PrayerPoints 2020

Hello! Hello!

Happy New Year! I love the freshness a new year brings, don’t you?

Each time there is a new season in the calendar year it signals new sounds, smells, tastes, and experiences. I enjoy the refreshment of the “new” when I am expecting them, but there are other seasons that catch me by surprise! Sometimes I am in a “new season” for a while before I even realize it! You may have felt similarly as you have traveled through the various seasons of:

  • Life
  • Employment
  • Parenting
  • Education
  • Marriage
  • Health
  • Family Life

We are all traveling through seasons, though not necessarily the same ones or in the same order, and certainly not in the same way. Sometimes I think I would love to have 2020 vision in what God is doing in my life or when I am in a difficult season but, really, I don’t. He asks me to trust in Him, no matter the season. He never promised that I will see, know, or understand it all!

The seasons of the church year are relatively consistent, if you pay attention to them. They can be a way of being united together in the course of a year with people all over the world, particularly if you are from the same church body. Of course, the church year “seasons” are a manmade sort of thing, but they are based on significant happenings in Scripture, organized in a way that helps us remember better while also providing a little structure.

Instead of just taking a deep dive during the Lenten season, I plan to post a new PrayerPoint each Monday. If you have been following PrayerPoints for a while now, you may have noticed that I shared a lot more this year than I have in previous years. This year I am aiming for a steady rhythm. While I seem to learn better with more intentional focus, I need to grow in my consistency. For 2020, each weekly PrayerPoint will include a psalm, hymn, or spiritual song that will correspond to the church season and highlight something that caught my heart. The rhythm of the church year will help me be a little more grounded and give me a little focus. I encourage you to contemplate the posted words each week and see what stands out for you and write it down. I love that God’s Word is so relevant to our lives and that God uses the Holy Spirit to personalize what we hear! We can each “bump into” the same piece of Scripture and take away a different application, depending on what God is working on in our hearts.

Feel free to join me on this journey. If you sign up to receive my posts in your inbox you won’t miss a week. Otherwise, Facebook algorithms (and whether I remember to post the link) will determine whether or not you see the weekly PrayerPoint.

I am looking forward to the growth God has in store for me this year. I hope you are looking forward to your growth too! If you have a favorite hymn you would like me to see in a post, send me a message at vospower6@hotmail.com and I will consider it.

Blessings and Peace!
Liz

It’s a good morning

I woke up at 5 and decided I was not going to get out of bed just yet. Thankfully, I drifted off to sleep again. I was feeling tired before the day began so I knew it was not time to get up.

The daily schedule is so loose. And I am a person who needs deadlines to get motivated. External accountability is one of those things that is important to me. And, believe it or not, the right kind of music can be very motivating.

Take a listen to this song by Chris Rice

God tends to me while I sleep and greets me for the day. It’s a good morning. It’s going to be a good day.

Music often sets my mood so it is important for me to make sure what is running in the background is encouraging and uplifting, especially now. That might look like hymns to you but, for me, it is music with a message and a bit of a beat.

What’s on your playlist?

Let’s pray for all of the musicians who are trying to figure out how to connect with their audiences! And if you know of fun, uplifting music, share it wherever you do social media!

Create in me…

How are you doing these days? I am a bit weary.

I can tell because I am getting really annoyed with people, particularly if they are online and being really snarky.

And it is a perfect time for me to ask God to create in me a new heart….Of course, this can be a daily prayer. And, in these days, it can be an honest, hourly request.

I love the simplicity of this version of this song as well as the harmony. I hope you enjoy it!

John Michael Talbot — Create in Me

Let’s pray for those who have been laid off. I am sure they are stressed. This is a time where there are so many unknowns. I am thankful that God knows and sees. May the world see Him as we tend to the needs of others!

At the feet of Jesus

Hello!

I pray we are all spending more time with Jesus these days. Of course, it is Holy Week but since most of us are in a time of great restriction it is easier to find time to communicate with God. In fact, I believe this situation has a lot of people asking questions and looking for answers to some big questions.

I think we will all be changed through this experience and I hope it is for the better. Time will tell, of course. I know that in times of great stress and instability, I always seem to lean on God more than when things are going fine.

As you move about your day today, reach out to someone and offer to pray for their concerns. If you have a particular concern you would like me to pray for, send me an email at vospower6@hotmail.com and I will be happy to do so. Now, more than ever, it is important to stand alongside one another and be in community, even if we are not face-to-face.

I have always appreciate Christy Nockels’ music. I most familiar with her music through her group Watermark but this is a nice, new find:

Christy Nockels – Find Me At The Feet Of Jesus

A blessed Holy Week to you!

Hosanna

Another great song — click on the link Hosanna (Praise is Rising)

Hosanna to the King of Kings!

It is Palm Sunday!

This Lenten season has been so different for the entire world. And it looks like Easter will be different as well.

One of the unexpected benefits to this crazy time in life is that the rituals we have created have been disrupted. Sometimes we create rituals and we are nearly immovable when it comes to changing them.

But many of those rituals we have previously insisted on…they can probably go. Sure, they are our little opportunity to maintain some sense of control over our lives. And they might bring comfort. But are they essential?

What is essential? What is it we truly need? Is our identity wound up in how we celebrate? In how we worship? In how we serve? In how we love?

I think it is natural and ok to be disappointed in the losses we are experiencing but I think it is important not to let these things define us. Many of us have gone on for so long being able to do what we have wanted and achieved the things we were hoping for. We’ve made our plans and have had a false sense of security because they have come to pass.

Now is a great time to pay attention to what God is doing and join Him in His work. I know we are all being asked to do things differently. I know it isn’t always fun. But the whole world is on this journey. And He is with us every step of the way.

Pray for those who are in situations of abuse and addiction. It is harder to find help with all of the restrictions in place and financial strains only add to the tensions and stress.

A bonus song — The Blessing

The Great Exchange

Lent looks so different this year. In fact, everything looks different.

I have some things that are causing me stress but I can’t do anything about most of them except hand them over to God to work out. And I am thankful I can rest in knowing that He sees the picture and He knows the needs. But it is good for me to speak them aloud. And it is always

What are you giving to Him to redeem? For me, half the battle is letting go!!!

Letting go of my guilt and shame…

Letting go of my right to be mad…

Letting go of my instance on being right…

Letting go of how I think things should be…

Enjoy this sweet song from Bruce Carroll

Bruce Carroll — The Great Exchange

Let’s pray for all the small business who are struggling. Pray for the wisdom of the owners and the decisions they are making!

At the Cross

I don’t know where this pandemic finds you, but we are in a time of quiet. I know everyone isn’t in that space. My schedule has changed dramatically. I was supposed to be in Hungary for three weeks, starting April 1st, and my schedule was supposed to be pretty hectic leading up to that time.

So, here I am. Here most of us are. And, as I watch spring unfolding around me, I am thankful that God is always tweaking my perspective. He knows what I need and sometimes He makes us lie down in green pastures.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.
Psalm 23

Below is such an amazing song. I just love it! I hope it becomes a new favorite for you too!

At the Cross

Today, let’s pray for those who have wildly new routines that cause an incredible amount of stress in their lives. I am thinking of those families who have children with differing abilities that take extra care and planning and adjustments. My nephew has autism and he is just now adjusting to this major change in his schedule and life. ~ Liz

Together

One of the beautiful things that I am focusing on during these days are the ways people are working together and caring for one another. I mean, really, who would have ever thought that world leaders would be looking at one another for encouragement and strategies and solutions.

States, communities, neighborhoods — they are all looking out for one another. We each may have different rolls to play — some are larger than others — but we can each provide a helping hand, encouragement, some resources, a prayer —

Reach out to those you know and love. Check in with them. Start new traditions. Write letters. Share simple recipes. Share potential solutions to challenges people are experiencing.

For many years I was in choirs and bands and loved the way each part had a role — no one part sounded right without the others. And when everyone knew and sang their part, it was magical to me. I loved those days of harmony and being a part of something bigger than myself.

Last year, I spent a weekend at a retreat with Michael Card as the facilitator. It was a great weekend and I was reminded about his music. I know, another guy with a guitar — what can I say? Anyway, here is one of his songs and I hope you dig around and look for others!

Chorus of Faith

If you have you heard a great story of compassion during this time I would love to know about it!

Let’s pray for all the researchers who are working hard to find solutions to this crazy virus. I firmly believe their work is important for today but it may also address more issues that are bound to come up in the future. ~ Liz