“And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12
I woke up with that verse on repeat in my head. A thought followed- better get in my prayer time today. (I am currently doing a 21 day prayer challenge for the study “Circle Makers.”) Then as embarrassing as it is to admit, another thought came- Do I really have to? I surprised myself. Why did I not want to spend time with the Lord? It was then I heard Him gently say, “By not putting in as much effort, will it give you a reason why I didn’t answer your prayer?” BOOM. Only He can say a statement so convicting and it not sting. I was cowering with my doubt because I wasn’t wanting to risk it all to trust Him.
“It often seems like circling [praying for] the promises of God is risky, but it’s not nearly as risky as not circling the promises of God. The greatest risk is failing to circle the promises of God because we forfeit the miracles God wants to perform.” (The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, p.53)
This book has been so challenging. It reminds us that the Israelites circled Jericho once for 6 days, then 7 times the seventh day! How much are we really going after promises the Lord has put in our heart? Will we war with the Lord to go to the promise land or will we be the generation before that doesn’t have faith? The generation before saw the two massive walls around the city and knew it was impossible. The generation that walked into the promise land had faith that God could do anything and saw the wall crumble. We have to pray bold prayers and jump in with complete faith. We need faith like Noah had to make a boat in the dessert. [This book has sooooo many great encouraging references to stories in the Bible!! p.47]
“And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26
But I am scared of not seeing anything happen. I keep holding onto phrases I have heard (in the church) like “only if it is God’s will” and “we are just in charge of stewarding ‘fill in the blank’, God leaves it up to us.” But… Are we just trying to find a way out in case we are let down by unanswered prayer? Maybe God isn’t powerful enough or doesn’t care about that? I feel like I am Thomas and need to go to doubters anonymous. I want to get out of the boat like Peter and trust that it is Jesus and not a ghost (then continue walking on water too)…
HOW?? Here are things I have found helpful to boost my faith and stand strong on prayers:
- Consume testimonies like they are essential nourishment to be alive.
- And know the Fathers Heart.
When my sister was carrying my niece in the womb the doctors claimed a few times there was something wrong and even got to the point of saying she might be special needs or deformed. I love my niece, even before meeting her and knew the Lord loved her even more. I prayed with my whole heart many times that the Lord was with her in the womb and that He was forming her to be completely healthy. She was born normal despite what the doctors said- I knew that was God faithfully answering prayer. Another time a friend was having difficulty getting pregnant and asked us to pray. I had faith from the last miracle God did in the womb and contended again (power of the testimony!)- And of course, He answered! Their little girl is adorable. This only made me more confident in a truth I could stand on for both of these ‘circles’- the Father is the creator of life and He cares with His whole heart about life formed in the womb. I had seen Him answer prayers, knew His heart for new life and had faith to believe him.
3. FIND scripture that supports your prayers. If the Word of the Lord is declaring it is true, then I can stand on that. God has graciously given me a scripture to stand on for my ‘Jericho’ every day of this challenge so far. After all the Bible is a pretty big book. Here are some of my favorites to meditate on:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good new to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to captives and release the darkness for the prisoners…”Isaiah 61:1
4.Ask the Lord to speak to you about it.
I know- most of us don’t audibly hear his voice. But He speaks to us one way or another and often if we listen only wants to encourage us to keep going. If He is excited about my prayers then I won’t want to stop.
5.Let others know what you’re going after and ask them to join.
You will be blown away by words or prayers others will have for you. We are each a part of the puzzle that makes up the Bride of Christ- we all have something awesome to offer and encourage one another with.
What would have happened if they had only circled Jericho 6 times and wondered why God wasn’t doing anything yet? You don’t want to find yourself one prayer short of a miracle! Become that annoying widow in the Bible who the Judge had to say yes to so that she would go away. You don’t know what you are binding in heaven and loosing on earth-sometimes it takes time. Sometimes it is us that the Lord is changing during the prayers, and that takes time too.
If there is any dream at all not fulfilled in your life, prayer is what will take you there. Not only to partner with God to bind it on earth but also to allow the Lord to shape your heart. “The Circle Maker” is a great book to help us shape the way we think and pray. You see the world around you- prayer NEEDS to be happening in every home, OFTEN.
SO what are your thoughts? Do you have a promise burning in your heart? Want to join me in going after continual prayer for it? I AM BELIEVING WE WILL SEE MIRACLES. What are strategies you’re going to take? SHARE! I am excited to see how the Lord not only answers my prayer but builds my confidence in Him.