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Day 28 Quit Praying

“We’ll done good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23

Have you ever wondered why some of our prayers aren’t answered? I wonder if it’s because God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves? God is honored when we ask Him to do things that only He can do. That way He gets all of the glory!

“There comes a moment when praying becomes a form of spiritual procrastination. It’s time to stop praying and start acting.” says Mark Batterson in his 40 day prayer challenge, in Draw the Circle.

“Quit praying about the program and fill out an application. Quit praying for the friend you hurt and make a phone call. Don’t just complain to God about your coworker; circle them in prayer. Don’t just pray for missionaries; write a check.

“We are called to pray about everything, but there comes a time when praying can be a form of disobedience, laziness, or negligence. We can’t just pray like it depends on God; we also must work like it depends on us. At some point we have to quit praying and start acting.

“Christianity was always intended to be a verb – more specifically, an action verb. The title of the book of Acts says it all, doesn’t it? It’s not the book of Ideas or Words. It’s the book of Acts. And if we said less and did more, I believe we would have the same kind of impact the first-century church had.

“When we talk to God, God will talk back to us. He will provoke us, rouse us, stir us, goad us, and prompt us. When we say ‘amen,’ inaction is no longer an option.

“When everything is said and done, God will not say, ‘Well said, good and faithful servant.’ He won’t say, ‘Well thought,’ ‘well planned,’ or even ‘well prayed.’ There is only one commendation He will give: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.'”

Don’t just pray about it; do something about it. -Mark Batterson

There have been several times in my life when I’ve had to quit praying and start acting. what a blessing to see God at work in the midst of my action and God to be given all the glory!

What do you need to quit praying and start doing something about?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 25 A Prophetic Voice

“I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets. Numbers 11:29

I attended a Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe concert tonight. Three and a half hours of amazing music and worship, but what filled my spirit more than anything else was a young boy behind me, most likely around 10 years old, who knew the words to every song (in Spanish and in English). And he sang each one with such conviction, and delight that I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face!

Mark Batterson says in his book, Draw the Circle, “Prayer isn’t just the way we cultivate our own potential; prayer is the way we recognize potential in others. Like Paul who saw gifts in Timothy that Timothy couldn’t see in himself, we, through prayer, are enabled to see through prophetic eyes. We are given supernatural insight. Then we are prepared to speak with prophetic boldness into the lives God has positioned in our path.

“The more we grow in grace, the more prophetic we become. According to 1 Corinthians 14:3, a prophet speaks words of comfort and encouragement as prompted by the Holy Spirit. And prophets come in all sizes and shapes. The more we pray, the more prophetic we will become.

“You’re a prophet at work and a prophet at home. And your words have the potential to change lives by helping people discover their identity and destiny in Jesus Christ. You don’t have to influence thousands of lives to make a difference. Maybe you’re called to influence one person who will influence thousands. The fruit of their life is your reward.”

I believe that God uses people to speak the right words at the right time so that He gets all the glory. Just like the little boy who sang in my ear tonight!

Prayer is the way we recognize potential in others. -Mark Batterson

Are you cultivating your own potential, or recognizing potential in others?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 24 Find Your Voice

“The word of the LORD came to me.” Jeremiah 1:4

Mark Batterson writes about our unique “voiceprint” in Draw the Circle stating, “All of us have a unique voiceprint, not just physically but spiritually as well. God wants to speak through you differently than through anyone else. Your life is a unique translation of Scripture. It doesn’t matter what you do – politician, preacher, entertainer, homemaker, teacher, musician, lawyer, or doctor. You are called to be a prophetic voice to the people God places in your life. But the key to discovering your prophetic voice is cultivating a prophetic ear. If you want to find your voice, you need to hear the voice of God.

“We live in a culture in which everybody wants to be heard, but many people have nothing to say. Don’t worry about building a platform. If you listen to God, people will listen to you. Why? Because you’ll have something to say! And God will give you a platform to speak from. So how do we hear the voice of God?

“The first thing to do is open your Bible. When you open your Bible, God opens His mouth. The surest way to get a word from the Lord is by getting into God’s Word. God will speak to you. Then God will speak through you.

“In the process, make sure you have no unconfessed sin in your life. Sin doesn’t just harden the heart; it also hardens our hearing. In fact, it makes us turn a deaf ear to God because we don’t want to hear the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit. But if you aren’t willing to listen to the convicting voice of the Spirit, you won’t hear His comforting voice, forgiving voice, or merciful voice either. Sin creates relational distance, and distance makes it harder to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. But if you get close to God, you won’t miss a thing He says. And if you incline your ear to God, God will incline His ear to you.”

The more we spend time with God, the more we will recognize His voice. I don’t want to miss out, do you?

If you want to find your voice, you need to hear the voice of God. -Mark Batterson

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 23 Not Now

“Wait for the gift my Father promised.” Acts 1:4

Whew! This devotion is so powerful, I’m going to quote most of it directly from the book so you won’t miss the blessing.

I can’t agree more with Mark Batterson in Draw the Circle when he says, “When God says no to a prayer, it doesn’t always mean no; sometimes it means not yet. It’s the right request but the wrong time.

“Sometimes we have to be willing to give something up to God in order to get it back from God. Like Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, it will probably be something as precious to us. It may even be a gift from God, just like Isaac was to Abraham. But God will test us to make sure the gift isn’t more important than the Gift Giver, the dream isn’t more important to us than the Dream Giver. He’ll test us to make sure it’s not an idol. If it is, that dream, gift, or desire might need to die so that it can be resurrected. But God often takes things away to give them back so that we know they are gifts to be stewarded for His glory.

No one likes waiting, “but waiting is part of praying, and praying is a form of waiting. Prayer will sanctify our waiting, so we wait with holy expectancy. And waiting doesn’t delay God’s plans and purposes. It always expedites them. Waiting is the fast track to whatever it is that God wants to do in our lives. And we’ll discover that on God’s timeline, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

“In our impatience, we often try to do God’s work for him. We treat Sabbath observance like a luxury instead of a commandment. We only obey it when it’s convenient, and then we discover that it’s never convenient. We work as though our world revolves around us and relies on us. Maybe it’s time to rest as though the world revolves around and relies on the Creator who hangs the stars and spins the planets.

“We’re way too busy. We’re constantly trying to do more and more in less and less time. The net result is that we don’t have any margins in our lives. And that is when prayer gets marginalized. We think we have too much to do to pray, but the exact opposite is true: we have too much to do not to pray!”

Following Jesus’ ascension, the disciples followed His explicit instructions not to immediately go into all the world (Mark 16:15), but to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. They didn’t go ahead of God but instead gathered in an upper room and prayed for ten days. Those ten days have benefited generations for over two thousand years!

“After we pray like it depends on God, we need to work like it depends on us. But if we don’t pray first, our work won’t work. We can’t do something for God until we let God do something for us. He wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit, but we need to empty ourselves first. From the depths of our hearts to the depths of our minds, the Holy Spirit wants to fill every crevice that already exists and create new capacities within us. And when the Holy Spirit comes on us, we will think new thoughts and feel new feelings.

“What would happen if we holed up in an upper room, knelt at an altar, or locked ourselves in a prayer closet and said, ‘I’m not coming out until I receive my gift my Father promised.’ I’ll tell you exactly what would happen: Pentecost would happen all over again.

“You cannot plan Pentecost. It’s not like Peter woke up on the day of Pentecost and had ‘speaking in tongues’ on his to-do list. He didn’t plan on baptizing three thousand people that day. But if you pray for ten days, Pentecost is bound to happen.

Sometimes God’s no simply means not yet. -Mark Batterson

How long are you willing to wait?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 22 Prayer Fleece

“I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor.” Judges 6:37

You may have heard someone use the term ‘putting out a fleece’ in reference to making a decision. This term comes from an event in the life of Gideon where he wants to know what to do, so he “tests” God by placing a wool fleece on the ground and asking God to give him a sign with it (Judges 6).

Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle devotion states, “There are moments when we need to turn our desires, ideas, and dreams into prayer fleeces. Now, we have to be very careful when it comes to putting fleeces before the Lord. Generally speaking, signs don’t precede our steps of faith; signs follow. But there are occasions when it’s OK to ask God for confirmation because of our uncertainty. I don’t think we should do it often, and we shouldn’t approach it in a haphazard manner that amounts to nothing more than picking petals off a daisy, saying, ‘She loves me; she loves me not.’

“So here are a few cautions when it comes to fleeces. First, if God has already answered our question in Scripture, then you don’t need to even ask it. Don’t seek revelation when God has already given it. Second, check your motives to make sure they aren’t selfish. The fleece must come out of a genuine desire to honor God and do His will. Third, you have to be willing to accept whatever answer you receive without second-guessing it.”

I’m sure Gideon was filled with insecurity when the angel spoke over his shoulder telling him to rescue Israel. But God reassured him with: “I’ll be with you.” I’ll be with you is all we need to know isn’t it? “If we could come to grips with two fundamental truths, they would transform our lives; God is with us and God is for us. That is all you ever need to know.” says Batterson.

Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong people for answers (a boss, spouse, friend, sibling or colleague) and simply need to ask God instead. Seek God instead of answers and the answers will seek you.

When God gives a vision, He always makes provision. -Mark Batterson

What are you asking God for today?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 21 Set Your Foot

“I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” Joshua 1:3

I remember when I first told my kids about The Circle Maker and circling things and people in prayer. I know they thought that there was something magical about it (since they started asking me to circle all kinds of things in prayer!) but there isn’t anything magical about physically circling something in prayer, only Biblical (i.e., when the Israelites followed God’s orders and circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down). It isn’t a magic trick to get what you want from God. You should want what you get from Him (and if you don’t, you won’t be drawing prayer circles, you’ll be walking in circles).

Circling something in prayer simply means “praying until God answers.” It’s being determined to pray as long as it takes (ALAT – see post Day 17) and remembering that if we stop praying, we could give up just short of a miracle (see post Day 18). “Drawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants, what God wills. And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. And getting what you want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you.” says Mark Batterson in Draw the Circle.

Having no idea how God would break down the walls, the Israelites obeyed God’s commands and circled Jericho over and over again. As Batterson states, “They circled the promise thirteen times over seven days! Why? Because even though they didn’t know how God would deliver on the promise, they knew that God would come through somehow, someway! And God didn’t just show up; He showed off His power.”

God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish. -Mark Batterson

Below is an excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson to provide you a sense of the Jericho March –

The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe-inspiring and frightening. While wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the Israelites had never seen anything approximating the skyline of Jericho. The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear.

A six-foot-wide lower wall and fifty-foot-high upper wall encircled the ancient metropolis. The mud-brick walls were so thick and tall that the twelve-acre city appeared to be an impregnable fortress. It seemed like God had promised something impossible, and His battle plan seemed nonsensical: ‘Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times.’

Every soldier in the army had to have wondered why. Why not use a battering ram? Why not scale the walls? Why not cut off the water supply or shoot flaming arrows over the walls? Instead, God told the Israelite army to silently circle the city. And He promised, after they circled thirteen times over seven days, the wall would fall.

The first time around, the soldiers must have felt a little foolish. But with each circle, their stride grew longer and stronger. With each circle, a holy confidence was building pressure inside their souls. By the seventh day, their faith was ready to pop. They arose before dawn and started circling at six o’clock in the morning. At three miles per hour, each mile-and-a-half march around the city took a half hour. By nine o-clock, they began their final lap. In keeping with God’s command, they hadn’t said a word in six days. They just silently circled a promise. Then the priests sounded their horns, and a simultaneous shout followed. Six hundred thousand Israelites raised a holy roar that registered on the Richter scale, and the wall came tumbling down.

After seven days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a four-hundred-year-old promise. He proved, once again, that His promises don’t have expiration dates. And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it.

I pray that you will keep circling your Jericho and that God knocks down the wall, giving you every square inch of the promise, miracle, or dream He wants for you!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 20 Go. Set. Ready.

Can you believe that we are already on day 20 of the 40-Day Prayer Challenge? I have been so blessed by so many of you who are emailing, calling, texting and telling me how God has been working in your life over the last few weeks. Our God is amazing! Please keep your answered prayers coming (and feel free to comment below so that our community of pray-ers will see how God can and will work through the power of prayer)!

“He (Abraham) did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8

We will never be ready – to get married, to have kids, to go back to school, or to start a business. We will never be ready financially, emotionally or spiritually, nor will we ever have enough faith, cash or courage. But, as Mark Batterson says in Draw the Circle, “God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called. If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.”

Abraham had great faith. God asked him to go to a place where he would receive his inheritance. He obeyed by taking the first step, even though he did not know where he was going. Sometimes we have to take the first step in order for God to reveal the second step, just like the Israelites, standing at the edge of the Jordan River, waiting for God to part the water (see Post Day 7). Take the first step and God will honor it. “Be obedient with the amount of revelation God has given you.” says Batterson.

Remember the old saying, Ready. Set. Go.? When it comes to faith, Go. Set. Ready. seems more fitting. We sometimes spend our entire lives waiting to do what God has called us to do and we never end up doing it because we think we’re not ready. Why do we do this when God has already said “Go?” This is definitely not to encourage you to make thoughtless or prayerless decisions. We must know that God is calling us to get married, start a family, go back to school, or change careers but we can’t be so afraid of doing wrong that we’re not doing right.

“Who can calculate opportunity costs when we ignore the promptings of the Spirit, thereby missing divine appointments? Faith is not faith until it is acted on.” Mark Batterson states.

If you are looking for excuses, you will always find one. -Mark Batterson

What are you waiting for?

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

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