February 24, 2014
Prayer has been a theme the Lord has been teaching me so far in 2014. My church started the year off by laying out 31 topics that we felt needed to be brought before the Lord. We prayed one request every day for the entire month of January. These request topics ranged from people groups within our church, current cultural issues, city leadership/schools and much more. It was exciting to wake up every morning to pray because I wanted to beg the Lord for these requests along with other members in my church. I wanted to do my part and not leave it up to someone else. I wanted to see what the Lord would do. I did not miss a day. I didn’t miss a day, simply because it was planned out for me in advance, interesting huh?
On top of learning more about corporate prayer I have also been reading a book about prayer that a friend gave me. The book is called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The tag line for this book is “Praying circles around your biggest dreams and biggest fears”. The book tells the legend of Honi, the Circle Maker. Honi was a Jewish sage in 1st century B.C. whose faith in God and prayer life were so strong that his story has not been forgotten. Batterson has learned many attributes from Honi’s example and therefore teaches those who read his book that “God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God”.
So all this recent influence has caused my mind to churn. As believers, God is our father and he wants what is best for us just as we want what is best for our children. A parent delights in fulfilling the requests of their children. God delights in fulfilling our requests. If a child does not ask, there is a good chance the request will not be filled. However, we all know children are not afraid to ask over and over, even if the answer is no. In this way, we should never stop giving our requests to the Lord. Children give us a better understanding of praying without ceasing.
This book brings up many great application that will help you grow in your prayer life. The one I think is most applicable is having some method of tracking the prayers that you pray. When you track your prayers you are less likely to forget to pray for someone who has asked you and you are more likely to rejoice when a prayer is answered. You can track prayers in a journal or in a notebook that repeats on a monthly basis. I have known people who have a prayer card system that helps them remember to lift certain requests to the Lord. On a more corporate level you could organize a month worth of requests in advance and circulate them to the church body or you could get a software program that is made specifically to track prayer requests. The possibilities are vast. Who knows what miracles the Lord will perform? Batterson says “The greatest tragedy in life are the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked”. I think the time, effort and organization will be worth the outcome!!
Anybody with me? What prayer strategy works for you and your church? Has Anyone read The Circle Maker? Leave your comments below!!