Our church is about to embark on a 4 week focus on prayer using a book called The Circle Maker. Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of the "fads" I see move through churches. Those fads where churches and Christians across the nation read, study and listen to sermons on So-and-So's book. Then, 6 months later the emphasis is past, there remains little evidence it ever came through, and if it comes up in conversation with other Christians, the response is, "Oh yeah, we did that at our church." I am not saying it is wrong to have a church-wide emphasis based off a book written with a spiritual focus, but churches need to be careful that they don't jump on something just because it is the trend, and it is important to study the Bible and weigh everything others say against the word of God. The Bible is our primary source.
That being said, I have started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and have already sensed confirmation within that this is something I need to read. I know God is capable of anything, but I don't always pray with this faith. In my first night of reading, this sentence jumped out at me, "God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God. I definitely need to step up my prayer life. This is going to be a key element in realizing what God has in store.
In addition to bringing bold prayers before God, I need to endure. Too often I bring a need/request before God and grow weary of asking when the answer is not quick to come. Mark opens his book by sharing the story of Honi, a first century sage who believed God was still there and listened to His people. The land was suffering from a severe drought and the people were suffering greatly. They went to Honi as their last hope and asked him to pray for rain. Honi went into the city(Jerusalem) and in front of everyone drew a circle around himself with his staff. Then, he stood inside the circle he had drawn and prayed, " Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children." His prayer was bold and backed with resolve to continue to pray until God had heard his prayer and answered. Wow! As Honi prayed before everyone, God did send rain and rain abundantly.
I want to pray with boldness and expectancy, but also a resolve to continue praying until I feel a release or as long as the need exists!
Stay tuned to see where God takes me...