Just One Word

 

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!
Liz

Golden Moments

 

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. 
 
 

Not Fit for Company!

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.

Inhale. Exhale.

Psalm 141:2-4 NIV

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.
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,

Liz

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.

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

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:

Image

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!