(part 2 of 5)
A good rule of thumb for fishing is to have permission to do it. A permit allows you to fish many places, but not all. Always consult with the owner of the property where the water is located. If you are on private property, I don’t know that you need a license but you certainly need permission.
As soon as I thought about permission being granted I started thinking about Job. Let’s take a look at the conversation between satan and the Lord in Job 1:6-12 :
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (NIV 1984)
Not only was permission granted: Job was suggested. But that is another topic for another day.
God called the disciples – actual experienced fisherman – to be “fishers of men”. God calls us today to be fishers of men, but we aren’t the only ones fishing. Satan is also “on location”! While satan is powerful, God is the Almighty. And while it is good to be aware of satan and his minions, it is far better to know God and study how He works!
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. [Matthew 4:18-20 NIV 1984]
Jesus used the fishers of men analogy because it works. It is easy for a fisherman to see the parallels. I love it when God uses common language to express His extraordinary Truth, don’t you?
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ CrossRoads
Every day I find myself at intersections where I am called upon to choose how I will respond to my day and to my circumstances. Are there challenges? Of course there are. But I do not want to be accused of blowing momentary troubles out of proportion by whining and complaining. Much of what I deal with is momentary. It’s just that some moments last longer than others! Every day I see heartbreaking stories of really difficult circumstances. I have lived through a few myself as I am sure you have. Life on Earth has joy and pain. Thankfully, as we trust and serve an amazing God we also have the opportunity for His perspective and His life transforming work in our every day.
We all come up against crossroads. Sometimes we travel through accident-prone crazy intersections and some of our journeys take us to easy and relaxed places but each crossroad leaves us with a choice — not necessarily in the outcome of a situation but our response to the circumstance. Unfortunate and disheartening struggles are common in this life — death, disability, abuse, job loss, unplanned pregnancies, critical illness, violence, financial crisis, family feuds, etc — and while they may shape a perspective, they do not have to define a person. It is understandable for it to take time for people to work through difficult situations ~ grief and healing are not processes to race through. God’s work in my heart is more like a crock-pot than a microwave. It takes time for me to work through things.
Here is how I would ultimately like my crossroads to define me ~ that I would be found trusting and relying on my Heavenly Father to meet my every need. That I would follow His lead, rest in His love and provision, and let Him infuse any circumstance with His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and peace.
Do you know someone at a crossroad that needs prayer? Have you considered quietly but deliberately praying for them and their decision-making during this time? Sometimes we see people at a crossroad before they realize they are there. If you have been given eyes to see that kind of situation I would encourage you to lift them up in prayer!
See you at the CrossRoad!
God has surrounded me with some very prayer-full friends during the course of my adult life. I am so thankful God has placed me in an several communities with people who can boldly pray one-on-one or in small groups. This is something God must be developing me because over the course of time He has allowed me to rub shoulders (and dirty my knees) with some awesome prayer warriors! I have one particular friend now who, if she knows of a concern, will pray with me over the phone. It seems to be her first reaction if I share a concern. I have other friends who, when I share a prayer request, will say “Well, let’s pray together right now about it.” I am getting used to it. I even like it. Their insistence reminds me: Why tuck an important request away for a later time? There is no time like the present!
The first time I felt called to pray in a very unusual place was in the old Walmart in Seward, NE. A gal I hardly knew was there with her kids and I was with mine. When I greeted her and asked how she was she was visibly stressed and told me she had just come from the doctor with some scary news. As the kids visited we snuck to a different aisle while she explained the situation in hushed tones. I was overcome with the impression to pray for her right there in the aisle. I am sure no one else in Walmart knew what was happening there because it wasn’t a loud or disturbing ruckus–just two moms quietly praying for God’s protection and provision during a time with many unknowns. I am sure God used that situation to calm her anxious heart. He used it to grow my faith in Him and as another stepping stone in my developing prayer life.
I wish I could say that I offered prayer on-the-spot every time I felt impressed to do so. I haven’t. Sometimes I am just too distracted or caught up in the moment to step out in response. I know I need to be more attuned to prayer as my first response–wherever I may be!
My prayer for you is that you practice having prayer be your first response and that if God asks you to pray in an unusual place or circumstance that you respond with a “YES!” Prayer is a powerful weapon…which is why we often run into roadblocks in our prayer life. Satan knows prayer is powerful and does anything he can do interrupt this precious line of communication with our Heavenly Father!
When someone shares a prayer request, I am thankful for the opportunity to pray and the situation is often on my mind at various points in a day/week. And while a friend may ask for prayer on a specific thing, my mind always wanders and broadens the prayer. Sometimes knowing more about a situation is helpful as I pray but it isn’t necessary. Sometimes people like to explain their requests which is fine. And sometimes people are at a loss for words (or the needs are very private) so to make things easier for them I might say “just give me one word and I will cover it”. I can pray quite a bit off of one word because I just try to cover all the bases. When I am at a loss for words or direction, I just remind God that He knows the situation and knows the need and I ask Him to take care of it/them.
Here is an example of me covering the bases on just using a name:
Heavenly Father, Bless ______ today. Bless their finances, their work/school tasks and their work/school relationships. If there are medical concerns, bring them to light. If the challenge is financial, please make provision for them. Be with their family and family relationships during this time. Help this time of struggle be a time when their relationship with You is strengthened and they come to depend upon You for their every need. If they are headed down a difficult path, continue to give them warnings and give them eyes to see the warnings and a spirit that responds. You know their needs and You love them much deeper than I so I trust them and their circumstance into Your Hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
When someone asks for prayer, it immediately deepens my connection with them. I appreciate their willingness to be vulnerable with me but it is also precious that they know God wants to hear prayers from them and on their behalf. So often we look at prayer as a last resort — after we have tried everything else! This week, consider asking someone to pray on your behalf with a request large or small. It might feel awkward in the beginning but I do believe it has a tendency to strengthen your relationship with that person. Your willingness to request prayer might open the door for them to also share a request with you. And those are the types of relationships that help sustain us while we navigate life on Earth!
Lifting you up!
Do you notice those times when either exactly what you needed was provided or you were in the right place at the right time to provide for someone else? They are powerful moments – particularly if we recognize them. I anticipate they are going to happen because they seem to often enough and I don’t want to miss them when they do. I also don’t want to miss out of the opportunity to recognize (and thank) WHO is behind it.
It is so easy to write up my list of things to do and forget to first thank God for His provision and faithfulness for yesterday and ask God to bless my today. If I am in the habit of recalling what He has already done for me then my eyes, ears, and heart are tuned into His work and I see those golden moments much more clearly.
As you journey through this season of Lent, I encourage you to look forward with positive anticipation at the work God is doing in and through you. Take note. Give thanks. Trust Him. Sometimes His way of providing is something we would never have been able to imagine (for example, Jesus’ provision for us on the cross) but He delivers in ways beyond our understanding.
Heavenly Father, Give me eyes to see You and faith to trust You even if my eyes are unable to see. Thank you for your past provision. I look with anticipation to the future.
The last several days I have been honked off about any number of things. Have you had a day, week, month or year like that? What comes to my mind is something my cousin often says: “I don’t like people!” I usually do like people, so for me, this is an unfamiliar place to be.
After 72 hours of being annoyed, agitated, and frustrated by multiple things I mentioned to my husband last night that I wasn’t really fit for company. The desire to speak my mind is so strong right now that I need to be tucked away until the feeling passes. He chuckled and then probably his mind raced around trying to figure out how to keep me squelched or at least pacified enough that I didn’t blow up. Thankfully, the issues aren’t between me and him!
I sense this cloud of frustration will be settling here for a while. I know sunshine helps. I know exercise helps. And I know that burying my head in God’s Word will help the most! I am in the midst of studying the life of David in a small group Bible study. I am so thankful for the freedom and the opportunity to be in Scripture. Breathing in God’s Word and perspective makes a big impact on my words and my perspective. I plan on inhaling deeply so my every exhale is laced with His grace and mercy and love.
Breathe in. Breathe Out.
Psalm 141:2-4 NIV
2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
do not let me eat their delicacies.
It is time for some deep, LIFE TRANSFORMING breaths! I am counting on the Holy Spirit to nudge me when my mouth should open and when it should close. Pray for me so I respond appropriately!
Taking deep breaths,
Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and 40 daily PrayerPoints by Liz posts until Easter. As you travel through this season of Lent in preparation for God’s glorious resurrection may God’s Word sustain your feet on His path and focus your eyes on His cross.
PrayerPoints ~ The Hands
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