When I was in Hawaii I read a lot. It’s one of my favorite things to do if I am just sitting by a pool or at the beach while I am getting my tan on. One of the books I read was “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, it was all about prayer. Batterson focuses on how the promises in Scripture in which God speaks, go for us as well today and when we have a prayer and we attach it to a promise God made in scripture, God wants to answer it.
Now to be clear Batterson is not saying this a health and wealth idea, he is saying that we need to have faith that God still answers His promises in amazing ways, in His time and way. A prayer can be answered in a day, exactly how we prayed it or it could take years and in a way that we would never have even thought, or not in our life time even. He simply suggests we have faith and have that much faith in God that He still works in awesome and mysterious ways. We look at the promises God made to Joshua (many about him and his people) “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled (Joshua 41:7). Our prayers need to be honoring to God, we need to be right with God in bringing our prayers to Him for Him to move in them: ”Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
One of the main lines of the book is: Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.
Circling your prayer is constantly praying, genuinely praying, with God’s will in mind for your life and even when things are hard, you pray through until God comes through like He does in Scripture.
It just got me thinking about my prayers and the prayer I have for my life. What prayers have I circled in my life for and my ministry and my family? Are they bold or are they safe? Batterson says one of the most dangerous prayers you can ever pray is “God, amaze and perplex me.” This has been my prayer and I already see my faith being tested and solidified, but I have this promise which I have circled along with all my prayers as I try to follow God the best I can:
Proverbs 1:33- But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”
James 1:12- Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
It is not going to be easy at all. But I have these promises and I have this amazing peace as I step out in faith. This book is amazing and I recommend it greatly. It also said that one way you can begin in circling prayer is making a list consisting of things your want to see happen in your personal life, ministry, family, and life in general. When you write down your goals it is the beginning in circling them in prayer and helps you know when/if ever a prayer is answered. So I thought I would list mine out.
Now I’m not trying to show off or brag, I am being very transparent here and wrote down my actual prayers for my life and the ministry in which I serve in so I ask for respect for my real prayers, but I wrote down my list to share and this is to keep me accountable to I hope to see all of these accomplished and answered in the future. Each prayer is a step out in faith in some way for me. Some seem petty, some seem impossible and that is okay, go get the book and go into more detail about what this entails, but I love it and it got me thinking about my prayers in my life. There is more but I write this list the other day while it was fresh in my mind.
things I HAve Circled in Prayer:
- Go on a one year anniversary trip with Kristin
- Make top 25 youth ministry blogs
- Get some writing published
- Write for MTB/YM360
- Guest host Youth Ministry Garage/Simply Youth Ministry Show to help other pastors
- Write 21 Day Prayer Guide for Students (currently working on)
- Write a book
- Go beach camping with friends
- Join a couples small group that Kristin and I both feel God appointed
- Go back to Hawaii with Kristin
- Cage shark diving with Kristin
- Go to Catalina with Kristin
- Have 1000 people come to Ignite
- Have 20 churches involved with Ignite
- Do a combined something in ministry with Adam Knowles (my brother)
- Reach 2000 on a weekend service in HSM (shows students are bringing friends to hear the Gospel)
- Baptize 100 students in 2013
- Reach 1400 students in Life groups in 2013
- Be at a single church serving for 20 years
- Get my MDiv
- Get my Doctorate
- Have HSM be 10 days ahead in planning consistently
- Coach my kids sports teams
- Buy a house
- Increase tithe to 12%
- Finish my left arm half sleeve tattoo
- Have students over for dinner once a month
- Read through the Bible in a year
- Run a half marathon
- Be 10% body fat