Sound of a VanGogh Prayer

September 14, 2013

Dear PTH Friends,

I’d say I’d like to share a “quick” note with you, but I have an inkling it is not going to be short.  If you don’t already have this realization, I pray that  by the end of this letter you will sense the great value and worth of your prayers.  Not just prayer coverage for this ministry; it is beyond that!  It is prayer coverage for the plans and purposes of the Lord as He leads you.   Furthermore, the Lord has been revealing His thoughts to Nancy about the upcoming year of 2014.  So soon? … you might be thinking??  Consider this, according to the Jewish calendar, the beginning of the 2014 new year in now.

Perhaps it might seem quiet on the frontline of the Point To Hope ministry schedule.  Yet, He tells us in Psalm 121:3b (NIV),  “He who watches over you will not slumber.”  That is an encouraging promise to know that where ever we are in life’s ministry, He does not slumber.  It is also an excellent time to be “Christ-like” in this manner:   We don’t want to be like the lesson Solomon observed:  
  “Then, as I looked, I learned this lesson:
     ‘A little extra sleep,
     A little more slumber,
     A little folding of the hands to rest’ …
         means that poverty will break in upon you suddenly like a robber and violently like a bandit.” (Prov. 24:32-34/L.

Quiet or busy, we always have an opponent … a constant and continuous opponent / enemy; perhaps more so when things are seemingly dormant on the frontline.  But the Lord’s remedy is:  “Keep awake! Watch at all times.  The devil is working against you.  He is walking around like a hungry lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat.” (1 Pet. 5:8/NLT)

Now, I’m sure none of us prefers to be eaten!  Thus, we must continue to take up our cross and follow Him  … finding our life by losing our life, for His sake ((Matt. 10:38/NIV); in the quietness or business of life’s forecast.  Pursuing God; putting Him first in front of our fathers, mothers, spouses, sisters, brothers, and children … self … is a requirement to be His disciple (Luke 14:26-27).

If you are one the Lord prompts to pray for Point To Hope Ministries, please know that your prayers are essential for God’s plans, provision, protection, assignments, etc.  Prayers cause the prowling lion to go hungry; prayer protects and provides on the road and during the quiet times.  Prayer knocks the lion down the food-chain!

Perhaps you’ve heard the news that the famous Dutch artist, Vincent VanGogh’s painting “Sunset at Montmajour” has been discovered. However, did you know that during VanGogh’s lifetime he received little recognition as an artist?  Even more surprising, he sold only one painting a few months before his death.  One of VanGogh’s earliest desires was to be a pastor.  He actually worked as a missionary a few years prior to painting his first major work, “The Potato Eaters”; which he considered his most successful painting.  Yet, both his brother and close friend criticized this painting, crippling his confidence of a God-given gift.  Unfortunately, VanGogh’s life ended tragically at age 37, allegedly by suicide following years of mental illness.  Still, today the labor of his hands, his time, his meditation are significant to many … highly valued and worth millions!

I suppose you may be wondering how VanGogh’s paintings fit into the Point To Hope picture?  The intend of “The Potato Eaters” was to depict hard working people of an everyday life-style, partaking in the fruit of their labor; eating with the very hands that tilted the land.  The characters were not beautiful or colorful.  They were ordinary, honest people captured in a painting which at the time had little worth.

Your prayers, though you may not see the worth now, capture every day people partaking of their every day tasks.  For some, your prayers are the colors that get them from one day to the next.  Your heart is for intercession and praying for God’s plans and purposes, yet you may be one who is criticized by your family or closest friends.   That special place in your life – that communion of prayer with the Father seems of little value to those around you.  Yet, in due season, your prayers become well known to those who over come life’s struggle or heartache.  Though they may never meet the artist in person, or perhaps in this lifetime, the value seems to increase.

Numbers, chapters 10 captures a strategic plan for the body of Christ.  A story painted long ago, yet it holds great value for us today in defeating the enemy.  Go with me as I pull some colors from this chapter, and you can paint the picture:

The Lord gives Moses, the leader, some orders:
sound the trumpet
a calling for a unified gathering
gather at the entrance of the tent of meetings; the cloud (the presence of the Lord)
one sound will be for leaders to assemble; another sound for the whole community
the sound will be when you go in to battle
the sound will be a call for the Lord to rescue us from our enemies
the sound will be that of rejoicing
the sound will be that of offerings
the sound will be a memorial before God that declares: He is the Lord our God.

Why the trumpet sound?
it was time for the believers to “set-out” … together … ; regardless of their level of belief; regardless what tribe / church they were from, etc.
there was an order under the commandment of Moses
some went first, others followed, some were the rear guard … but ALL were apart; and all went; they formed an “alliance”
All setting out for the place the Lord said, “I will give it to you.”

“Little Snag”:
Moses’ very own father-in-law said he didn’t want to go; he wanted to go back to his own land; own people …. stay where it was comfortable, familiar – perhaps didn’t see the value of his participation??? Discouraged??? Afraid of enemy??? Doubt … unbelief?

But this is what the leader, Moses did:  He saw a gift that was necessary for the “Body of Christ.”  Moses met his relative right were he was in his state of mind and encouraged him.   He recognized his father-in-law as one who knew the way through the wilderness … the one who could be the eyes for others.  (Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ, 1 Cor. 12:12/NIV).  

“Don’t Leave Without It”
the Lord went before them as a body of believers
unity was a necessity for victory

When ever Moses recognized the Lord’s presence, he made a sound:
sound of prayer
sound of praise
sound of prophecy

Which leads me to share with you, a little bit of what the Lord is stirring in Nancy’s heart for this upcoming 2014 year.

Last Saturday (9/7), I, as one in the tribe of Christ, followed “Moses” to where the Lord was leading.   The Lord had given Nancy a “sound” assignment:  To go up to a high place in Anchorage and blow the shofar three times for:  1) sound of prayer, 2) sound of praise, and 3) sound of prophecy.  So that is what we did and the most amazing thing happened before our eyes.  There were a few scattered clouds, but within seconds after the sound of the shofar, the clouds began to well up like billowing waves and move through the valley and depart upward (pictured above).  The Lord promised the sound would go around the world; the sound would not return void.

There are several scriptures in God’s Word where clouds signify the very presence of the Lord.   This view felt like a scene right from the Bible.  It was like we could hear the sound of the clouds.  

A key word the Lord has given Nancy about 2014 is “alliance.”  Alliance among believers; to come into unity and pray, praise and prophesy.  A coronation at the sound of the shofar.  LISTEN … what do you hear?  The King of kings, the Lord of lords is here!  Jesus is here!  Listen for His still small voice!

Sound of Prayer:  humbling ourselves with sincere prayers;  A new level of prayer; “Now, faith!” (Heb. 11:1) – praying what isn’t as if it is.  A timeless spiritual principle that has never changed.

Sound of Praise:  Praising the King of kings, from our innermost being. Praise, adoration, and outward expression from deep within of “I give, I give” rather than “I need, I need.”  Exalting and glorifying Him; He needs to be our main focus in order for us to move by the wind of His Spirit in 2014.

Sound of Prophecy:  Listen!  “Let all creation rejoice before the Lord” (Ps 96:13a).  His sound is evident everywhere.  Do we hear?  Are we listening?  Regardless the ever-present and persistent distractions, we have to listen to hear Him.

That is just a sampling of what is to come for 2014!  

Remembering the theme for this year:  The Kingdom of God Demonstrated: See His Glory, Sense His Presence, Know His Truth.  The Ketchikan PTH Conference is fast approaching.  Please check the website for details….

© Point to Hope Ministries