PrayerPoint ~ February 25

PrayerPoint ~ The Feet

Have you ever read the comic strip Family Circus by Bil Keane? When I think of feet I chuckle when I think of some of the panels of Billy and his dotted line footprints as they travel through the neighborhood when he was only supposed to take something from Point A to Point B.
Or I think about the Israelites on their feet wandering through the desert for 40 years. How can one never quite get anywhere in 40 years?
Or Jonah getting swept of his feet and into the belly of a big fish.
And then I think about me…and some of the places I went. The places my feet took me that I had no business going to. Phew! I am thankful God provided me a way to get out of some of it. But I certainly remember being there and I think it is important to remember. It helps me to have more compassion when I see other people going places that are dangerous. And I can pray for their protection and for them to come to the important realization that getting away from bad things is not nearly as easy as getting into them–
Where is God leading you and are your feet following or resisting?
Be careful little feet where you walk.
Sometimes the path you trod will take you into a completely different direction than you intended ~ for good or for bad ~ and, thankfully, no experience is wasted with God. He can use it all for His purposes.
Heavenly Father,
I am so thankful for your promises! As a parent, I know it troubles me when my children feel like they need to make choices (small or large) contrary to what I would prefer. And as Your child, it must break Your heart when I chose to go places where You know harm might come to me. Help me to hear the Holy Spirit and take heed when I am heading in a dangerous direction. I know You have forgiven me, help me to forgive myself for those detours I took. Help me to have compassion for those who may be wandering. Help my feet to bring the Good News of the Gospel to the places I walk. And help me be willing to go to the places You send me.    In Your Son’s Name….Amen
Blessings on your day!
Liz

PrayerPoint ~ February 24

PrayerPoints ~ The Hands

Heavenly Father,
You have created my hands to do good works that will glorify Your name. Help me to discern those things You have prepared in advance for me to do. You have seen my hands participate in tasks that are hurtful. Forgive me for those times I have used my hands to harm others or myself. You were there when I dirtied my hands with sin. Thank you for the cleansing and forgiveness that is found in You alone. Help my hands to do many things for You. Let my hands show love in the daily tasks of  cleaning, cooking, driving, digging, sorting, serving, touching, typing, washing, and writing. You know where my hands need Your intervention. Please continue to nudge me with Your Holy Spirit to consider what my hands should be doing each day and soften my heart to heed Your conviction. Thank You for the gift of my hands!   In Jesus’ Name, Amen

PrayerPoints are “in season” during Lent and are written every day leading up to Easter. I have found that if I just pause long enough to listen, usually in the quiet of the early morning hours, God has things He would like me to consider. PrayerPoints are the outcome of my willingness to listen. It is always important and beneficial to be in God’s Word. My prayer is that PrayerPoints are simply a springboard to your deeper walk with God.  Liz Vos

PrayerPoint ~ February 23

PrayerPoint ~ The Eyes

Eyes are so intriguing. They are incredibly designed – by an incredible Designer. With so much available to look at, I invite you to consider what you see, where you look, and what you are looking for.
I know if I am looking for ways to be annoyed, many come within my vision in very short order. If I am looking for ways to be distracted, my eyes will surely pick up on something to distract me. If I have been hurt by something I saw, it is often quickly recalled in my mind.
Here are some of the things I want to see and appreciate and care about:
* God’s creation ~ it is truly stunning
* God’s people ~ particularly the hurting among us. Sometimes it is difficult to look at but so very important to be aware of at least in order to pray
* God’s plan ~ sometimes it seems so clear and other times we only move on faith and clinging desperately to His promises
* God’s provision ~ often in ways I cannot see or detect but always there
* God’s love ~ available in many, many forms
Gracious Father,
You have given me the gift of my eyes. Even though they may be aging and needing assistance via prescription lenses, I thank you for my eyes. Please help me to see others the way You do. There are many things available for me to see, but not all those options are beneficial. In fact, many are dangerous and damaging. Please, Lord, let help me to guard my eyes from things that I shouldn’t be looking at or looking for.    In Jesus’ Name…
Blessings on your day! May you see with His loving eyes!
Liz

PrayerPoints ~ February 22

Today is Ash Wednesday.

Whether or not you observe Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent is a great time for repentance and spiritual renewal. Here is a link to a Lutheran church in Kentucky with a great explanation: http://bit.ly/ash_wed
It is so easy to get caught up in the demands of life and skip past honest reflection and confession of my sin as well as delay or completely forget to seek God’s forgiveness and reconciliation. Join me as I journey through Lent again with considerations for prayer. The older I get, the faster all time seems to fly and this season in the church year is an opportunity to stop and savor God’s timeless provisions.
Heavenly Father,
It is so easy to let the tasks of living life edge out my time with you. Allow these next several weeks of Lent be an opportunity for reflection on Your Holy Word, a reordering of Your place in my life, and the recognition of my desperate need for You. You know my sins so well. When I pause long enough to ponder my sin, the weight is unbearable. Please help me keep that measure of recognition of the ugliness of sin as close to me as the joy of Your salvation. The beauty of You is in such contrast to the darkness of sin. May Your love and light flood my dark places and heal my sin and brokenness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

PrayerPoints are written from the heart and inspired during quiet moments with God — usually around 5am. First and foremost, I believe these are nudges from God that apply directly to me. A typical PrayerPoint is typed up within the hour of being convicted about a certain area needing prayer. You may wonder why PrayerPoints are very focused during Lent and very sporadic during the rest of the year. There are several reasons for that ~ I am often distracted and disobedient but I also pray I am discerning. Not everything God is teaching me is meant to be shared immediately. Please excuse grammatical inconsistencies!      Liz Vos

It is so overwhelming!!! Where do I even begin?

PrayerPoint ~ February 7

Have you found yourself so overwhelmed with the need to pray for others that you don’t even know where to start? Oftentimes during prayer, the most urgent rise to the top of your mind quickly but other times your mind is bouncing around from crisis to crisis.

Here is something I have started to do to help me gain a little bit of focus:

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The most Inner Circle is our immediate family. I can pause there for a long time because I know a lot about this group of people and their needs. The next group is our extended family (our siblings and their families). Next is our small group families and those who may not be in our small groups but we are close to them. After that is super-extended family ~ those aunts and uncles and cousins “in the distance” but still on our hearts. As you consider this idea, don’t forget to consider co-workers, neighbors, missionaries, etc.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Early this morning I was awake for about an hour.

**I never consider those early morning awakenings too much of a bother until about 2pm in the afternoon. :+)

When it seems like I am going to be awake for a while, I start to pray. This morning, I was able to cover a lot of ground by listing people in their family groupings. I just picture a family and name everyone in the family. This list happens to include our immediate family as well as our siblings and their spouses and kids: Don, Lauren, Landon, Elizabeth, Hannah, Ernie, Kim, Nikki, Justin, Bob, Kim, Emily, Brittany, Delilah, Charles, Nancy, Jayson, Elise, Cindy, Gary, Kassie, Michele, Carrie, Shannon, Faye, Alan, Lori, Noah, Bridget, Jonah.

Then I moved to the families I am in a small group with. I lifted up each person in the family by name. Even though I may have an inkling about their needs, I don’t technically need to know much because I trust God will fill in the blanks.

You can tweak this idea to better suit you and your situation. Maybe it can be a project you do with your kids or grandkids–you can each draw your circles on a clean piece of paper and fill in the blanks with people in your circle. You can even do it with a large piece of newsprint paper and photos of your targets!

I love how everyone’s “targets” will look different. Get creative! I think that is one of the ways God works with His people ~ He gives us eyes and hearts for different people and people groups. I have found having a target helps me focus my aim.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!” Zig Ziglar

Of course, the idea is to pray. And once you start thinking about it this way, you will see you have a lot of work to do!

Express Yourself!

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

My guess is that when God inspired these words in Philippians, He knew that whatever one dwells on, one ends up expressing. You know how it is–whatever you ponder in your heart and mind eventually makes it to your lips.

And so it is incredibly important to consider what you ponder. Do you marinate a certain frustrating encounter that ends up creating or feeding an anger and intolerance for that other person in your heart? Do you find yourself ruminating over someone’s words or actions to the point of getting really fired up about getting even or at least getting a good dig in?

I hate it when I fall into that trap!

If dwelling on false, lowly, wrong, impure, ugly, repulsive, imperfect, or unworthy things is tripping you up, make a conscientious choice to focus your thoughts on other things.  Having a hard time doing this on your own? Ask God to help you and He certainly will!

And as you express yourself, consider your words and the example they set. Encouraging words in this day and age are like a precious bloom amidst some weeds–so refreshing!

Lord,   Teach me to measure my words and to consider dwelling, truly dwelling, on Your Word alone!

The Grave is not the End!

Is it just me? Lately there seems to be so much tragedy. There is the big stuff with the weather but then there are the things that happen on a smaller scale: fatal car accidents,  suicides, a deadly cancer returning, a fall down the steps that leaves someone in a coma.

How do we cope with these kinds of things?

My fear of facing the death of the ones I love ebbs and flows. My dad died when I was six so death has been a part of my earliest memories. Sometimes I fear the earthly separation that death brings. I find it challenging to balance the intense love I have for people with the knowledge that one day, I will probably  be living without them.

As I considered the pain and failing body my mom was dealing with as well as knowing her faith, I felt selfish wanting to keep her here when she could be whole and with Jesus. It was important for me to release her from this earth and keep Heaven on my mind at the same time.

What early experiences have you had with death that have shaped your approach today? Is there fear? Is there pain? Is there hurt? Is there anticipation? I always have to remind myself of God’s perspective on death. We will all meet our Maker one day. Pray for those you know who are struggling with disease and decay. Offer to assist them in some way. Pray for their peaceful release. And pray for their families too.