Praying Circles Around your Biggest Dreams and your Greatest Fears
This is ONE of those books, you know what I mean.
It is one those books that you pick-up, read the back cover and KNOW that YOU KNOW that this book has the power to speak profoundly to the core of your being.
The Power of a single prayer to change the course of history!!
I read the first 4 chapters several times before I could complete the book. There was so much truth in those first chapters that I needed to read over and over to let my heart and mind soak it in.
Mark Batterson begins the book by sharing The Legend of the Circle Maker. His name is Honi. He lived in the first century BC. A devastating drought threatened to destroy a generation. Miracles were such a distant memory to the people that they seemed like make believe. Even if the people could no longer hear God, Honi believed that God could still hear them. He so desperately believed that God could hear them, that he made a choice one day to draw a circle in the dry ground and kneel in that circle and pray to God to send rain. Not just any rain - rain that would soak them to the core of their beings - not only to bring the rain that they needed, but also bring them the hope that had left them long ago.
I love how Mark describes Honi's posture of prayer:
"It wasn't just the volume of his voice, it was the authority of his tone. Not a hint of doubt. This prayer didn't originate in the vocal chords. Like water from an artesian well, the words flowed from the depth of his soul. His prayer was resolute yet humble, confident yet meek, expectant yet unassuming."
This kind of prayer resonates in my heart!! I want to be like this eccentric sage Honi.
Some quotes from the book:
- God is still looking for circle makers.
- Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.
- Circle Makers have a sanctified stubborn streak. (As I write this, I remember when I was a teenager my dad telling me that he thought God would use my persistence and stubbornness for good. But at the time I was driving him crazy)
- Circle Makers are history makers.
- Sometimes faith seems like a denial of reality.
- Faith is the willingness to look foolish.
- In order to experience a miracle, you have to take a risk. And one of the most difficult types of risk to take is risking your reputation. You cannot build God's reputation if you aren't willing to risk yours. (thank goodness Noah was willing to risk his reputation)
- Circle Makers are risk takers.
I could go on an on. Do you believe that the power of a single prayer can change the course of history? I do! Asking others to join in praying with you for specific things on your heart is creating a double circle around the things that God has put on your heart. God created us to need and support each other. One of the best ways that we can do that is in prayer.
- We love a good night's sleep, but sleepless nights are what define our lives. If you're going to bring kings to their knees or shut the mouths of lions, sometimes you need to pull an all-nighter.
Over the last year in Orphan Ministry we have pulled a few all-nighters in prayer. The situation that God led us to in Haiti brought us to our knees. We were desperate for God's mighty right hand to move on this kids behalf. We were totally dependent on Him to part the Red Sea that would see these kids set free from the situation that they were in.
God's mighty right hand did move and the Red Sea opened for these kids to be brought out of the horrible situation they were in - Thank you Lord!!!
While we celebrate and rejoice in what God has done, we rest and wait on Him to lead us according to His will. I don't think we are done praying circles around impossible situations.
Nothing is impossible with God. The things that God has laid on your heart may seem like a distant dream - something totally impossible unless God intervenes.
Don't give up - Be persistent - Press in to God in prayer even when you can't see or feel anything happening. :)
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."