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What a great couple of weeks it has been working through Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. If you haven’t had time to check out my first or second week posts I would encourage you to start there if you are also working through this fantastic challenge. I would love to get your comments or if you feel led to share your own experiences, please feel free to post in the comments section below.
Day 10: Have you ever been called crazy for believing God would do the impossible? Today we look at all the times God honored the unconventional methods people engaged in to get the Lord’s attention. The widow who went to the judge’s house in the book of Luke, Honi in the Old Testament, the prostitute who anoited Jesus’ feet, Zacchaeus the tax collector who climbed a tree to get a glimpse of Him, and so many more who took desperate measures to get to God. Am I taking desperate measures to get to the Lord? Or are my prayers lukewarm, lacking in faith and enthusiasm? Lord, help me to be bold in my prayers.
Day 11: “Prayer turns us into first-class noticers.” I notice when I am heavily into the Word and focused on my prayer life, even though my life may not be terribly different, I feel more blessed. I have a better attitude. I am more grateful. We know as Christians that prayer is not just us talking into the void; it is a conversation with our Creator. The author says prayer activates a supernatural ability to become more perceptive to the world around us and I completely agree. The Lord shows us opportunities that we did not notice before and points out pitfalls we may not have been aware of on our own. I love the analogy of comparing our spiritual development to that of a baby’s visual development. I have seen this time and time again in my own life and know this to be true. The little miracles that have always been there are suddenly revealed to us and it feels like an awakening. Help me to see the path You want me to take and avoid the snares keeping me from Your direction, Father.
Day 12: Sometimes it is easy to forget that all it takes is one tiny decision to change your entire life. Today was rough and emotional for me. I received divorce papers in the mail and while I know this is coming it still hurts, deeply. I feel like a failure to my husband, kids and family. I was talking about my dreams recently to someone I love and it was so intimate because right now I feel like I’m having to completely reimagine my dreams. Previously my dreams always revolved around my husband and my marriage. I depended on him instead of depending on He-Who-Created-The-Universe. Through all of this I have learned not to put my hope or faith in people; even those I love because people are fallible and will inevitably let you down. The only constant we have in this life is the Lord. So now I’m working on focusing on doing what the Lord wants me to do. I have dreams but I know they’ll only come to fruition if it is His Will. I know He is working on expanding my faith because I’m going through such a faith-shaking life event right now. Some days it is hard to even get out of bed and I literally have to take it one minute at a time to keep from becoming overwhelmed with grief and emotions. I know that I may never see the fruit of my prayers but perhaps my children or grandchildren will so I will keep praying and asking God to reveal the path I should take. I am one of the most impatient people you’ll ever meet but God doesn’t work on my time; His timing is perfect. While I feel like I am in a financial and emotional famine, I believe the Lord will bring forth a harvest beyond what I can possibly imagine if I will continue to sow and water through prayer.
Day 13: One of my friends has been job searching for a couple of months now and was getting discouraged about the lack of response he’d gotten from employers he’d applied with. Then, last week, he got two great leads and interviewed for an awesome job last Friday. He started his new job yesterday. I’ve been praying for him and God answered my prayer in one day. I don’t know what the future holds for me and my job but I know if I continue to trust the Lord, my one day will come. The beauty of trusting the Lord is we know He is faithful. I’ve seen it over and over and know it to be true. I love this phrase, “the God Who gives the vision is the same God who makes provision.” Wow, that is truth. My desire for change in my finances is so I can be independent and debt free. I have a lot of silly wants and desires but what I really hunger for and believe the Lord wants for me and my family is for us to be financially free. And I believe He’ll make that become reality if it truly is His desire.
Day 14: Today’s message tells us to quit talking to God about your problem and start talking to your problem about God. What a transformative way to approach the mountains in your life! The barriers in my way are getting the right opportunity, finding childcare for when I’m gone and balancing family time when I’m home. God has already fought and won the battle so why am I so concerned? I have struggled with anxiety my whole life (a result of me preferring to be in control) and this challenge has brought forth a lot of anxiety for me. I’m looking at a huge life change but what I should be focused on is the fact that if it is God’s Will, He will work out those details! I’ve met a lot of resistance from family and friends on this as well – Mark calls them Pharaohs and tells us the way to handle this is by circling them in prayer. It isn’t my job to change anyone’s mind, it’s the Lord’s job. I have a bad habit of mixing up what is His responsibility and what is mine! Lord, I give the Pharaohs in my life to You and trust that You will give them clarity in this vision and bring them on board or remove them as obstacles to achieving Your will.
Day 15: This has been another disappointing day. I got a call earlier that the job I was hoping for was filled by another applicant. Another setback, another no but I am going to choose to believe that means God has something else in mind for me. I also have been on the phone with my soon-to-be-ex husband and he is making things difficult which is hard to deal with along with everything else. So I need to hit my knees and give this all to God because as the author says, these battles are already being fought and have already been won by Jesus. The Holy Spirit and the Son are interceding for me as a child of God. That is a comforting thought as I struggle to understand this latest setback. So often I want to sit back and play defense and hope for the best but God is already playing offense and working to improve my position. While today has been a struggle, I know that He has my best interest at heart. I’m going to circle my contenders in prayer and trust that the Lord has something better for me.
Stay salty, y’all,