Don’t forget July thanksgivings!


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.

April thanksgiving blossoms

April thanksgiving blossoms

Magnolia blossom in Newstead Abbey gardens

As the daylight hours lengthen, the trees bloom and flowers burst out, my heart sings, refreshed and delighted:

Blessed be God forever.

I praise Father God for His unfathomable love, that He would want to save a wretch like me!

Thank you for calling me, choosing me and equipping me, and this precious reader, with quality seeds to sow and for all the subsequent growth, blossom, fruit and the harvest in our lives.

Blessed be God forever.

I thank God specifically today for all the fruit and answers to prayer during April.

That S achieved grade As and has blossomed during her time in the school.

That S finally wrote his article.

For all the families blessed by the 2 weeks of lunch-club over Easter and for all the amazing volunteers. For your faithful provision for this.

For the opportunity to bless 3 special people and to celebrate their birthdays with them.

For the creative ideas for the Sunday School lessons and great tasks to do with my own grandchildren too.

For the beautiful liturgy of the Easter Triduum, the opportunity to enter into it all and the rich revelations and blessings that came from it.

For my new Saturday volunteer.

For opportunities to bless specific S, E and J with a cuppa and a welcome in the shop.

For sorting out the upcoming weekend that I was unaware needed fixing.

For introducing me to new bloggers through the FMF community.

For other opportunities to grow relationships and connections with the beautiful people you have put in my life – for each one of them, family, friends and passing acquaintances – I am truly so gratefully delighted.

Thank you that I can bring their prayer requests to you and you answer those prayers.

Blessed be God forever.

For saving H in the accident, for sending the right people to get the van out of the ditch and for him still not missing the ferry!!

Thank you for S and those others who have said they will come to the banquet.

Thank you for leading me to the right counseling course and for opening that door and a place becoming available.

For providing for this.

That my presentation event was not cancelled, but went ahead and was successful.

For all your help preparing the material and for giving me Your peace, so that I could deliver the material.

Thank you that I even sold 2 paper copies of the book and made some lovely connections at the centre.

Lord, I am so grateful to You that I no longer feel the need to run away and hide – from You or from anybody.

For Psalm 139 and all the truths therein.

Thank you for Your faithfulness to me and Your great patience and mercy every day of my life.

That You know me better than I know myself and yet You still love me.

That You are my HOPE and my Healing.

Blessed be God forever.

Lord, I thank You for answering each of those specific and general prayers. Let me never take You for granted or forget all that You do for each one of us – that You care for those that we care about.

What were you grateful for during April?

My March Joys and Thanksgiving

March Thanksgiving

Spring bursting out along the paths.

I do love March.

March contains my birthday and some clear signs of Spring; plus more daylight hours and therefore the hope of more opportunities to be out and about.

We have had some amazingly hot weather and some crazy snow and hail downpours – truly balmy weather, just as we British love it!

This March I scheduled several very sociable occasions, so I found myself extremely thankful for the connections to wonderful people that have blessed my life.

I had a party for my birthday, a trip away to see special friends, a reunion of great school-pals and the occasion of a funeral thanksgiving service to meet up with memories of special people from my past.

I am so thankful for each and every one of those people and for the value they have added into my life. So grateful.

My word for March, and for most of this year so far, has to be faithful. Not me, but God.

God is so very faithful.

Here again I want to give public thanks to God for all of the visible answers, during March, to specific prayers brought before His throne.

Specifically I thank God for:

Being well enough to go ahead with the party and for all being well enough to attend.

For inspiration to make just enough food to serve everyone throughout the day and not be overwhelmed with leftovers.

For an invitation to do a presentation at a lit-fest in April.

For smooth, seamless train connection on each of the journeys away.

For the timing and honour of being with D at the moment I was needed and for many opportunities to glorify Your name.

That D has a job and home that she loves.

For being able to take the opportunity to meet face-to-face with some great writer friends.

For 3 invitations for food and connection with old acquaintances in London.

For a successful DIY week and mutually pleasant company.

For encouragements for myself as a writer and blogger.

For evidence of real growth and healing of my inner-child and for a great new strategy to help me face fear.

For the great turn-out of love and friendship for the thanksgiving service for a great man of God.

For scheduled catch-up time with L. and film nights with C.

For the celebration of 7 years sober – for Your help every step of the way and for AA and the wonderful community they are.

For healing and refreshing L.

For the deepening friendships in our special ‘home-group’.

For mothers everywhere, but thank you for all the blessings that I have received as a mother and a grandmother – joy beyond words!

Lord, You are faithful.

Psalm 5:3 says, ‘In the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.’

Blessed be God forever.

What are you grateful for today?

Thanksgiving for February.

Despite the gloom of devastating news around the world, people are still praying and are seeing answers to prayer.

In extra-ordinary circumstances, we see extra-ordinary kindness and supernatural grace.

I am so grateful for each act of kindness shown to a person in need, at this time and always.

Acts of kindness are signs of hope, which generate gratitude in others.

Gratitude recognises hope and is simultaneously a beacon of hope.

The more grateful we are, the more abundance we recognise we have to be grateful for.

A grateful heart makes me conscious of the present, helps me to be mindful, helps me to lift my focus away from problems and to look for solutions.

Gratitude makes me smile, gives me contentment and peace and joy and it gives me the compassion to be generous to others and to become an answer to their prayers.

On a daily basis, personally, I need a lot of time and space alone, to recharge my batteries. Having company challenges this, but the benefits always far out-way any inconvenience!

That said, my life is about relationships – my relationship with God and my relationships with all the beautiful people I have had the honour of getting to know. I am so thankful for all of the people in my life.

The gratitude in this blog is specifically for the month of February.

Though my life is full of people, February was an extra-sociable month for me.

My first-born son, whom I’ve not seen for 18 months, came home from Vienna for a fortnight’s break. Not only did I enjoy some precious time with him, but also many of his friends dropped in to see him – an added blessing for me.

My sister also had made a trip South from Orkney and she came to spend a few days with me, which was also precious.

In between, an old school friend, visiting Nottingham, also had an evening and morning to spare with me.

I am so grateful for these beloved people, who no longer live close by – for who they are and for those opportunities to spend more quality time with them.

In other special intentions, I am so thankful for God for the following answered prayers:

That J.’s travel home to the UK was smooth and easy.

For some great family gatherings, meals in and out.

That D. and J. are now both on sober journeys.

That L. has been given leave to be a stay-at-home mum until T’s 3rd birthday.

That S. has sailed through a bout of Corona.

That A.’s neck-brace is now removed, the family reunited and God glorified in this.

That a positive connection was made with D. and R.

For F.’s beautiful spirit and that You took him suddenly and without any suffering.

For healing and restoring L. (and sustaining her with Psalm 23) and bringing her back to fellowship.

For the opportunities of zoom to allow T. and G. to lead home-group.

For all the families we could bless with half-term lunch-club and for C. and the team serving.

That D. got to see R. in the nursing home, despite all the regulations.

That an old friend was re-acquainted with S. through my book.

That Z got the job he applied and worked hard for.

That R. Got the job she went for and loves it.

For re-connection with R. and that she is writing, healing and growing closer to You.

For the blessings of donations from local stores for our Kilos of Kindness to bless our communities.

As always, I thank God for all the requests and cares that I have entrusted to Him and for the knowledge that throughout February, although I may yet see no results, I trust that He has already answered in His great mercy and compassion.

I am also grateful for all those who are praying for me and for all their loved ones.

If you want to pray, but don’t know where to start, pray for God’s will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Speak to your heavenly father as you would to your closest friend and pour out your concerns however they come out, knowing that He listens, understands and cares more passionately than you do.

Then thank God for hearing you.

What are you thankful for today?

Who is thankful for what you said or did today?

Entering 2022 with Thanksgiving

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4

This theme and this verse has come up so many times this last month, and it delights me now that I am beginning to understand it by experience and not just by hearing.

This monthly public thanksgiving to God now marks one whole year of doing this!

This morning I looked back, in my ‘Answered Prayer’ book, to the first records of specific prayers answered last February and over the year.

I am overwhelmed with awe and such gratitude that the God of all creation should listen to the prayers of a little me (and you) and should allow me (and you), through prayer, to bring God’s intervention into the lives of those around me (and you!).

What an enormous privilege, honour and responsibility!!!

And I have the privilege, honour and responsibility to come before my God and to give Him thanks and to give Him the glory by publicly sharing all that God has done.

Psalm 50:23 – “Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honours me, and I will surely save all who obey me.”

So with all joy and thanksgiving and without further ado, I thank God for all the specific answered prayers during January, but also for God’s ongoing intervention in areas that still await a breakthrough, and for all of those extra blessings and favour of which I may be blissfully unaware.

– That my neighbour responded with kind neighbourliness

– That many good re-connections made with long-standing friends during January.

– That A. sold her house and has moved back home.

– For many answers to prayer for S. – that she passed her license medical; bought good return tickets to M; for the long-term parking space and the last minute transport help; for all the favour and help in the journey and though controls; for your healing, personal growth and blessings; and for your protection and blessing through recent covid.

– That my own time of isolation enabled me to do lots of writing, editing and deep work

– For J.’s successful eye operation and for stopping the nose-bleeds

– That S. is now trained and willing to cover for contingencies and for the breaks we need at work

– That K.’s loan was swiftly agreed

– For the pleasure of meeting A. and for the power and love you have shown in miraculously healing little A. and for working in M. and mum and reuniting all the family. Glory to You, Lord.

– That D. is healed and policies in place for her to return safely to work

– That a lovely parcel of provision arrived from A. and then the funding back in place for her to return to work with the team in K.

– That E.’s tumour is completely gone

– That R. has done longer periods sober and You are changing his heart

– That C.’s funding has arrived

– That You healed C. and E. of their fevers and sickness and brought us all through swiftly

– That P. was fully prepared and enjoyed his exam

– That Y. has had great care and has gone home in peace to be with You at last

– That You provided me last minute with legal representation, but You were with me, Jehovah Shammah, and You fought my court case and You won for me. Glory to You, Lord.

Lord I worship and thank You for Who You are – such a Good, Miracle-working, Love-in-action, Holy, Amazing God and the most loving Father EVER!!

I am so grateful for Your faithfulness in all of Your promises:

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

And that

Your mercies are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22

my choice of images reflect the morning sun breaking through the path through the trees…

Highlights from 2021 and gratitude for December.

What are your highlights from 2021?

As I considered my own, my thoughts went straight to my answered-prayer book, where, since February 2021, I have persisted in writing out prayer requests, following up on progress (in areas for which I’ve been praying) and then writing down my thanks for each answered prayer.

This was new to me.

Before I began this practice, I have to admit that I would often pray for pressing requests, for myself and for others, and then, when the urgency was gone, forget all about it!

Since keeping a log of specific requests, following up and saying thank You to God, my prayer life has been a delight! It really has become, as the old hymn says, ‘a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.’

My other highlights of 2021 have included several small holiday breaks in the UK, with family groups and friends – times to just cherish one another’s friendship.

Church family relationships have been another highlight, with growth, baptisms and new connections being formed, despite all the restrictions and the ever-changing territory.

In that new territory – a highlight has been the possibilities of zoom to keep us connected and to form friendships and connections over the airwaves. I’m so thankful for those possibilities and opportunities to connect across countries and continents, like never before.

My last highlight is God’s unfailing faithfulness and provision, this year as every year. I never cease to be amazed at how faithful God is in providing all that we need!

Some of you will know that on a monthly basis I publicly give thanks, here in my blog, for the prayers I know have been answered over the preceding month.

I now give thanks specifically for the answered prayers throughout December 2021:

For ‘A’ s baptism

For invitations to several wonderful celebration gatherings for Christmas and birthdays this month.

For material support and reassurance for ‘R’.

That ‘K’ and ‘M’ have been refreshed in their family and their income

That ‘J’ was released from hospital for Christmas and recovered

That ‘I’ was out of hospital for Christmas

That ‘S’ is ‘in remission’, could have the transplant, and was home for Christmas

That Mrs W recovered her serious illness and went home

That ‘S’ got new diagnosis and medication and has renewed hope

That everything at the Carol Concert was perfect and God was there

That ‘A’ had a successful first term in teaching

That my family were able to connect with scattered loved ones using technology and had many reunions online

Finally my thanks for all those answers to general prayers – for protection, inspiration, friendship, love, growth and ongoing blessings, that build incrementally, such that we only see in retrospect.

In addition I learned 2 important lessons.

1) About 2 weeks into December I was bemoaning the lack of entries in my answered prayer pages for the month. (As I admit it, I sound very cheeky and audacious!) As clear as spring water, I heard in my Spirit, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” I saw that my specific, intentional praying had lapsed a little, so I set to praying in earnest once again and with that came immediately a surge of joy!

2) After looking at highlights of the year gone, I prayerfully looked forward to my own hopes or visions for the year ahead. I also asked and wrote down the hopes and prayers of loved ones for 2022. And I sensed a weariness. Some prayer requests are ‘carried over’ from last year. Some have been carried over for many years! The words, ‘Though it tarry, wait for it’ came to me then. These words have become like an ear-worm in my spirit, to encourage me to persevere in prayer for the things laid on my heart to pray for. I don’t understand why sometimes we need to ask over and over for the same thing, but we do. It will surely happen, the Scripture says, if we tarry (linger, persevere, stay with it) and wait.


This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

Habakkuk 2:3

though it tarry, wait for it.

Did you learn any valuable lessons you can share?

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.

October Thanksgiving

This morning I was struck by the words and face of a young boy from Bangladesh, who struggles in ways I can hardly imagine, but whose smile displayed his resilient heart of gratitude. His words, written in an Open Doors article, read “God always hears our prayers and answers through His people.”

I realised with gratitude that many of the answers to prayer throughout October were answered through other people, though of course not all of them were people who acknowledge God in their own lives. Being an ‘introvert’ personality type, I need to spend a good portion of time ‘recharging my batteries’ alone with God, and my pen, in my own space. That said, I also need to spend an equally good portion of time serving others in community, as this energises my purpose and exercises my talents. Learning to ask for help is part of this season’s learning for me. It is very humbling to learn to receive the kindness and help of others and, though it is not always easy to receive, I find it helps to remember the joy and freedom that the giver enjoys.

I wonder how many of the blessings, that you have received this month, have come through the hands, words and love of others?

I am so grateful to God for the following answers to prayer, throughout October, and so grateful to all those beautiful and gracious souls who served and blessed me and others. Whilst I thank God here for His direct intervention, I hope I have also remembered to personally thank each of those, through whom much of the support and blessing has come.

For healing my back pain and for D and M who prayed over it.

For the 8 big bags full of winter coats, hats and gloves, that I was able to deliver to the homeless shelter and for all those who generously donate such items.

For the webinar ministry and the delicious soak-in-prayer time of revelation and peace.

That R will now not have to find a new place to live.

For the whole family invitation to a party gathering and the wonderful friendship, food and fun.

For offers for a lift to a celebration out of town and then for that reunion of the wider family.

For K’s visit and stay, and D’s, and P’s and the opportunity to welcome, host and enjoy friendships.

For C coming for dinner and friendship.

For C and friends with whom one can always pray comfortably together.

For A’s continued recovery and excellent health reports.

For S successfully coaching me on zoom technology.

For the precious friendships and growth in our weekly small group.

Having had the challenge of a court-case, I thank God for His promise in Proverbs 22:22, that He will fight my case; for the testimonial of support from C; for the last-minute inspiration before the hearing; for the support, prayers and encouragement of church family and friends and for Jehovah Shammah going into the court-room before me and giving His peace, grace and favour; for J who accompanied me on the day and for the judge who gave me advice and a further 28 days to collect appropriate evidence.

For inspiration and ideas of all the great evidence I can collect.

For R’s help creating a spreadsheet.

For A coaching me on social media development.

For the blessing of seeing and hearing the light and joy and growth in J and C and for the constant and ever delightful blessing of my beloved grandchildren.

Lastly in October, for being able to attend the refreshing and fellowship of the ‘army of women’ gathered at the Orchard Conference in Birmingham.

We need one another and I am so grateful for such a diverse, wacky, beautiful network of relatives, family and friends and for all those friends I have never met. I’m so grateful for the online community of blogger friends, webinar friends and other online zoom and social forums, where the beauty and love and kindness of humanity can be so clearly seen and shared.

For all of you I have connected with, I bless you and thank you.

Thank you for reading.

How many of the blessings you have received this month have come through the hands and words and love of others?

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!

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,


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.