Heavenly Father,

Those warning lights on the dashboard of my van are there for a reason. Sometimes I pay attention to them, and other times I decide it must just be a faulty sensor and I ignore it. Those lights are there to warn us to stop and see what’s wrong. If we ignore it too long, it could mean a huge expense or the end of the vehicle. They come on to warn us to fasten our seatbelts, change our oil, check our tires or some kind of fluid level (oil and gas are critical!), or a serious issue such as our engine or transmission.

I have come to realize You put warning lights in our lives. The closer we pay attention to You, the more we realize those flashing lights in our spirit are trying to warn us. When our peace, love and joy are running low, when we are running out of energy, when our inner GPS doesn’t know where to go next, when we get overheated, when fear or bitterness start rearing their ugly heads…we need to STOP and run to You! We need to run to our strong tower to get refreshed, renewed, redirected, and checked out. Since You are the One who made us, You are the One who knows how to get us back in alignment with Your specifications for us personally. You, alone can fine tune us and keep us going on this road of life.

I used to get mad when something went wrong with my car. It’s a machine. It should simply serve its purpose! But it has to be given the proper care and maintenance to do what it was designed for. It has to have regular input of gas and oil to even operate. I have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Father, help me pay attention to those warnings lights in my spirit which You use to let me know I need to come back to You. Remind me not to try to keep going despite the warnings. Help me learn to let you fill me, tune me and guide me at all times, and to STOP right away when there is a warning signal, and come to You.

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“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”  Psalm 51:12

“You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”  Psalm 32:7

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, let me stay in Your presence until I am filled with Your peace…

Wonderful Lord,

I am so sad. I know I let someone down (again). I forgot something that was important to a dear friend. I realize it rocked our friendship a bit…but my forgetfulness can never unglue the eternal bond we have in Jesus Christ. She and I both know that! I may let her down. Others may disappoint me. It is all a reminder that You are the only perfect Lord God Almighty. You alone are worthy to be praised and trusted. Even when we think You’ve let us down or forgotten about us, there will come a time when we realize that You knew exactly what You were doing and it was all out of Your pure and holy love for us. You, alone, know the perfect plans for each of us. You, alone can take our mistakes, poor choices and trials—and turn them into something glorious when we love and trust You.

I pray that this sweet friend, who I disappointed, discovered (again) that she can count on You when others fail her. I cannot give her what You can. I could never advise her like You are able to. You see so much more in her life than I ever could. I am just a simple little voice calling others to turn to eternal life with You through Your Son Jesus. I do not see the eternal picture of all that is needed in another’s life—but You do, Lord. I can offer counseling, advice, love, friendship and compassion… but I can never be a Savior, King, Lord and God. You, alone, love perfectly at all times. You never let us down though we often let You down.

So as sad as I am that I disappointed my beloved friend, or as sad as I am when others disappoint me—I am not! I can truly say that I am thankful for those times. It’s a reminder that You are God and we are not. Even those people here on earth that I love and respect are not. When I look to You as my only Savior, Lord and God, I discover in a new way who You are. I also realize who I am not. It also helps me love others, even when they let me down. All is well because You are the Great I AM! You never ever let us down. We can count on that—no matter what things look like!

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 “O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You.”  Psalm 84:12

“Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils, of what account is he?”  Isaiah 2:22

Jesus said in John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.”

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, who am I trusting?

Heavenly Father,
A couple of people in totally unrelated situations have come to me lately to talk because they are at the end of their rope. They have exhausted everything they can think of to do. They see no possible way out of their situation. They have tried and tried to no avail. Nothing has worked and there is nothing else they can do. After they poured out their broken, weary hearts, I wanted to say with excitement, “That’s such a good place to be!” Yet I have to do it kindly—because I’ve been where they are. I know how painfully hopeless it can seem. I know how it feels to give it everything you can possibly give—and for it not to be enough. But, it is actually one of the best places to be.
Father, it is when we have come to the end of ourselves and our own ideas—that we realize we can do nothing. That is a ripe time for people to simply surrender their will to You. What they see as a hopeless situation, You see as the possibility for a new beginning with You. When there is nowhere else to turn, it is an opportunity for them to turn to You. It has to be our choice to turn to You—not to tell You how we want You to work things out, but to admit that we can do nothing through our own strength, wisdom, plans, and will. It is obvious that our own plans have failed. Now, we can ask You to accomplish Your will in our lives with no thoughts or ideas of our own. We can truly ask You to take over. We can finally surrender our own ways and be open to Yours.
Lord, I know You see deep into our hearts. You know what a painful place it can be to surrender our own will. Your Son Jesus had to struggle through that same place in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He willingly headed to the cross. It is when we give up and let You know there is nothing we can do…when You say, be still and watch what I can do through a surrendered will. Lord, help me become better at surrendering before I’ve tried absolutely everything else. Help me learn that I can do something—I can surrender my will daily and pray for Your will to be done. Then let me watch what You do in and through me. I pray the same for these two people I love who are at this place right now.
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Jesus prayed…”My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
“Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for ME will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from ME you can do nothing.” John 15:5
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Prayer Prompt-
Father, I admit I can do nothing apart from You. I surrender…

 

Heavenly Father,
My heart has been heavy all day. About four years ago, our dear friends, the Hostetters, moved to start a wonderful Christian School in the city of Beau in Cameroon which is in Africa. We keep up with what they do there through Facebook. This young couple has come stateside to give reports several times, and we pray for them on a regular basis. They have been asking for more prayer lately because of the unrest there. It stepped up to a critical point in the last few days. One group wants to take over their city to make it their capitol and create a separate state. There are killing and beatings all over the place—of children and adults. Our young friends and their children are trapped in their home. They cannot make it safely to the American Embassy and the Embassy cannot send anyone to them. One of their relatives and some supporters have been encouraging them and praying for them through a private group message via social media. Today it got so bad, they wanted the world to know what was going on there. They asked us to post it and contact our representatives. So we did.
The sad reality is, that after speaking to US government officials, is that there are similar stories in different areas in the world. People get caught in unsafe areas. They knew the risks when they went there…and they chose to go anyway—to share the good news. We have a whole lot of people praying for this family, and I’m hoping more pray with us as they read this prayer. Father, will You do what our government cannot? Will You send protection to surround their home. Father, we also pray for the sweet children and families from their school and all the deep friendships they have made there. The internet has been cut off now. There had been threats that if anyone told the outside world what was going on, it would mean imprisonment or death. We have had no contact since 3:30PM our time. But we know, that You never lose contact. Father, give them Your peace, strength and hope as they trust in You. We pray for peace in this ugly civil war.
Father, the government official I spoke to gave me several similar instances around the world. Lord, I pray for those who live in volatile areas. I especially want to lift up those who left the safety of their homeland to live in unsafe areas to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Help me be more willing to share what You gave us in Jesus Christ, even though my life is not threatened.
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“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:11
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Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, Please give this family your peace and strength, along with all those who face danger for Your sake…

Heavenly Father,

Forgive me when I don’t know the full story.  This morning, in so many words I told someone who had to ride out one of the recent hurricanes, that I was so glad they just lost power instead of their lives or their home. Then I was reminded the trauma that goes deeper than what appears on the outside. I should know that even though someone may look OK on the outside that things can be a whirlwind on the inside. After reading someone else’s post of the emotions that go on for quite a while after the storm has passed, I remembered what it was like when our home caught on fire. We were all physically unhurt. We didn’t lose all our possessions. Yet every little spark caused me to panic for months afterwards. I could smell the smoke long after it was cleaned. I had flashbacks of standing in the front yard with my family with no shoes, in our swimsuits thinking this was all we would have in the world as the fire raged. Everything in me wanted to stop the firemen from crawling into our burning home to save our material things and I wanted to yell, “It’s not worth your lives!”

How often do people look fine on the outside after a death of a loved one, during a traumatic illness, after a car accident or other traumatic event? I can’t help but think of all those who have gone through one of the recent disasters (hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes…) and know that even though they say they are fine, there is so much more going on deep within their souls. They may not even know yet how to express it or how it will alter their lives. We may care deeply about them, but we do not know the aftermath of these critical life experiences and how they will affect each individual person. Obviously, there are those who lost loved ones or all they had. It will take years to grieve and go on. Even the ones who look OK, will have to go through surprising emotions as they deal with the aftermath of what could have been; how to survive until food, gas, medical help and shelter get worked out; how to deal with the flashbacks, panic and uncertainty. Though we look upon the outward appearance to evaluate how someone is doing, we have no idea what goes on deep in the heart, mind and soul of a person.

But You do, Lord! There is absolutely nothing hidden from You. When no one else understands what we are going through…You know. When we can’t even figure out our thoughts and emotions…You know us better than anyone else ever could. Whether we look ok to others or not…You know what is going on. When it seems like no one could possibly know what we are going through…You know. When it seems there’s no way out of our circumstances…You invite us to hold on to You, the One who created, us, knows us, loves us and died on our behalf so we could never be separated from You. Whether it looks like a disaster to others or not, You are our shelter, our refuge, our Safe Place, our Provider, our Savior, our Counselor, our Guide through it all. And You completely know us and love us. Help others come to know, trust and love You during this time during and after the crisis. Real life is getting to know the One who KNOWS us!

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“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”   Romans 8:26-27

“O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O Lord.” Psalm 139:1-4

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  Hebrews 4:12-13

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, search me deeply and help me in ways no one else can….