“Drawing a Circle"
I believe prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do. It’s the difference between letting things happen and making things happen. It’s the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you. Over the next forty days, we’re going to pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on us. And I believe that God is going to show up and show off His power, His grace, His goodness. Welcome to the forty-day prayer challenge.
- Mark Batterson
Rodney “Gypsy” Smith was born on the outskirts of London in 1860. At the age of sixteen, he made a decision to follow Christ and taught himself to read and write so he could start preaching the message of Jesus. He would often sing hymns to the people he met, earning him the nickname of the “singing gypsy boy.”
“In time, Gypsy began serving in various missions organizations in England, including the Salvation Army. He crisscrossed the Atlantic Ocean forty-five times, preaching the gospel to millions of people, and he never preached without someone surrendering their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It seemed as if everywhere he went, revival was right on his heels.
At one point, Gypsy issued a challenge to those who likewise wanted to see revival. He said, “Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”
When was the last time you prayed that way?
“When you pray fervently and brokenly, the heavenly Father hears your heart. But I would add “consistently” to the equation. So, at the beginning of this forty-day journey, I want to challenge you to pick a time and pick a place to pray. If it helps, draw a circle somewhere. Or use a hula hoop. Or map out a prayer route that you walk each day. Or write your prayer requests in a journal and circle them. And as you pray fervently, brokenly, and consistently, I encourage you to pray with the authority that is yours as a child of God.
As we will discuss this week, God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. Your prayer must meet a twofold litmus test—the will of God and the glory of God. But if they do, you will pray with the full authority of the King and His kingdom. It’s your positional authority in Christ that gives you a holy confidence as you pray.
“In Matthew 18:18, Jesus says, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” The word bind has a legal connotation. It means “to place a contract on something.” This is precisely what happens when you pray in the will of God. You are exercising our authority as believers to stake claim to the promises of God—and those are the kind of prayers that honor God.
Circling things in prayer is binding them on earth.
What do you need to start circling?”
TODAYS READING: Joshua 1:1–11
Joshua 1:5 “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Take a few minutes to pray and meditate on this passage; then write down your personal reflections. What was one thing that stood out to you from the Scripture? In what ways does that represent a new insight for you?