PrayerPoint ~ God’s Classroom ~ April 7

Have you ever felt unnecessarily squeezed into a painful circumstance only to realize later that God used that time to deepen and shape your character in profound ways?

A friend recently reminded me about a very difficult time in her life she looks back on and knows she was in God’s Classroom. Sure, there were things she needed to work on–she won’t deny that. But she found herself in the midst of a Frank Peretti type novel in the small town God placed her in. Significant spiritual warfare. Generational ugliness. Betrayed families. And yet, some of the most depth to relationships she has ever felt occurred there. It seemed that the whole community was undergoing significant shifts regarding what was True and Right and Godly. It’s amazing how God can teach His Truths to all but the lessons are so individualized, while being inexplicably connected to one another.

Ever been a pupil in God’s Classroom? Sometimes it is just a word or verse that seems to be popping up everywhere. Sometimes it happens as a consequence when your incredible selfishness and arrogance makes a grand debut into the lives of others. Other times, through no fault of yours, you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the middle of a spiritual mess.

Step back and take a look at who is ‘in class’ with you. Sometimes you have already learned what they are learning now. Maybe they have walked a path you will soon be walking. There is no coincidence that the people around you are in your life. Some you need to learn from. Others you need to model to.

What is God teaching you today?

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Learning to Listen,

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Vulnerabilities ~ April 6

Do you have an Achilles’ Heel? (Side note: I broke down and used Wikipedia for this definition because it was as accurate as I knew it to be.)

“An Achilles’ heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, metaphorical references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.”

I have been thinking about times when I have been down a sinful path. Was I being rebellious? Was I scoffing in God’s face? Or was I hurting and going to the wrong place for comfort and restoration? Sometimes being vulnerable leads to rebellion. Being rebellious opens one up to being vulnerable. They are very closely related though not the same.

Do you find yourself in circumstances that trigger an ungodly reaction from you? Have you noticed vulnerable people in your life?

  • The single mom who is exhausted and starts dating a guy who isn’t healthy for her–
  • A fatherless daughter who dresses immodestly and throws herself into the arms of older, dangerous men–
  • A stressed out teen who tries to escape the ugliness of this world through drugs and alcohol?
Do others come to mind for you? Do you cross your own mind?

Those people who come to mind as being vulnerable–Ask God to hedge them in and protect them. Intercede for them. Connect with them if that is possible. Think of the times in your life when you were vulnerable and thank God for His love and provision–it was there, even if you didn’t see it or take advantage of it. If you are feeling vulnerable, ask God to protect your heart and stop your feet from going where you should not go or doing what you should not do. Pray that God will grant you a willing heart to do His will. Is there someone who can be your accountability partner? Step out and ask for assistance.

Even if you traveled a difficult path, He can use that experience of yours to minister to others. Maybe God would like you to offer assistance to someone struggling in an area of sin you can relate to.

Check out Proverbs 4.

PrayerPoint ~ Traveling ~ April 5

With this being Spring Break for many schools around the country as well as Easter Weekend, it would be great for us to remember those we know and love who may be traveling. I have been taking my ability to travel for granted–between the $$ it costs as well as the risks of driving sleepy or weather concerns or vehicle concerns, well, I just think I don’t take under consideration all that typically goes well when we venture out on the road.

And if you know of people “traveling” through difficult times, be sure to pray for them. Maybe there are tangible ways you can refresh them on their journey. Some of us have more difficult journeys than others but we can all offer refreshment and God’s love.

Lord, may Your hand be on those who are traveling in the upcoming weeks. Protect, guide, and provide for them. May their journey be refreshing–wherever they are headed! In Jesus’ Name!

Blessings to you as you journey through this life!

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Money ~ April 4

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:9-11 NIV

Ugh–money. It can be such a blessing and yet such a burden. Think about it. We spend a crazy amount of time with money as our focus or goal:

  • spending
  • losing
  • seeking
  • saving
  • budgeting
  • sharing
  • investing
  • earning
  • grieving
As you consider the role money plays in your life it is hard not to love (or hate) it. Anything that takes so much energy can easily become a god.  During this economy, sometimes just the task of securing the most basic amount of money is an incredible chore. It can be so disheartening!
Pray, pray, pray for those who are unemployed and underemployed. Pray for those who are in the midst of losing their homes. Pray for those who are trying to feed their family or deal with crazy medical bills. You surely know a few families who would appreciate you lifting them up in prayer.
And as you pray, ask God to help you protect yourself from falling into the “money trap”. As you delve into His Word, He will be faithful to transform your heart and mind in the area of money!

PrayerPoint ~ Excellent or Praiseworthy ~ April 3

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

God’s breath and creative work is evident and excellent–even if you just consider nature! The intricacies, the incredible detail, the range of color, the sizes and shapes and all of the inter-dependent relationships. I am just talking about people. Now think about things on the land and now consider things in the ocean. And what about things in the Heavens? Talk about a license for creativity. God is simply amazing.

 The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,  their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4 NIV

Creation–though it has been tainted by sin, there are still glimpses of breath-taking beauty that reflect His excellent and praiseworthy work.

Seek the excellent. Ponder the praiseworthy. Let’s not get ensnared in the sin that so easily entangles us. It starts with God’s gift of faith–tucked away in our  heart, soul, and mind and plays out in the way we allow Him to live through our lives.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Thanking Him for the Cross!

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Commendable ~ April 2

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

I simply do not do enough commending. I need to spend more time training my eye to notice when the kids quietly do something without being asked or volunteer to take care of something when I ask for help.  My list of commends should be way longer than my list of complaints and it isn’t always so. It is easy to focus on what isn’t exactly right and how this task might have been improved instead of saying “thank you” or “I noticed you [insert job done here]”. Even though it might be a teachable moment, what am I really teaching when I have to always make a suggestion for improvement? And what are they catching every time that I do that?

It is important to focus on and look for the commendable. And when I notice it I need to speak up about it. This certainly applies to family life but other places as well–restaurants, dr. offices, business dealings, church, etc.

On a mission to focus on the commendable!

Liz

PrayerPoint ~ Lovely ~ April 1

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I would imagine we all have a little different idea about what constitutes lovely. But while we live in this world we will see some ugliness. Some of it will come from us. Some of it will happen to us. Some of it will happen to those we love. It is easy to dwell in what is truly ugly in this world because we bump into it all day long. Sin is all around us and it brings out some un-lovely things.

It is incredible that God can look at us and see beauty because Christ has covered our sin. Amazing. There is so much that is lovely in God’s Word and God’s promises. And in the difficult days of Holy Week–in the pain and suffering and sacrifice and surrendering of Jesus there is the beauty of God’s love that is displayed. So while God has created nature — much of it simply beautiful and breath-taking, it would seem His most amazing work is when He takes the thing we can’t possibly imagine as a good, right, or lovely thing and makes it so.

God’s idea of beauty is so unlike ours. He can bring beauty from ashes. He proclaims beautiful the feet that bring Good News.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 NIV

May your sweet feet travel far as you share what He has done in your life! God Loves You! No Foolin’!
Liz