Ouch! So yesterday I honestly shared I stopped praying circles around my Jericho. Tonight I read further in my Circle Maker book and realized that giving up before the miracle is, well, like giving up on the Glory of God! I even was a little cynical about the book using the Jericho example because of course you would pick that – that was a victory! What if they had stopped walking and said, ” Forget it, this is dumb, my feet hurt, I need Starbucks?! So, Mark Batterson, actually explains some theorists called counterfactual theorists. To me, that’s just a fancy word for us “What ifers?” I had to laugh that God answered my cynicism in the next chapter. Counterfactual theorists ask questions like, what if the American Revolution had failed? (I want that job. Just sit around asking those kinds of questions and researching all the unending What ifs?) So, what if the Israelites had stopped walking on the sixth day? What if we stop praying in the middle of our battles? We give up on praying for our children, give up on our marriage because it’s too hard, and they will never change, and give up on our healing? That sounds so pessimistic but we do give up on things in subtle ways that over time produce great divides, huge pain, and regrets. (Go back and re-read that last sentence and be honest with yourself. What subtle things are you doing because you’ve given up? They’re not so subtle to God. He knows you and wants better for you.)
You have to make a decision to PRAY THROUGH!
Praying through something is different from praying for something. When you pray through something it means you are going to keep on praying even when it looks dismal, even if you are told no, no way, get lost, or get over it. It means you are going to claim the promises of God and His will through groans, tears, righteous anger, and passion. Then when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has given you this victory in His time, you start praising Him for it. You STOP praying and begging, and you say God, I thank you for a restored marriage, a child who claims you as Lord, and healing. Do you know that God told Joshua, “I HAVE DELIVERED Jericho into your hands.” God told him that prior to the them marching around the city. If you noticed, that is past tense. I just thought of myself as Joshua, I would have had to ask God, “Did you say delivered or deliver? I was just making sure God, because….blah blah blah blah…” “God give me faith like Joshua!”
Dig deep with me right now. If God HAS GIVEN you something in your mind and heart according to His will, you may have to pray, walk and work around it, figure it out, and claim it before it actually comes to pass in your life. But let me tell you something! If God is past, present, future it’s all ready done! God knew Jericho would fall – it had fallen before He even talked to Joshua. God just wanted a little exercise in faith, a test of perseverance, a chance for HIS GLORY to work so that others would believe and know HE IS GOD!
Are you disappointed right now? The book shares that disappointment is like dream defibrillation. If we respond to it the right way, disappointment can actually restore our prayer rhythm and resurrect our dreams. Praise God we are disappointed! You have those big walls around a situation? Glory! God is going to get your feet busy walking prayer circles, and His Glory is going to take those walls down. Count on it! Prayer is the key. Intensive, passionate, dream big prayers! No wimps allowed!
“Make the sacrifice! Take the risk! Draw the circle!” Don’t lean on logic, practical, or memory – “And the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all our right brain can imagine is supplanted by a god – lowercase g – who fits within the logical constraints of our left brain. Nothing honors God more than a big dream that is way beyond our ability to accomplish. Why? Because there is no way we can take credit for it.” (Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker)
Okay – so I have to go right now and write down and talk to someone about my Jericho, then we are going to pray, and then I’m going to passionately walk that circle I gave up on yesterday. Thanks for praying for my family. God has given us BIG dreams because He is a BIG GOD! He can do it!