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Day 37 Prayer Contracts

“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” Matthew 18:18

Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle states, “The word bind has a legal connotation. It means ‘to place a contract on something.’ This is precisely what happens when we pray in the will of God. Our prayers place a contract in the spiritual realm.”

As previously emphasized (see post Day 31 Spell it Out), the purpose of prayer is not to get what you want; the goal of prayer is to discern what God wants, what God wills. But if your prayer is in the will of God, then it is backed by the full authority of the King and His kingdom.

“A.W. Tozer wrote, ‘What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’ So let me ask the question: When you think about God, what images come to your mind? For most people, I suspect the dominant image is Jesus hanging on a cross. That gruesome cross is the most beautiful picture of what true love looks like. But let me make and observation that may sound a bit sacrilegious. You aren’t praying to a God who is hanging on a cross; Jesus is seated on the throne, and the earth is His footstool. All authority is His. And if you are His, then His authority is yours.

“We grossly underestimate the authority that is ours because we are children of God. And we desperately need a vision like the one Isaiah had (Isaiah 6), who saw the Lord high and lifted up.

“I think Tozer was right when he stated that a low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils and a high view of God is the solution to ten thousand problems. Our biggest problem is our small view of God. God is so much bigger than our biggest problems (see post Day 8 One God-Idea). God is so much better than our best thoughts. He is infinitely wiser and more gracious and powerful than anything we can imagine.”

When we dream big, pray hard and think long, God pushes our limits and stretches our faith. And we steward the miracle by believing God for even bigger and better miracles.

“We tend to view the goal as the goal, but in God’s economy, the process is the goal. It’s not about what we’re doing at all; it’s about who we’re becoming in the process. It’s not about doing great things for God; it’s about God doing great things in us.

“After explaining the binding nature of our prayers, Jesus explains the power of prayer circles. If two of you agree (Matthew 18:19-20) on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or more have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

“The word bind means ‘to tie together.’ It’s the same word used to describe marriage vows. Just as the two become one flesh, when we agree in prayer, the two become one spirit.

“Something powerful happens when we agree in prayer. Our faith isn’t just added together; it’s multiplied. If we are praying in the will of God and for the glory of God, then agreeing with someone in prayer is like getting our prayer contract notarized.

“Finally, the word bind means ‘to chain.’ There are more than 3,000 promises in Scripture, and according to the apostle Paul, all of them ‘are yes in Christ’ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Our most powerful prayers are chained to the promises of God. Don’t just pray your words all the time; pray the Word of God because His word does not return to Him empty (Isaiah 55:11).

“Chain it to your mind through memorization. Chain it to your heart through meditation. Chain it to your past, present, and future through prayer.”

Agreeing with someone in prayer is like getting your prayer notarized. -Mark Batterson

Are you bound in prayer?

Prayerfully, Paige

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Day 36 Senior Partner

“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:20

Guess what? No matter how hard we try, we cannot outgive God.

We are introduced, in today’s devotion, to a friend of Mark Batterson’s named Stanley Tam. Stanley is the founder of the United States Plastic Corporation. More than half century ago, he made a decision to make God his Senior Partner and gave his business over to God believing that God would bless his business, as he wanted to honor God from the start. Feeling convicted, Stanley transferred every share of company stock to his Senior Partner and became a salaried employee of the company he had started. Since that day, he has given away more than $120 million.

During a memorable meal between Mark and Stanley, Mark was blessed with a lifetime of wisdom. He says, “Stanley discovered the key that unlocks the joy of generosity: what we keep we ultimately lose; what we give away we ultimately get back. So Stanley said, ‘I just send it ahead by giving it away.’ Stanley also puts it, ‘A man can eat only one meal at a time, wear only one suit of clothes at a time, drive only one car at a time. All this I have. Isn’t that enough?’

The same God who helped Stanley is the same God who can accomplish the plans and purposes He has put in your heart. As Mark says so well, “If it’s God-ordained, it’s inevitable.

“Few things are as inspiring as seeing childlike faith in a very old person. That’s Stanley Tam. He is the youngest oldest person I know. He simply takes God at His word. And when we take God at His word, God stands by His word.

“One of the biggest mistakes we make in reading history, whether biblical history or history in general, is thinking that those who lived before us were different from us. They weren’t. If God did it for them, He can do it for us. And if we do what they did in the Bible, I’m convinced that God will do what He did. Nothing has changed. God wants to renew His deeds in our day. But we need to pray the price. Leonard Ravenhill put it this way: ‘One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed. We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).’

“The greatest legacy a person can leave is a complete surrender of their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. If we don’t hold out on God, God won’t hold out on us. Take God at His promise as expressed by the psalmist: ‘No good thing (Psalm 84:11) does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.’ And these good things will pass from generation to generation and become great things. God will answer our prayers in the lives of offspring we won’t meet until the Father’s family reunion at the marriage supper of the Lamb. But every prayer we pray, every gift we give, every sacrifice we make, and every step of faith we take is an inheritance left to the next generation. And our prayers live on, long after we die, in their lives.”

What we keep we ultimately lose; what we give away we ultimately get back. -Mark Batterson

Are you leaving an inheritance?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 35 The Longest Lever

“Do not despise these small beginnings.” Zechariah 4:10

A friend recently came to me saying that she’s been praying during our 40 Day Prayer Challenge but things don’t seem to be getting much better. I know it’s hard to pray and wait on God (see post Day 23 Not Now) but small beginnings is where we must start. And if we continue to pray like the members of the early church (Acts 2), Pentecost can happen anytime, anyplace!

Mark Batterson reminds us of the value of small beginnings, “In Zechariah 4, the Jewish remnant who returned to Israel are getting ready to rebuild the temple. It is an overwhelming undertaking. But the Lord encourages them with these words: ‘Do not despise (Zechariah 4:10) these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s land.’

“The plumb line was an ancient measuring tape. All they had done at this point was measure! That’s it. But God was already rejoicing over them. Like a parent that celebrates a baby’s first step, our heavenly Father rejoices when we take the smallest of steps in the right direction. And those small steps become giant leaps in God’s kingdom. If we do little things, God will do the big things. But we have to do the little things like they are big things.

“We cannot worry about what we cannot do; we have to simply do what we can. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things. And if we do the ordinary, God will add an extra to it.

“Prayer is our plumb line. It’s also the true measure of a person. No one is greater than their prayer life. Our potential is directly proportional to our prayer life. It is the single greatest indicator of our success in any endeavor.

“Archimedes of Syracuse is famous for his quip, ‘Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.’ He was referencing the lever, one of six simple machines identified by Renaissance scientists. A lever amplifies the input force to provide a greater output force. Simply put, the longer the lever, the greater the leverage.

“Let me borrow a simple statement and substitute one word: Give me a place to kneel on, and I will move the earth. In the kingdom of God, humility equals authority. Call it bold humility or humble boldness. That is our lever. If we try to exalt ourselves, God will find a way to humble us. But if we humble ourselves, God will find a way to exalt us. There is no leverage like kneeling in prayer. If we hit our knees in humble prayer, God will extend His mighty hand on our behalf. He will leverage us in ways that are humanly impossible.

“Humility is how we get out of the way of what God wants to do. And if we stay out of God’s way, then there is nothing God cannot do in us and through us.

“There is nothing magical about kneeling, but there is something biblical about it. Posturing our bodies helps us posture our hearts. Bowing our hearts in reverence before God is what really matters.”

If we do the ordinary, God will add an extra to it. -Mark Batterson

Is daily prayer your plumb line?

Prayerfully, Paige

 

Day 32 Get a Testimony

“…and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11

I have loved hearing from so many of you, the stories of how Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker and/or Draw the Circle has impacted your life. I believe that sharing these testimonies increase our faith and get us excited to keep praying!

Batterson says, “When God answers a prayer, no matter how big or small, we need to share it. It’s a stewardship issue. If we don’t turn the answer to prayer into praise, it may very well turn into pride. Giving testimony is the way we give God all of the glory. But we also need to share it because others need to hear it. If we don’t share our testimonies of how God is working in our lives, then others are tempted to think He isn’t working at all.

“When we share a testimony, we are loaning our faith to others. When we listen to a testimony, we are borrowing faith from others. Either way, the church is edified and God is glorified.

“A testimony is powerful, in part, because we cannot argue with it. It’s irrefutable and undeniable. A personal testimony is our secret weapon, and that’s why the enemy wants us to keep our testimony a secret. It’s not a testimony if we don’t share it with others. If we don’t share our testimonies, we are robbing God of the glory He deserves. And we aren’t just holding out on God; we are holding out on those who need to hear it.

“No amount of education can compensate for a lack of first-person experience. We don’t get a testimony in seminary; we get a testimony by being tested.

“Remember the Samaritan woman who was totally transformed by a single encounter with Jesus at the well? She went back to her village and shared her testimony. That testimony sparked faith in those who heard, but their faith was secondhand faith. They needed their own encounter with Jesus, and that’s exactly what they got. The transition from secondhand to firsthand faith is evidenced in their words: ‘Now we believe (John 4:42), not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard Him ourselves.

“We cannot live off of someone else’s experience forever. Secondhand faith is as dangerous as secondhand smoke. We need a faith with our own name on it. We need to own it, and it needs to own us. We can’t just know what we believe; we need to know why we believe what we believe what we believe. And it must be continually upgraded.

“Don’t be satisfied with simply going to church; get into God’s presence. Don’t be satisfied with hearsay; get a word from The Lord. Don’t be satisfied with secondhand faith; get a testimony!”

Most of us are educated way beyond our level of our obedience. -Mark Batterson

What’s your testimony? Please don’t hesitate to share it! Email, call or text me – or better yet, share it with our praying community by commenting below!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 19 Memorial Offerings

“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” Acts 10:4

There are no guarantees that God will answer your prayers how you want or when you want but know that God will answer because He always answers! And never underestimate God’s ability to answer anytime, anyplace, anyhow as He has infinite answers to our finite prayers. He can answer them multiple times and He can even answer them forever – because our prayers never die!

“Like parents who collect their children’s elementary artwork and display it prominently on a refrigerator door, the heavenly Father loves our prayers. Each one is a keepsake. Each one functions like a memorial that jogs the memory of the Almighty.

“If our prayers are that precious to God, shouldn’t they be more significant to us? Aren’t they worth collecting like snapshots in a family photo album? Shouldn’t they be treated with respect and dignity, like the monuments that grace the nation’s capital?

“Every prayer we utter is like the marble stones used in the building of the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial. When we pray, we are building a monument to God, a memorial to Him. And those prayers are not perishable. They aren’t wood, hay, or straw. They are a foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10-12) of gold, silver, and costly stones. They will not be forgotten. They will not go unanswered.” says Mark Batterson in his book, Draw the Circle.

We never know when, where or how God will answer our prayers or when, where or how we might be the answer to someone else’s prayer. But we do know that when we live by faith, our memorial offerings are for God’s glory.

Our prayers don’t die when we do, God answers them forever. -Mark Batterson

What prayers are you offering today?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 18 Keep Circling

“On the seventh day, march around the city seven times.” Joshua 6:4

I can only imagine what the Israelites were thinking when God told them to circle the city for seven days. I’m sure they questioned His battle plan at Jericho as it didn’t make any sense. Circling that wall in silence each day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day had to feel like forever. But they obeyed God and kept circling.

This is one of my favorite devotions of Draw the Circle! Mark Batterson reminds us, “Sometimes God will push us to our absolute limits – the limits of our faith, of our patience, of our gifts. That is how God stretches our faith and builds our character. Remember when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? When God intervened and provided a ram in the thicket? God’s intervention didn’t take place until Abraham had put Isaac on the altar, tied him down, and raised the knife. God pushed Abraham to the precipice of logic. He tested Abraham to see if Abraham trusted Him. Abraham passed the test and got a testimony!

“What if the Israelites had stopped circling Jericho on day six? They would have forfeited their first victory in the Promised Land. But there was much more at stake than that. They would have forfeited the Promised Land altogether. But they didn’t stop. They kept circling. And if you keep circling, the walls will come down. If you pray through, the breakthrough is inevitable!”

Don’t put a period where God puts a comma because it’s not over until He says it’s over. If your prayers are ordained by God, then the battle belongs to Him and it’s His victory to win, not yours.

As you may have experienced (I know I have), God’s timing is perfect. He’s never early or late but right on time, all of the time! We have a God who directs our steps, prepares good works in advance, causes all things to work together for good, and fights our battles for us. Don’t lose heart, hope, faith or patience! Keep asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7). Keep circling.

Praise God for a yes and trust Him with a no. And if the answer is not yet, keep circling (even when you feel like quitting and think your efforts won’t make a difference)! There are no other options.

If you don’t get out of the boat, you’ll never walk on water. -Mark Batterson

Is there a battle you’ve given up on or a wall you’ve stopped circling?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 17 Do Not Delay

“O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God.” Daniel 9:19

It is rare to have our prayers answered as quickly and easily as we would like them to be answered. Think about previous prayers you’ve prayed. There are likely some you’ve prayed and wanted to quit praying but those are the ones that have brought the greatest breakthroughs!

“Our most powerful prayers are hyperlinked to the promises of God. When we know we are praying the promises of God, we can pray with holy confidence. We don’t have to second-guess ourselves, because we know that God’s word does not return to Him empty (Isaiah 55:11). This doesn’t mean we can claim the promised of God out of context. But our problem typically isn’t over-claiming the promises of God; it’s under-claiming them. says Mark Batterson in his 40-day prayer challenge, Draw the Circle. If we stand on God’s word, God will stand by His word.”

We often tend to mishandle blessings if they come to quickly or too easily. We take credit for them or take them for granted. We must make sure we pray long and hard enough for God to receive all of the glory! And we have to stop praying ASAP (as soon as possible) prayers and start praying ALAT (as long as it takes) prayers. This doesn’t mean we force God’s hand because we can’t force God to do anything! It just means we’re praying with holy confidence, faith and belief that God will deliver on His promises (but on His timeline!)

God is never early. God is never late. God is always right on time. -Mark Batterson

If you are interested in a book on Bible Promises, they are available at any local or online bookstore. Simply ask for or search for “Bible Promises.”

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 16 Lord, Surprise Me

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going…” John 3:8

Have you ever surrendered your plans to God, truly relinquished all control, put all of your trust in Him, and asked God to surprise you? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do it with a genuine desire to see God do something unprecedented – something that supersedes your plans, something that you cannot take credit for or control. Trust in God’s timing and you will be surprised and humbled beyond words.

“God always has a holy surprise up His sovereign sleeve. And when we pray, He throws surprise parties!” says Mark Batterson. You never know how, when or where God will answer your prayers which adds to the excitement of praying and waiting. And the more you pray, the more you will experience holy surprises.

As Batterson states so well in Draw the Circle, “Every miracle, every blessing, every divine appointment has a genealogy. If we trace them back, we’ll find a genesis prayer that set in motion the sovereign act of God. Am I saying that God cannot do it without us? No, I’m not saying He cannot; I am simply saying He will not.

“In His omniscience and omnipotence, God has determined there are some things He will only do in response to prayer. The Bible puts it bluntly in James 4:2: ‘You do not have because you do not ask God.’ If we don’t ask, God can’t answer. It’s as simple as that. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked. I don’t pretend to understand where the sovereignty of God and free will of humans meet, but it motivates me to work like it depends on me and pray like it depends on God. And if we do these two things, God will keep surprising us.

“If we follow Jesus, our lives will be anything but boring! He can orchestrate divine appointments with anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

Go ahead, ask Him to surprise you and get ready to celebrate!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 15 Contend for Me

“Contend for me, my God and Lord.” Psalm 35:23

There have definitely been times in my life when, out of shear need and desperation, I have cried out that scripture with an exclamation point at the end! How about you?

God loves it when we fight for Him but even more when we let Him fight for us! When we hit our knees in prayer, God extends a mighty hand on our behalf and fights our battles for us. Keep fighting the good fight but let God fight for you. When we pray, we are letting go and letting God; taking our hands off and letting God put his hands on.

Remember – if anyone messes with us, they are messing with our God. When our backs are against the wall, God has our backs and when everything is on the line, God steps in.

God is our defender and He is contending for us if our causes are just and our hearts are right. So let God defend and contend on your behalf.

“If you are on God’s side, then God is on your side. God will fight for you as you fight for Him. And you can live with holy confidence, knowing that when God is contending for your cause, your cause is destined to succeed. This doesn’t mean there won’t be setbacks and sacrifices along the way; it just means the war has already been won.” says Mark Batterson.

Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you. -Mark Batterson

I pray God contends for you today!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 14 Speak to the Mountain

“Say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” Matthew 17:20

Wow – Today’s devotion was so powerful for me that I highlighted the whole thing and locked up my iPad! I’ve decided to quote most of it here, directly from Mark Batterson, for those of you who aren’t reading Draw the Circle with us.

Mark says in Draw the Circle, “There comes a moment when you must quit talking to God about the mountain in your life and start talking to the mountain about your God. You proclaim His power. You declare His sovereignty. You affirm His faithfulness. You stand on His word. You cling to His promises.

“Goliath held an entire army captive through fear. His weapon was intimidation. And that is how our enemy operates. He prowls around like a roaring lion. But the important word is like. He’s an impostor. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. And when He roars, everything is shaken. All authority under heaven and on earth is His. And we are His children. Why don’t we live like it, give like it, serve like it, and pray like it?

If God is for us (Romans 8:31), who can be against us?

The one who is in you (1 John 4:4) is greater than the one who is in the world.

I can do all things (Philippians 4:13) through Christ who strengthens me.

In all things God works (Romans 8:28) for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

“What did Jesus do when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness? He fell back on the word of God. He used it like a skilled swordsman. And He wasn’t just defending Himself; He was delivering blows by citing chapter and verse!

“Maybe we need to quit playing defense and start playing offense. Maybe we need to quit letting our circumstances get between us and God and let God get between us and our circumstances. Maybe we need to stop talking to God about our problem and start talking to our problem about God.”

We are fighting with the enemy every time we hit our knees. And on our knees is where the battle is won or lost because that is where God fights our battles for us.

We must always thank God for the opposition in our lives and know that we don’t have to be afraid of the enemy’s attacks as these attacks are counterproductive when we counteract them with prayer. The more opposition we experience, the harder we need to pray. And the harder we pray, the more mountains God moves.

Quit talking to God about your problem and start talking to your problem about God. -Mark Batterson

Do you have a mountain to talk to today?

Prayerfully, Paige

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