Prayers to the Living Word
Devotional responses to the Gospel of John

John opens his gospel by revealing Jesus as the Word. As I travel through this book devotionally, I encounter the Living Word speaking to me in my here and now. I listen for the voice of God speaking to me and something profound and beautiful takes place within my heart.

This page holds my heartfelt, artful responses in the form of prayers, posted whenever something lovely emerges that I think may be stimulating for my readers.

Go to chapter: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

Pentecost by Stushi

John 1:3-5

Author of all that is, all that lives,
Light that eliminates darkness,
shine into my life today.
Let your rays of light
create order out of chaos
and illumine your mercy in me.

John 1:6-9

O Light who desires to shine through me,
make me aware of when my sheen's grown dull.
Then take me into your kind hands,
and polish me to a luster.

John 1:12-14

Living Word Incarnate,
God's one and only,
revealed in glory,
abounding in grace and truth.
This child of God
ponders your glory
and lingers
to worship you.

John 1:29-34

A sign confirmed
This is him!
A voice affirmed
You are mine!
One divine moment
bursting with God
Resonated through Your life
And, through the ages,
in mine.

John 1:35-51

Living Word, how often
do you try to speak to me,
poignantly,
with immediacy,
and yet I miss it,
caught up, as I am,
with lesser things?
My heart is poised now,
open,
listening,
as I proclaim
You are Messiah,
the King, my Lord.

John 2

Vintage wine
aged in a moment
Poured out abundantly,
lavishly.
Firstfruits of
your glory revealed
So they would put their faith
in you.

Vintage blood
of Alpha and Omega kind
Poured out lovingly,
lavishly.
A temple destroyed
then raised again
So we would put our faith
in you.

John 2:1-3:15

"My hour has not yet come."
But when it comes
Wine will symbolize blood
that is spilled
A temple will be destroyed
and raised again
The Son of Man will be
lifted up
Imparting life to all
who look in faith
Jesus, how excellently
you lived your life
Ever mindful of your hour

John 3:1-15

Jesus, when I seek an audience
with you, and you want to
stretch my mind and
enlarge my heart
to perceive new things,
to break my earthbound paradigms
and replace them with
new ones fit for heaven,
grant that I will have
eyes to see,
ears to hear, and
a heart that is open
to see the heavenly within the earthly
and to respond to the Wind
that blows, unperceived,
accomplishing more
than I could ever ask or imagine.

John 3:13-18

Love and justice move together
to reveal a divine mystery.
A snake in the desert
forged of bronze,
lifted up to stay God’s wrath,
out of love for his people.
A man outside the city
of heavenly descent,
lifted up to satisfy God’s wrath,
out of love for the world.

Love and justice move together.
We wrestle, we resist,
we twist our minds around it,
but surrender is sweet.

1 Peter 5:5-7

If humbling myself leads to
being lifted up,
not in the sense of being
rewarded, affirmed, promoted,
but in terms of accepting
sorrow and suffering
like you did, Lord Jesus...
If this surrender leads to
becoming more like you,
more an agent of
your love and grace...
Then I submit willingly.
I cast my anxiety
over this too
upon you,
in the confidence that
you care for me.

John 4:1-29

Jesus, how intentional you were,
drawing a woman into conversation
to reveal your identity to her.
Boldly and attractively
you connected with her need.
Skillfully you reached below the surface,
steadily intent on revealing who you are.
Because, in the big picture of things,
that is all that really matters.

John 4:43-54

Belief and honour
are hard won at home.
Curiosity doesn't change
the landscape
but desperation does.
A big risk is taken,
a dying son left behind,
a hard walk is made
to make a simple plea,
"Come and heal my son."

The father turns homeward,
alone and empty-handed,
carrying only the words
"Your son will live"
and it is so.
One household won,
of this man of influence,
whose desperation
breaks through the unbelief
to take you at your word.

John 5:1-15

Jesus, when your compassionate eyes
fell upon a pitiful man
and you gave him back his life,
a life long since surrendered to passivity
that could now burst with fresh goodness
Yet instead of gratitude and honour
you received only silence and tattling,
were your eyes compassionate still?

Yes indeed, for they looked
down through the centuries,
saw me, and did it again.

John 5:31-47

The invitation resounds,
reverberates, then pauses
to notice who will respond.

The voice of the Father, affirming the Son
The voice of the Scriptures, pointing to him
The voice of his works, stimulating faith
The voice of glory itself, shining from the Holy One

The invitation resounds,
reverberates, then pauses
to resonate within this heart of mine.

Go to chapter: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

John 6:1-15

The Passover was near, John reveals,
so memories of deliverance,
dependance and provision
were stirring already that day.

Memories of manna, graciously given,
mysteriously and abundantly,
gathered up to satisfy
day after day.

Stirring within while bread was multiplied,
a tangible testimony for
incredulous eyes and satisfied bellies,
of the Giver--of Bread--who endures
for eternal life.

John 6:16-21

When the night is long
and I'm working hard
to stay afloat amidst
wind and waves
Step into my boat
and calm my fears
and my striving
with your Presence

John 6:22-40

I get it now.
Your works were meant
to open eyes so we could believe
in who you are.
This crowd saw a miracle
but really didn't see it at all;
they ate their fill
but missed the feast.

You explained,
with patience and with clarity,
the threefold testimony
of Father, Word and works;
yet they missed it
and turned away.
But I, with
open eyes and mind and heart,
turn my face toward you
and declare, I believe.

John 6:41-59

Were those who walked away
like the Pharaoh, who refused
to see what had been seen,
whose hard hearts were hardened?

Clarity gives way to metaphor
and symbolism so deep
it can't be grasped:
Bread and Life intrinsically
entwined, a tapestry of promises,
repulsive and appealing.

Bread from Heaven
a devotional on the Feeding of the 5000

John 6:60-70

“Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life."
Is there more poetry needed,
a prayer more noble?
"We have come to believe and to know
that you are the Holy One of God.”
The proclamation is mine too.
It holds me safe, an anchor for the soul.

John 6:60-70

I focus in on Jesus' eyes as they look on Peter--
What is held within that gaze?
Delight in this man who lives from the heart.
Affirmation for the revelation he has proclaimed.
Comfort in the assurance that your friends will stick by you.
Love that flows from the core of your being.
Surely this much transpires between you
even as the thought of betrayal pierces your soul.

John 7:14-36

Awe and confusion move through the crowd,
belief and resistance meet each other
in the dissonance of messy exchanges.
Above the cacophony one voice is heard,
confident in his identity, intent on his purpose,
unfazed by the crescendoing tension.
I linger in the dissonance and a prayer emerges--
that I would become more like him,
focused and steady under pressure.

John 4:7-14, 7:37-39

Lord, you were thirsty so you asked for a drink
then promised to give water that fills to the brim.
Lord, I have drank of this water but I thirst still,
longing for more of what only you can give.
Do your patient work within me. Clear away the barriers.
Open wide the channel to let your river flow.

John 8:2-11

When they shoved her before you
with accusations designed only
to trap you (not her), and you knelt
to scribble in the sand,
was it to give you time (as I would need)
to let your emotions settle,
or to gather your thoughts
so your words would count?

Or was it to create a moment
for your accusers to feel caught in their fury,
to be faced with themselves,
so worked up, in contrast with your tranquility?
One well-crafted sentence diffused their plot
and sent them humbly away.
Would you teach me, Lord Jesus,
the art of kneeling and scribbling
when tensions fill my space.

John 8:2-11

Were those who had gathered to learn from the Teacher
readying themselves to cast a stone?
Had self-righteousness, so natural to humankind,
moved their hearts too toward condemnation?
The silence roared,
the Teacher spoke one sentence.
The accusers slipped away
and Jesus and the woman
were left alone.
Where was the group who’d gathered to learn?
Did they get it?
Do I?

John 8:2-11

shamed. afraid
a mere pawn in their ploy
yet somehow safe in his presence

relieved. bewildered
as the men walked away
and he rose to look her in the eye

compassion. mercy. acquittal
as they stood there alone
and the sun rose on a brand new day

John 8:2-11

The essence of your identity
Is compacted here so tightly
Tucked within so much dissonance
It’s a challenge to catch the tune.
Yet this emerges from the fray:
Light of the world you are
The promised Son of Man
Descended from the Father
For whom you speak
Truth that sets us free
To be truly free in life (and more!)
Truly free from death.
Preposterous it sounded then
And now except in light of who
You proved yourself to be
The great I Am.

John 9

It was a day like no other for the man born blind.
A gentle voice, a warm touch,
a walk to the Pool to rinse mud from his eyes,
then light and colours and the gaze
of wondering eyes set in sun-worn faces
were all within his gaze.

Who would celebrate this gift of grace,
embrace him, laugh for joy with him,
give praise and bring out the wine?
But sight was blinded by assumptions.
"It couldn’t be so", so a cause for celebration
descended into interrogation, then marginalization,
and the man walked the streets, alone.

But love won out on that day like no other,
for Jesus sought out the once-blind man
and sealed the transaction of grace.
His accusers declared blind while he,
eye to eye with the Son of Man,
bowed his knee and found a home.

Go to chapter: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

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