My family has started reading The Circle Maker. ( I hope you have been able to order this book!) Last Sunday a pastor at Clover Hill Assembly of God confessed his “in the middle” battle and asked for prayer from the church. He noted that usually he waits until the victory is won and then explains what God has done, but he felt compelled by the Spirit to ask for prayer and invite others for prayer. I am thinking most of us have something that we are “in the middle of” if we analyzed our different roles; however, I want to speak to the person who is in the middle of a battle – gloves on, knees bruised, and you’ve got the scars to prove it.
Before that battle there seems to be a humming along of ordered chaos at least. On Monday I had the perfect day. I began to read The Circle Maker with my husband in the rain and we walked that circle around the park praying for each other’s Jericho. We were so spiritually connected that you could sense the Holy Spirit at work. I thought to myself, Lord you are answering prayers in the first chapters of the book?! WOW! Thank you Jesus. It was amazing how we would talk about a situation only to come back to the book and have a prayer, a thought, or confirmation on our struggle or topic as a couple, and individually. The book shared about a woman who prayed a simple, consistent, fervent prayer and changed a city and moved a world to do the same thing – Pray Through situations. I got so excited! I shared with my husband this is what I want!
SIMPLICITY OF GOD’S LOVE CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH FAITHFUL PRAYER!
The book challenged us to not get so caught up in the rat race, the day-to-day that we forget why we are here, and how powerful God is, and what He can do in us and through us to change this world.
Then it happens…….the day-to-day, but this day-to-day is a kick in the gut, a movement in the wrong direction, an impasse. Talk about a roller coaster ride experience on a single day, I can’t begin to explain the depths of my despair as I think of the reality of my situation. It’s this back and forth of I know who I can trust – Jesus, and the gut feeling. Can I get someone to shout to me – “I know what you are talking about?” I’ve got to feel some normalcy in the insanity.
God reminds me of Mark Batterson’s prayer and fasting in which something that would be a great success ended up being a disaster, or loss. He lamented and questioned. He was confused. So we go back to our prayer circle and we pray around our Jericho until it’s clear. He received great clarity and something much more surprisingly in order of what God wanted to do for his church. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! 🙂
I am going to be very honest with you. I haven’t been circling my Jericho today. I’ve been a robot going about business with a sense of confusion and resolve to never hope in victory over that Jericho I was praying for. I was walking around in a weary circle, not a victory circle. And, that’s really hard for me to say to you. But I want us to be honest when it’s the hardest, not waiting for the victory to share, but praying in the middle of it all, like that pastor shared. I was spiritually moved that a pastor would be that vulnerable and open. He knows we can’t fix it, only God can, and we can pray for him. What a privilege to pray for someone and watch God work in their lives.
So when you are “in the middle” my sweet friend remember this –
Spell it out: Name it – no vague prayers and ask What is my Jericho that I’m walking prayer circles around? If you have cancer your Jericho is spelled healing. If your child is far from God, it’s spelled salvation. If your marriage is falling apart, it’s spelled reconciliation. If you have a vision beyond your resources, it’s spelled provision. Spell it out. Be honest.
Do the best you can with what you have where you are. “Success is not circumstantial. We usually focus on what we’re doing or where we’re going, but God’s primary concern is who we’re becoming in the process. We talk about “doing” the will of God, but the will of God has much more to do with “being” than “doing.” It’s not about being in the right place at the right time; it’s about being the right person, even if you find yourself in the wrong circumstances. Success has nothing to do with how gifted or how resourced you are; it has everything to do with glorifying God in any and every situation by making the most of it.” (Mark Batterson, page 27-28)
CHANGE YOUR SCENERY! “A change in scenery often translates into a change in perspective. A change in routine often results in REVELATION. In formulaic terms, change of pace + change of place = change of perspective.” (Mark Batterson, page 29) This also reminds me of Henry Blackaby from Experiencing God – “You can’t stay where you are and move with God.”
If you are so bogged down in the same old routine, same place, same, same, same…..make a purposeful movement. A great example is one of our readers is joining a small group at a local Chesterfield church. She is not a member at this church, but desired to know more about small group opportunities so she could study God’s Word. She obediently changed her scenery, signed up, and is ready to pray through and study God’s Word. That’s a serious woman of God! You go girl!
Praying for direction in all our “middles” and praying for your Jericho. Keep circling…..
“I AM PRAYING TO YOU BECAUSE I KNOW YOU WILL ANSWER, ‘O GOD, BEND DOWN AND LISTEN AS I PRAY.” PSALM 17:6 (NLT)
I pray for all the “middles” we find ourselves in. O God bend down, listen, for I know you will answer. As we are circling our Jericho, God will you help us not to give up, not to be dismayed, not to know and feel despair. God help us to pray according to Your will. Give us the courage to make a change, some kind of movement so we can gain new perspective. God help us to care more about who we are becoming and not what we are doing for our resume or career. God you care more about our character and the becoming than anything else. So, Lord if right now someone is in the middle of something, and they feel they are in the wrong circumstances, help them God to care more about being the right person and doing the right thing. Lord every day is a perfect day because of what you did for us on the cross, help us see everything in light of Your grace, and your unfailing love. Amen