Monday, July 21, 2014

iPray Head-to-Toe

iPray eVotional

iPray eVotionals exhorts those who pray.  It's the glass of water held out around each month's turn for the runners who can use a quick and easy quench in order to finish strong.

iPray Head-to-toe  
Approx. reading time: 10 minutes

Stories in my Head

A stop sign means stop, it's at many street corners.  An exit sign tells of a way to get off or out, you can find it at freeway off ramps and in parking lots.  There are many common signs that give us direction and we are conditioned to follow them without effort.

Sometimes we come across less frequent signs, like Falling Rock.  What does this one mean?  Where does it pop up and what does it alert a driver to do?

I know the answers!  My father told me all about it when I was young.  Falling Rock is a wise old Indian that is very swift.  To this day he lives in the thick of the forest and lives off the land. Whenever you see one of those signs, it is a spot where Falling Rock has been spotted.  If you look around you might see him too.  The best places to spot him would be on mountain sides.

Don't believe me?  Of course you don't.  But every time I see a Falling Rock sign I'm not thinking about rocks near the road that may be sitting on unstable foundations and I'm not driving with an awareness that may help quicken my reaction if a boulder does happen to fall.  To this day I am conditioned to let my imagination about an Indian take over.

My father certainly made what could have been a boring ride up a mountain a lot more interesting.  I remember focusing on the road to spot every Falling Rock sign.  Each time I spotted one I tried to catch a glimpse of the tricky fellow and then I'd draw conclusions of how he might have first been seen there.

At one spot Falling Rock must have been climbing steep rocks looking for snakes and bugs to eat when a hiker saw him.  At another spot he must have climbed out of a hidden cave when a small plane flew by.  Further down the road there was a lake, he could have been spotted by a hunter while coming back from fly fishing. 

Think on Your Toes

There are many signs God gives us that should prompt us to be prayerful.  The obvious signs get us praying right away.  Someone is in the hospital, we pray.  Another person is fighting depression, we pray.  There are also less obvious signs that we are wrongly conditioned for.  That is when we tend to let the tall tales from society determine how we react.  

For example, when I was really young I remember a particular adult in my life responding to a weakness in another.  He managed to not only humiliate the other but to make himself appear to be the better one.  This was not the right way to respond to a sign that read, "Falling Apart." His tactic was a tall tale on how to edify and sadly I became conditioned to it. It took many years of scriptures, prayers and God's spirit to turn this sort of thinking around in my life.

The other day, I again struggled with how I should react to the sign, "Falling Apart." I sat at a restaurant with a waitress that was obviously having a very hard day as it was reflective in her service as well as her attitude.  

She was falling apart.  A sign designed to initiate a heart of mercy and prayers for God to be the glue she needs. I knew to pray, not only for her good but for my own spiritual safety as well.  I was starting to see the foundations of a judgment boulder of how a waitress should treat a customer loosen up in my heart. 

A part of me wanted to point a certain mistake out to her, so that she would not do the same thing to the next customer.  I thought about praying for her but didn't and chose to point out her flaw.  

Instead of being a part of what puts people back together, I just loosened up the gravel a little more!  Then the boulder fell, I appeared so much better than she did since a falling rock never falls pretty.  

God could see right through my words and straight to my heart.  Like the Falling Rock sign and the pretend Indian story, a sign of weakness caused me to imagine a false scenario of superior knowledge in how others should or should not handle the stresses in their life. My waitress was falling apart and I chose to point it out instead of being a blessing to her.

I knew nothing about my waitress but as I drove away I knew that I needed to stop talking about her weaknesses to justify my actions and start covering her in prayer.  My flesh wanted to pray like this, "Lord, help her use common sense with her customers."  That was not right.  Praying our own motives over another is never right.  I needed to pray God's will.  "I'm sorry for not praying sooner.  Help her with her troubles.  May she see You, Lord, as the solution to her troubles."  It still felt sort of weak.  I didn't know her so that was as far as I got.

After returning home a little pamphlet on my shelf caught my eye.  It was a tool I received years ago that can be used to cover a person in prayer.  To pray over the very foundations of a person's life!  I've used it several times to pray over family members.  In 1989 Deborah Doggett's then 14 year old daughter was away from home.  Her daughter was a student at the Black Forest Academy in Germany while Deborah was in the United States.  Deborah's heart cry was to intercede on her daughter's behalf.  While she couldn't be right there with her for her day to day needs, God responded by showing her how to cover her daughter in prayer from head-to-toe.  In this pamphlet she shares how she literally prayed for her daughter from head-to-toe, starting with her head and ending with her feet.

How can I reverse my initial reactions to the sign?  Pray for the foundations that need to be constantly stabilized, pray from head-to-toe!

In her book Praying for your Husband From Head to Toe, Sharon Haynes talks about this idea when she writes, "For most couples, life is just daily.  However, the accumulation of small struggles can nibble like termites to undermine the foundation of what appears to be a healthy structure just as surely as an earthshaking rumble of sudden disaster."  She goes on to describe an effective way to pray for a husband, starting with his head and moving all through his body, right down to his feet, making sure that the prayers are in line with God's word.

More head-to-toe prayer guides comes from Doug and Jennifer Flanders.  They published three different visuals on praying from head-to-toe.
  1. Click: Praying for your husband from head to toe
  2. Click: Praying for your wife from head to toe
  3. Click: Praying for your children from head to toe
Praying from head-to-toe is not an exclusive tool to use for those we live with, it can be used for anyone!  It's for those we don't really know, like the waitress I recently had.  It's for when distance keeps us from knowing the daily things our loved ones are encountering, like Deborah Doggett's daughter in 1989.  It's for the hard-to-pray-for people, who don't even want it.  It's for when strong emotions and opinions get in the way of praying the way God wants us to.

Some will never know how you have covered them, but these prayers play a part in God's working in their lives as well as our own.  When we don't know how to pray outside of the obvious boulders, this head-to-toe format comes in quite handy in praying right at the foundation of their lives and praying over every pebble as little as it may seem.  

When you see the sign, think on your toes! Save your pretend Indian stories for your next essay and abandon your faulty accusations of knowing better. Instead pray, from head to toe.

Your Turn, Head-to-toe

By now someone has popped into your mind that needs prayer.  No?  Wait for it...yes that one.  Let's cover
him/her with prayer.
(Adapted from previous mentioned resources)

Dear Lord, I pray that you will be ___________'s focus.  Set his/her mind "on things above" remaining centered on the truth of Your Word.  May he/she desire to know You more and understand Your power, strength and comfort.  Help him/her to seek Your favor in his/her thoughts and motives always rejoicing in Your truth. Give him/her Your discernment to protect him/her from being deceived by empty philosophies.  Give him/her a love for learning, a wonderment of your creation, and a clear and healthy mind free from headaches and head colds.  Most of all may his/her faith be ever-growing and his/her trust be in You alone - not dependent on his/her own knowledge.

Scripture References: Proverbs 2:1, 6, Philippians 1:9-10, Proverbs 3:4-6, 21, James 1:5, Psalm 119:97, Colossians 2:8, Proverbs 16, Isaiah 55:8, Colossians 3:1-2, Colossians 1:9-10

Dear Lord, help ____________ to see beauty in Your creation. Teach him/her to guard his/her eyes in what he/she watches understanding the powerful impact of visual things.  May he/she focus attention on doing what is right and see You in the details of his/her life.  With eyes of compassion may he/she see others as You see them and how he/she can be helpful.

Scripture References: Psalm 101:3, Psalm 119:18, Hebrews 11:1, Romans 16:19, Proverbs 4:25, Matthew 9:36, I Samuel 16:7

Dear Lord, may ____________ listen to You over wrong influences.  May he/she be quick to hear and incline his/her ears to listen to instruction.  Lead him/her to good counsel.  May he/she listen for Your still, small voice and remain ever attentive to Your promptings.

Scripture References: Psalm 32:8, Proverbs 18:15, Jeremiah 33:3, Romans 10:17, James 1:19, Isaiah 55:3, Proverbs 8:32-34, Matthew 11:15, I Thessalonians 5:19

Dear Lord, guard ____________'s tongue, may his/her speech be seasoned with grace.  Keep his/her tongue from evil and lips from speaking lies.  I pray that all his/her words would be pleasing to You Lord and edifying to others.  May praise be on his/her lips.  I pray that he/she will have a ready defense, an apt answer and a timely word.  Heal his/her sore throats.  Give him/her health for how his/her voice needs to be used.  May he/she always feed upon Your Word.  Fill his/her mouth with skillful and godly wisdom, that the law of kindness would remain on his/her tongue, and that he/she would only and always speak the truth in love.

Scripture References: Psalm 34:13, 19:14, Psalm 119:103, Psalm 145, Proverbs 15:23, Ephesians 6:19, Colossians 4:6, Proverbs 31:26, Ephesians 4:15

Dear Lord, give ____________ a heart for You and Your Word.  Save him/her for Your choice of mate or to be satisfied with singleness.  May he/she have unconditional love for the one You have given to him/her.  May he/she be 100% faithful, loving, respectful and have tender patience.  Please give him/her a happy, cheerful heart.  Keep his/her physical heart healthy, with proper food, exercise and function.

Scripture References: II Chronicles 16:9, Proverbs 15:13, Psalm 19:14, 27:14, 28:7, Psalm 119:97

Dear Lord, is ___________ carrying a burden?  May he/she cast it upon You.  May he/she understand Your yoke, may his/her posture and poise be pleasing to You.

Scripture References: Psalm 81:6, Matthew 11:28-30, Galatians 6:2, I Peter 5:6-7

Dear Lord, May ____________ exhale the impure and inhale the pure.  Keep his/her lungs healthy and free from congestion.

Scripture References: Psalm 32:5, Psalm 42:1, Psalm 150:6, I Peter 5:6-7

Dear Lord, may ____________ be diligent in the work of his/her hands. May they be fruitful, serving others, lifted in praise and holding tight to what is right.

Scripture References: Psalm 16:8, 63:4, Psalm 90:17, Ecclesiastes 9:10, 11:6, Isaiah 41:10, 13, Proverbs 10:4-5

Lord, keep ____________ well. Teach him/her healthful habits.  May he/she balance rest and exercise.  May he/she hunger and thirst for Your righteousness.  Bless the fruit of her womb by giving her children who walk in truth.

Scripture References: Proverbs 31:27, Matthew 5:6, John 6:35, Psalm 127:3, III John 1:4

Dear Lord, I ask that ____________ would not walk in step with the wicked nor stand in the way of sinners, but that he/she would find wise and godly companions along life's journey.  Strengthen and sustain him/her so that he/she can walk and not faint and not tire of doing good.

Scripture References: Psalm 1:1, Isaiah 40:31, II Thessalonians 3:13

Dear Lord, May ____________ be kneeling before Your throne in worship.  May he/she intercede for others.  I ask that he/she will place her life in your control, to be still before You.  May he/she cease striving and know You are God, may not his/her will be done, by Yours.
Scripture References: Psalm 46:10, Acts 21:5, Ephesians 3:14, Philippians 2:10

Dear Lord, Please direct ____________'s steps, help him/her to stand fast, and to protect him/her from stumbling.  May he/she flee from evil, run and not get tired, walk and not become weary.  May he/she run to Your protection, to Your fortress.  May he/she serve you, walk in Your ways and have beautiful feet that bring glad tidings of good things.  May he/she walk in the Black Forest and see Your majesty.  I ask that his/her feet would be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace so that he/she might faithfully pursue righteousness and love.  Lead him/her in the path of wisdom and truth and keep his/her foot from stumbling.

Scripture References: Psalm 17:5, 37:23, 24, 119:3, 119:133, 121:3, Proverbs 18:10, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 10:15, Ephesians 6:15, Proverbs 4:11-12


iPray that you will recognize the signs God gives you to be prayerful.  When you receive the prompting I pray that you will be faithful to cover others in prayer, head-to-toe.

In Jesus name, amen!

ALL for Him, Michelle Fozounmayeh

In This Issue
Stories in my Head
Think on your Toes
Your turn, Head-to-toe
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Michelle Fozounmayeh

Michelle Fozounmayeh
A joy filled wife and mom that enjoys writing, praying, speaking at women events and being an Area Coordinator with the ministry Moms In Prayer International.




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