembrance and lovely reunion 40 years on from school.

For a wonderful return of the baptismal pool in church, for ‘S’’s amazing testimony and baptism.

Again I say thank you to God for His mercies, which are new every morning. None of us know what the day or the morrow will bring, but we can have every confidence in our Daddy God and His amazing grace and amazing love for each one of us. We are not worthy of this, except that we are now robed in the righteousness of Jesus. God looks at us and sees the righteousness of Jesus over us.

Blessed be God forever.


The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt (1827–1910) illustrating Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me”. The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing “the obstinately shut mind”. This hangs in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Please be encouraged to also pray for those you may never have been privileged to meet – for our persecuted family throughout the world and wisdom for all the leaders and authorities. And never give up praying for anyone God has laid on your heart, especially those who still have not opened the door to their hearts to Jesus. Your prayers to God are powerful.

Lastly, dear friends, I thank you for coming to read my blog.

Please share your thanks to Father God in the comments below, or privately as you remember His abundant blessings and faithfulness in your life.

August Praises

Isn’t gratitude one of the greatest pick-me-ups? How many times has a dose of the doldrums been transformed into bubbling joy and calm, simply by thinking through and naming all the things for which you are grateful? Have you ever done it long enough to come to the end of your list?

But, slow learner that I am, I again made the mistake of thinking I didn’t have anything interesting to blog about last week and was too busy to listen… yet I had a post to be written all along. I had made a commitment (ooh, serious word!) to giving public thanks to God every month, for His faithfulness in hearing and responding to my prayers, with His Father heart of love. I am so excited, on a daily basis, as I acknowledge petitions that are answered, issues resolved, miracles happening… as I witness God happening in my life and in the lives of those around me… but, come the end of the month, I think – “I’ve nothing to write about!”

So here we are on 21st September and I’ve still not given public thanks and praise for all God’s visible goodness and intervention throughout August. But I will do so now, with repentance again for my warped priorities! Meanwhile God is so faithful, that my notebook for September continues to show countless blessings!

august definition: 1. having great importance and especially of the highest social class.

So, August praises to God is a fitting title, in all respects!

I give thanks:

That the chairs went back into rows in church, after 18 months of restrictions,

That C got more than enough distinctions and merits from his access course and a good grade for his GCSE maths, and was offered a place in university.

That my videos, recordings and writings continued successfully and the fourth edit of the book finally complete and is off for feedback.

That August holiday lunch-club was successful and many local families blessed with food.

That S and I had a very productive week of DIY in the house, related well, and managed to visit old friends.

That J and V got the council house they were looking for.

That I was able to receive the medical advice needed and tests all clear.

That You healed my right foot.

That I was able to help S to edit her paper enough to finally submit it.

That I was able to have a weekend away with old friends and all went smoothly and well.

That D and R back together, so child-care issues resolved.

That B’s tests and urgent flight tickets all resolved smoothly.

That I’ve been honoured to host a home-group for the new prayer course.

That S’s travel plans worked well and was released from the quarantine and able to visit all the people planned for.

That D’s cancer has gone and she is well.

That the tribunal hearing has been postponed until a more suitable time and venue.

That I was able to spend more time than usual with my beloved grandchildren this month.

Lord, there were 3 disappointments this month – 2 people for whom I had prayed, but who died. I don’t understand why, but I trust You. I trust You to know the bigger picture and continue to entrust all the bereaved into Your loving arms.

Not all of my prayer is petition and intercession (asking for intervention and favour for self and others) but many areas of growth and life are just too difficult to define in words and to quantify or qualify. Praise and gratitude are a large part of my relationship with my Lord and Creator.

I am most grateful that I can come with confidence into the presence of God and that He not only knows me better than I know myself, but that God loves me despite knowing the areas I hide even from myself. In other words, I am most grateful for the relationship with God and the fact that I really can bring all burdens, concerns, questions, celebrations and everything – even disappointments and laments – to a loving God, who listens, comforts and lights those burdens and pains with a peace beyond expectation and a joy that seems extravagant!

You are so loved! Always pause to give thanks for that!

In Our Gethsemane

In Our Gethsemane

How is it I should pray?”

– In my distress I often say –

But He has shown me the way,

– In His Gethsemane…

It was the night on which He prayed

– for in His flesh He was afraid –

Your Will be done”, he said.

He asked if we would stay

– An hour with Him and pray –

On this, His darkest day

– In His Gethsemane…

It was the night He was betrayed

– that was when He paid –

For the mess that we have made.

Thy Will be done?” I say,

– Not an easy prayer to pray! –

But I TRUST that YOU WILL stay

– In MY Gethsemane.

(Holy Thursday – 1st April, 2021.)

Reflecting on disappointment – when God says “No, dear child!”

In the hour of our greatest need – in fear, worry, hurt, pain and disappointment – this is when we face the greatest temptation and when the devil prowls…

In the hour of our weakness, we need to TRUST HIM

– to stay awake, alert,

watch and pray…

May we watch and pray with our brothers and sisters and support them in one another’s Gethsemane.

Unequal exchange

Midway through February, I wrote a post about “Answered Prayer”, because, in the space of less than 24 hours, I had heard reports back of 3 instances where exactly what I had been praying for and visualising had happened to those 3 individuals.

Naturally this was a great encouragement for me to keep praying in such a visual, specific and intentional way, for whatever I was asked to, or felt called to, pray for.

I recalled Jesus cleansing the ten lepers and only one came back to find and thank Jesus. Jesus asked where the others were and declared that this man’s faith had made him “whole”.

I thought of the importance of thanksgiving and of how my focus is often on the prayer requests and needs, but not so much on even noticing when prayers are answered, and somehow taking it for granted when all is well again.

I knew my praying and thanksgiving needed to be equally focused and intentional.

I decided to start keeping a special book in which I only record answered prayer – a “Miracles” journal.

I wrote down those prayers I recognised as being answered during February, and gave thanks for all those answered prayers that I cannot see myself, because they are ongoing, or being worked on in a different realm.

I have done the same for March.

As an ‘aide-memoire’ of names and needs whilst praying, I write down separately all the things I am praying for specifically, but also to prompt me to ask, later in the week, how that person or situation is progressing – then my prayer either continues, changes specific focus, or is written into the “miracles” book and becomes praise for a testimony of the divine intervention of an all-powerful God.

I want to now thank and praise God publicly for all of the prayers answered during March, but first I want to say that when God “answers” prayers, He does not always answer ‘my prayers’ in the way that I think they need to be answered.

Sometimes God says “NO” to my specific request, because God sees the bigger picture and He knows that what I am asking for is not the best way for that person or situation.

Sometimes God says “WAIT”.

During March I want to thank God specifically for:

CJ’s lung X-rays showing they are clear of cancer

R’s 16 days sober and financial progress

C’s washing machine

J, C and E’s negative covid-test results

My 6 years sober and those blessed by reading the story

J’s work commendations and acceptance to do PHD

S’s decisions made and courage to act

J’s recognition of need for healing

R and W both pouring out their hearts full of painful memories and burdens

Canon Tom winning the legal battle declaring ban on church ‘unlawful’

G’s physical progress and healing

Inspiration and great help with personal book writing and favour with endorsements

I also thank God for 3 answers that were not what I asked for:

For the 2 sweet spirits He took home to be with himself in glory

For the other challenge now to be faced – but knowing it is not to be fought with human strength.

And I thank God that He continues to hear us when we cry out to him and He hears all our prayers, petitions and requests.

He is pleased when we entrust our burdens to Him, believing that He loves and cares for us.

And He loves it when we return to give Him thanks and remember His goodness and favour.

The thing I most want to thank God for this month then, is the knowledge that when I place the needs of individuals, peoples and situations into the hands of Him who created the earth and everything in it, I entrust it all into His powerful, safe, capable and gentle hands.

And God, in His mind-blowing love, not only takes these cares, concerns, fears and burdens upon Himself, but He exchanges them for His perfect PEACE!

What an unequal exchange!

I give Him my burdens and He exchanges it for His peace!

All I can give God in return is my THANK YOUs and to loudly declare my love for Him.

My favourite verse these past few months has been:

Do not be anxious about anything,

but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition,

with THANKSGIVING,

present your requests to God.

And the PEACE of GOD, which transcends all understanding,

will GUARD your HEARTand MIND in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Always remember to give thanks to God, because He is ALWAYS GOOD.