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…

 

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,
I am going to truly savor this moment because I will never have it again. Each moment is beautiful and unique in its own way. Most of all, it becomes priceless when I share it with You. It will only last a second but it becomes eternal when I live it with You. My awareness of Your very presence changes everything. I’ve been told that You, Lord God Almighty, created me and have been with me since the beginning; yet when I draw close to You in the present moment, my moments become eternal filled with purpose, joy and completeness. The only way I can draw close to You without sin is through Jesus Christ.
Any moment can become holy when I live it with You: when I look at an angry fit-throwing toddler and see through Your eyes the need for love and guidance; when I stand at the washer sorting through another mountain of dirty socks and underwear, I am humbled by the tender ways You continually care for us; when a dear family I love is spending what seems to be the last days of a loved one’s life, I know each moment is precious, short and eternal all at the same time; when I sit on the patio with a cup of coffee and am quiet in Your presence, You fill me, refresh and restore me; when I am stuck in traffic and I’m late to get to my destination, I am grateful for Your reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment; when someone is rude, You give me insight they need extra prayer; when I hear bad news, I stop and turn to You and recall that You are in control and will work all things together for good for those who love You; when I start to worry about one of my children or grandchildren, You remind me of how You helped me through all my trials and drew me closer to You—I can trust You to do that with them, as well; when I hear of riots, earthquakes, and hurricanes, I know there will be many turning to You in the midst of those painful disasters; when I see a single flower bloom, or trees swaying in the breeze, I revel in Your glory that surrounds us with such beauty.
Any moment becomes holy and eternal with You, Lord. All I have to do is stop and turn to You. It can be a dull boring moment, a scary moment, a painful moment, a tearful moment, a peaceful moment, a confusing moment, a weary moment… all moments are given by You and can become holy just by turning to You. Most of all, I thank You for that eternal moment when You sent Jesus to die for my sins and be raised again so I could choose to live forever with You. That moment changed everything! May all my moments be lived with You—forever!
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“But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:8b—10
“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands…” Psalm 31:14—15a
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
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Prayer Prompt-
Heavenly Father, help me share this moment with You…

Heavenly Father,

There’s a trend in early childhood education to provide a “safe place” where a child can go when things get too crazy. It’s usually in a corner or under a desk and is stocked with soft cushy pillows, a few calming books, some fidget toys and a stuffed animal. When the noise level gets too high, when there are just too many bodies crowding around, when there are tensions and disputes, when things don’t go the way the child wants, when there’s frustration, fear, sadness or anger… teachers point the child to the safe place where they can “get away by themselves” and calm down. Everyone (even adults) need a “safe place!”

I’ve had my own for years now. Lord, YOU are my safe place! I dare not go too long without spending time alone with You. I remember when I first decided to truly spend time away from the world with You, it felt a little awkward. You knew me (after all, You made me and knit me together in my mother’s womb), but I didn’t really know You. What do you say to the God who created everything and who is over all? It didn’t take long to feel safe and secure in Your presence. I first started coming to You when my world seemed to be falling apart around me. It seemed like I was the only one in the world to ever suffer such crisis. The more often I went off to be alone with You, I found peace, wisdom, guidance, loving correction, tender comfort, a renewed spirit and calm mind. I discovered You were with me through all kinds of trials and joys. You were always there, but I found my safe place in Jesus.

There is craziness all around in this world: too much bad news, too many voices all at once, too many demands on my time and energy, too many temptations and distractions, too much abuse, sickness, violence- too many disagreements, hurts, and things far above my capabilities. It all becomes too much. That’s why I need to get away with You every day in my safe place. All the stress and burdens melt away in Your presence because all is well. You are God. You are in control and I can relax and savor just being with You. Amazing things happen in that quiet safe place. I am renewed, recharged, refreshed. Your presence fills me with so much joy and peace that I bring it back out into the world with me when I have to leave that lovely place. When I consistently spend time with you in my safe place, I am delighted to discover that I carry it with me wherever I go. It is not only a blessing to me, but Your radiance spills out to others. Even though it is just You and me…there is plenty of room for everyone to have their own safe place with You. In fact, You are just waiting for them to come away with You.  I love my safe place…because it’s with You! Hmmm…how heavenly it would be if we all spent more time with You in our safe place.

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“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”   Proverbs 18:10

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”  Psalm 91:1-2

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling: He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”  Psalm 27:4-5

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me step away from the world and seek You…


Glorious Heavenly Father,

Today I am incredibly thankful for the still quiet time I can share with You. I recall how awkward I felt when first taking that purposeful time alone with You. I always knew You were somehow with me…all around me – powerful and magnificent yet in the background of my life. Then to stop everything to be still and quiet- to speak to You and to learn to listen…that was a whole new thing. What do you  say to the Lord of everything, the God who created all there is, the most powerful and glorious Being who knows all and sees all? Yet I knew Jesus had died so I could have direct contact with You. There was no way for me to truly share Your presence when sin ruled my life. Jesus’ blood cleaned me from the inside out so I can come to You anytime. With such a high price being paid for me to have that kind of relationship with You, I never want to take it for granted or neglect my time with You. So I started- and never have stopped- though there are certainly times I have been guilty of getting sidetracked from that time alone with You.

Lately, I’ve had a little more “still” time again due to my bad back. Seems like the times I’ve spent the most time with You are times when I had to have something physically slow me down. I can truly say I am grateful for those hurdles which resulted in reminders to spend more time with You. The more time I purposely take to enjoy Your presence- the more I can take that “still” time with me wherever I go.

It’s incredible that no matter what obstacles, challenges, darkness or issues that might try to overwhelm me, when I come to You and place it all before You…When I am still and focus on who You are…when I trust that You are more powerful and eternal that anything I could ever possibly face- my soul becomes still. In my time with You, I am bathed in Your peace, joy and love. You alone fulfill me. You alone restore me. You alone cover me with Your grace and mercy. You alone strengthen me in my weakness. You alone heal me. You alone give me Your insight and wisdom. You alone give me all I need to handle the day no matter what it looks like. That’s why I come to You to be still with You alone.

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“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you  and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

“You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.”

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Prayer Peek & Prompt-

Most Holy Father God, show me how to be still so I can enjoy Your presence through Jesus Christ…

Heavenly Father,

I grew up in church. I was always surrounded by a larger group of family who loved me, prayed for me, taught me and encouraged me in my relationship with You. I recall many Sunday School teachers, pastors, and others who have had a big influence on my life. I got married in that same church and had children while there. My first husband’s funeral was there. Later, I married practically the only other single man in that church. We felt led to make a fresh new start in another church with our blended family where our kids grew up surrounded by a larger group of amazing Christians who had a big influence on them. Later, once again, You led us to yet another church where our by-then teenagers were greatly influenced by an amazing children’s pastor and youth pastor. Three of our sons married girls from that wonderful church. Three of our sons married girls from that church! Some of our kids started their Christian leadership roles at that beloved church.

Now, it’s just my husband and me and You have led us to yet another church where we can bless and be blessed. Today, we officially committed and joined my fourth “home church.” It is always so hard to leave one church family when they have had such a huge impact on our lives. Yet it is also exciting to see where You are leading us and how You have plans that perfectly blend us in this new home.  It is great to still have a part in the churches of our past where we are forever bonded with the brothers and sisters-in-Christ. It is thrilling to know what You are doing through churches our adult children go to, beloved friends at new church plants, churches we love in other countries…even churches we visit while on vacation.

Your church is alive and healthy. Some are large mega churches; others are small country churches. Some meet in homes; others in shopping centers; some in huts or schools or lovely buildings. Church is not the building but the beautiful perfectly imperfect people You have called to be Your Bride. I’ve had the honor to be a part of the Church as they worshipped in Ecuador in another language, as they served Joplin after it was devastated in a tornado, as they have walked and prayed for a whole neighborhood, as they have worshipped You with old hymns and loud new songs, as they have put on new roofs and fed the homeless…Lord, Your church is beautiful and stronger than ever! No wonder You love Your Church.

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“Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.”  1 Corinthians 14:12

“…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Matthew 16:18

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ and let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, You have blessed me with Your Bride, the church by…

Heavenly Father,

Not only can You help me lie down in green pastures while in a loud MRI tube, but You are revealing Yourself a little more at the same time! Anyone who has had a MRI knows that even the earplugs they give you do not shut out the explosive pounds that reverberate your body. They tell you to lie perfectly still while you wonder if your silver fillings or wedding ring might suddenly fly up to the ceiling. It is amazing how much you want to adjust your position when someone tells you to lie still. But all I had to do was think of You and I find myself in Your perfect peace and am still enough to see You are with me…even in a tight tube!

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to look deep into your body at soft tissue and organs as well as bones. It goes way past my understanding to know how a machine can see under my skin. In fact, it goes way past my understanding how all the bones, tissues and nerves can make my body move! As I laid in that tube, I realized You can see way past what a MRI can see. Lord, You see what cannot be seen…into my very soul. My Lord, You see the very spirit of what makes me who I am. Though You care about my earthly body, You cherish my soul. You look past the blood and guts, the organs and nerves (Though You made them and they are miraculously made!) You know me better than I know myself. You know me more intimately than my husband, family or friends.

You look past all the sin, mistakes, fashionable clothes, make-up, childish thinking, worldly influence, my own silly plans…and see the real me. You see who You created me to be. My doctor ordered the MRI so He can pinpoint the injury and treat the cause. You look into my very soul and see what’s wrong so You can heal my spirit and make it new through Jesus Christ. You created us in Your image, yet we all need Jesus to complete our very soul- to make us whole- to give us eternal life- to heal us- to take away our sin- to continually help us grow into what You created us to be. You don’t need an MRI to see the real me. Search me, O Lord, and take away anything that does not glorify You. Help the very soul of me reflect Jesus to this world and those around me.

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting.”   Psalm 139:23-24

“For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents 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

“O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit up 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” Psalm 139:1-3

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Prayer Prompt-

Heavenly Father, search way down deep in my very soul…

O Lord, my God!

Here I come once again to be alone with You. I am battle-weary. I need some spiritual first aid from You, Lord. There are times it is very evident that this world is not my home. Some days the arguments, misunderstandings, name-calling and lack of love simply wear me down. Sometimes the attacks are not necessarily aimed at me but there are so many arrows flying in all directions that I am caught in the crossfire. I realize I am in enemy territory. Other times the attacks are not towards me personally but are aimed at all those who are called by Your name. It’s hard not to take them personally because I belong to You.

The attacks which probably take me most off-guard are the ones that come through people I love and trust. They blindside me and knock me for a deep blow. My first thought is to put up my defenses and wallow in the pain. Then You help me remember that my enemy is not flesh and blood. You remind me that the true enemy is easily defeated with the name of Jesus Christ. Your love and grace immediately begin to heal the wound that left alone would fester with unforgiveness.

Lord, I am incredibly grateful that I can run to You for shelter and refuge any time anywhere. I’m thankful that Jesus warned us we would have such attacks so we wouldn’t be surprised. I love that You restore my soul and fill me up so I can forgive, pray for and love those who have been instruments in the enemies hand’s. Give me the love of Jesus which prays, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Father, thank You for Your loving shelter where I find all I could ever need. Once again, You’ve restored my soul and now I can go back out into this world ready to share Your love.

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“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 5:12

“But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, I am wounded. This is who I need You to help me pray for and love…

Heavenly Father,

I am not known for my lovely singing abilities (except by You!) When I was a busy mom driving around a van load of kids, I used to turn the Christian praise songs up and blast away at the top of my voice. Fairly often one of the kids would reach over and turn the station mid song…and I’m positive it wasn’t because of the song but the wanna-be singer! That’s OK! One time in my life, I sang a beautiful Amy Grant version of “Thy Word” along with my husband in front of our whole church. It was beautiful! That’s because I can actually sing in Amy Grant’s range and I had sung along thousands of times in my van,  and because my mom-in-law accompanied on the piano and she can make anyone sound good…and because I had told You I was willing to make a fool of myself for You, Lord!

I still sing to You all the time, Lord…just along with a crowd or when I’m alone by myself…and sometimes in front of infants and preschoolers (they haven’t developed their music critique yet!) Most of all, I love to write You songs that flow from my heart. I know You adore my songs. No one else can sing the song I sing…because no one else has all the unique history and experiences I’ve had. I am Your one-of-a-kind daughter. Even if I sing a well-known song (one someone else has written) it is new and lovely to You because You see into my heart and know what flows out is unique and lovely because it has never been heard by You in quite that way by anyone else. We all have precious unique songs to sing to You every single day. I held my new 2 year-old foster granddaughter at our Christmas Eve service. Millions of people were singing “Silent Night” all over the world that night but the sweetest voice I heard was that tiny girl singing the tune though she didn’t know the words!

Lord God, let me always sing a new song to You every day, no matter what is going on in my life. We have all sung sad songs, dancing songs, cry-for-help songs, angry songs, songs of regret, praise songs…even songs that are too deep to be expressed in words. Let me always keep singing to You. My daily one-of-a-kind song is heard and cherished by You… yet it is also blended with angelic songs in heaven along with millions of other unique songs all over the earth to form the most glorious choir all sung to You, Lord! One of my most delightful discoveries was finding out You sing over us as well!

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“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth! Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; declare His salvation from day to day. Proclaim His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. …” Psalm 96:1-2

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One, who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:19-20

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Prayer Prompt-

Father God, today I feel like singing this to You…

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Heavenly Father,

I’ve run out of gas. My energy is all used up. My body, mind and spirit are setting on empty. I don’t want to talk or move. It’s OK, though. I’ve run out of steam before. It’s not the worst thing in the world because I know where to go to get filled back up. In fact, I believe it may be good for us to experience our own weakness now and again. It is a reminder of how much we need You, Lord!

So here I sit, quietly in Your Holy presence holding my empty tank before You…

I don’t want to try to take another step, make another plan, or talk to another person til I am filled up again. If I try to go on an empty tank, I will just sputter and stop. It might even do more damage than good if I attempt to go under my own power instead of Your’s.

Even now, as I am still before You and thirsting for more of You, I can tell You are gently filling me up. Being in Your presence is refreshing and renewing. You restore me. I am not in a hurry to get going again. It is beautiful to be filled by You. I was made to be filled by You. We were all designed to be filled with You. My joy, my peace, my strength, my purpose are all found in You through Jesus Christ. Fill me up!

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“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”  Psalm 23:2-3a

“I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.”    John 17:26

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”   Romans 15:13

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Prayer Prompt-

Father God, I want to be filled with…