Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Praying Boldly, What does that look like?

The little booklet sat there for some time on the kitchen island. It had arrived in the mail one day packaged with catalogs of resource and study items. A little booklet that caught my eye, not enough to read immediately and not enough to throw away either. So there it sat receiving glances each time I passed by.

Finally I decided it was either time to read it or throw it in the trash so I snatch it up and sat down to see what this was all about. That was when my mind and heart  received a challenge.

This little booklet opened with the Talmud Jewish literature story of a man. An eccentric sage that lived during the time line spread during the silent period between the Old and New Testaments. A man named Honi.

Legend has it that during a great drought Honi went out into the village and drew a circle in the sand. He then stepped into the circle and began praying stating the he would not leave the circle until God sent rain. As his prayers continued God sent a light sprinkle of rain and the people danced with joy but Honi said to God, “This is not what I am praying for.” God then sent a torrential rain, people ran to their shelter but yet again Honi prayed, “God this is not what I am praying for and will not leave this circle.” At that time a nice steady rain was provided by God and Honi stood and left the circle.

Upon reading this little booklet named “Be a Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson I really began to think about prayers.  Although this is not a Biblical example we do find many times is scripture where a bold prayer was lifted up to Elohim The God of all gods. My favorite example is in the Book of Joshua in chapter 10. When facing an overwhelming number of enemies Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people asking God to let the sun stand still.  So the sun stood still upon God’s command and victory was theirs.

How do we now put these two accounts together and infuse them into our lives?  Can we do that?  Is that something from Biblical times to never be repeated again?  My God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow so what stops us from praying with boldness?

Although on the day the sun stood still Joshua didn’t draw a circle but what about Jericho?  He did seek the Lord and the Lord told him to lead the people to walk in a circle around to walls.  Maybe this is not an actual drawing of a circle but a showing of persistence and consistant calling upon the Lord in faith.  Not a praying once then tucking our heads and not mentioning it again.  Maybe we are to cover every side of that dream, diagnosis, fear, situation, etc. with prayer.  Maybe as we circle that thing we will begin to see it more through God’s eye and learn more of how to pray in a way that lines up with God. 

Thoughts on prayer are flooding my mind.  I want to dig into prayer a little more in the next few post or however long God leads.  Questions fill me and I know God’s Word has much insight and answers. Questions like when does bold become bossy?  God is not our puppet so what does His Word say about how we approach Him and pray.

Hopefully my post will come more often than every Monday because of this topic. (Or as in this case Tuesday.  Please forgive me on my tardiness) I do hope you will join me in the conversation and let’s grow together as we seek a prayer life that pleases the One to which we pray.

1 John 5:14 “and we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.”

Let’s learn what that means!

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