The Gift #3 : Re-minder

Gift #3 - construction site
‘Entrance other side’ (photo: Irene Bom)

John 14:26 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’



Father-sent Advocate
sent in Jesus’ name
teach me
teach me all things
and remind me of all Jesus said
not because I forget per se (though I do)
but because the mind of Christ is
not yet fully formed in me.

I am a building site,
under construction,
and the building company
is called Trinity.

by Irene Bom

Related Scriptures
1 Corinthians 2:12-16

The Gift #2 : For the asking

Muizenberg, Western Cape, South Africa
Muizenberg, Western Cape, South Africa (photo: Irene Bom)

Luke 11:13 (NIV)
Jesus said: ‘If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’



Our Father in heaven
giver of good gifts
– good to the core –
you know what we need
to live
and move
and have our being.
We ask you
– because Jesus said we could –
– because Jesus said we should –
give us our daily bread
give us your Spirit, we pray.

by Irene Bom

Related Scriptures
James 1:17

The Gift #1 : The Holy Spirit

Rotterdam Central Station, The Netherlands
Rotterdam Central Station, The Netherlands (photo: Irene Bom)

Acts 1:4-5 (NIV)
On one occasion, while he was eating with the apostles, Jesus gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’



Jesus, baptized baptizer,
the waiting is over.
The Spirit has come.
The Spirit is here.

Still, we ask,
Jesus, counsel us
as you did the early disciples
and guide our movements today,
so we might be in the right place
and the right frame of mind
– expectant and willing –
willing to be filled, like a billowing sail,
carried, transported,
borne, supported.

by Irene Bom


Children’s prayer #1

This is the first in a series of prayers written by children from St Andrews Church, Brussels.
Thank you for sending your unstopping, never giving up, unbreaking love

Praise the Lord for what he does.
Praise him because he is good.
Lord our God is always near us, day and night.
He always will remember us.

For it is like he created a great big fantastic tree,
with his followers names on it,
and keeping watch over those people,
including me.

You will always know me.
Thank you for my love that I share.
For you are the greatest God ever.
Thank you because you teach people your word, and your greatness.
You are a great person because you sent prophets to the Israelites
to encourage them to fight Jericho and other things too.

Thank you for sending your unstopping,
never giving up, unbreaking love.

Annabelle Brink, St Andrews Brussels

Evening prayer #2

Edinburgh twilight, August 2016 (photo: Irene Bom)

May your angels, holy Son,
guard our homes when day is done,
when at peace, our sleep is best:
Bid them watch us while we rest.

Prince of everything that is,
High Priest of the mysteries,
let your angels, God supreme,
tell us truth dressed as a dream.

May no terror and no fright
spoil our slumber in the night;
free from care our eyelids close;
Spirit, give us prompt repose.

We have laboured through the day;
lift our burdens when we pray,
then our souls in safety keep,
that our sleep be soft and deep.

‘Evening Prayer’, attributed to St Patrick
(c. 389 – c. 461)

(translation by Michael Counsell)

from 2000 Years of Prayer compiled by Michael Counsell, p. 76

Related Scriptures
Psalm 91 (many parallels)
Hebrews 4:14-16 (Jesus, our High Priest)
Genesis 28:10-22 (Jacob’s Dream at Bethel)
Matthew 11:28-30 (Jesus’ invitation to bring him our burdens)

my help / your protector


I look up to the hills,
but where will my help really come from?
My help will come from the Lord,
the Creator of heaven and earth.

He will not let you fall.
Your Protector will not fall asleep.
Israel’s Protector does not get tired.
He never sleeps.
The Lord is your Protector.
The Lord stands by your side, shading and protecting you.
The sun cannot harm you during the day,
and the moon cannot harm you at night.
The Lord will protect you from every danger.
He will protect your soul.
The Lord will protect you as you come and go,
both now and forever!

(Psalm 121, Easy-to-Read Version)

Thank God for His help and protection – often behind the scenes, in ways we might never know – and pray for those in need of God’s help and protection today.

In the school of prayer with Eddie Askew

I came across this prayer in my copy of 2000 Years of Prayer (compiled by Michael Counsell). I was particularly taken with the down-to-earth, practical spirituality that ministers to you as you engage with the prayer.

See links below for more about Eddie Askew and his work with the Leprosy Mission and links to further examples of his work.

Lord, teach me to pray.
It sounds exciting, put like that.
It sounds real. An exploration.
A chance to do more than catalogue
and list the things I want,
to an eternal Father Christmas.

The chance of meeting you,
of drawing closer to the love that made me,
and keeps me, and knows me.
And, Lord, it’s only just begun.
There is so much more of you,
of love, the limitless expanse of knowing you.
I could be frightened, Lord, in this wide country.
It could be lonely, but you are here, with me.

The chance of learning about myself,
of facing up to what I am.
Admitting my resentments,
bringing my anger to you, my disappointments, my frustration.
And finding that when l do,
when I stop struggling and shouting
and let go
you are still there.
Still loving.

Sometimes, Lord, often –
I don’t know what to say to you.
But I still come, in quiet
for the comfort of two friends
sitting in silence.
And it’s then, Lord, that I learn most from you.
When my mind slows down,
and my heart stops racing.
When I let go and wait in the quiet,
realizing that all the things I was going to ask for
you know already.
Then, Lord, without words,
in the stillness
you are there . . .
And l love you.
Lord, teach me to pray.

by Eddie Askew (1927-2007)
from A Silence and a Shouting: a collection of meditations and prayers


From his obituary in The Guardian (2007)
“Eddie Askew, the former general director of the Leprosy Mission (TLM) … devoted half a century to the disease and its consequences. …
Inspired by his travels and his Christian faith, Eddie found an outlet for his creativity in painting and poetry. A Silence and a Shouting, his first book of meditations and artwork, was published in 1982. It was followed, over the years, by 16 others, and the sale of his books and paintings raised around £2.5m for TLM.” (The Guardian) whole article

A visual meditation based on an excerpt from A Silence and a Shouting
Travelling home

JR Woodward’s blog featuring excerpts from Eddie Askew’s books (search criteria: Eddie Askew)

walk, run, soar

Those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV UK)
This post touches on three key elements we find in this beautiful verse from Isaiah 40 – walking, running and soaring – explored through the medium of video/film.
It all started with the first video.
My favourite quote: “Walking is medicine for me.”
WALK (from Millican’s Meaningful Journeys)

RUN (from Chariots of Fire)

SOAR (from American Beauty) esp. first 2 minutes


2017 windows on Holy Week #8

Nazareth (photo: Kate McDonald)

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

1 Peter 4:3-9 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Sun, moon, sky, stars,
mountains, valleys, heights, plains,
fountains, pools, rivers, seas,
whatever flies, crawls or swims,
lift up your voices to the glory of Christ.
Today the world’s Redeemer returns
victorious from the inferno.

(Ancient prayer depicting the whole
of creation worshipping the risen Christ)

1. Sun and moon, stars and planets,
Wind and rain and fire and hail,
All of creation, join in our song of praise.

Sing glory! Glory to God in heaven!
Sing glory! Glory to God!

2. Land and sea, hills and mountains,
cows and sheep and birds and bees,
All of creation, join in our song of praise.

(Repeat chorus)

3. Rich and poor, kings and shepherds,
Men and women, boys and girls,
All of creation, join in our song of praise.

(Repeat chorus)

A Procession of Prayers: Meditations and Prayers from Around the World by John Carden, p. 299

words and music by Irene Bom (notation included)