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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 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

Day 9 Dream Factory

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Some commentary interprets this scripture in negative terms. “Take captive sinful thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.” However, we must not only focus on the negative implications and get them out of our minds, but capture creative thoughts and keep them in our minds.

God can do amazing things with just one idea and just one prayer! That’s what God did with Mark Moore as he sat in Ebenezer’s coffeehouse in Washington, D.C., conceiving the vision for MANA (Mother Administered Nutritive Aid), a company manufacturing and providing RUTF (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food) food packets to address severe cases of malnutrition in children all over the world.

When you have a God-idea, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:5, take it captive to make it obedient to Christ. Steward every word, thought, impression, and revelation inspired by the Spirit of God.

Keeping a journal is a great way to capture your thoughts but that’s only the first half. The second half is making your thoughts obedient to Christ which requires hard work on your part (see the post for Day 7 on ‘Making a Move.’).

Begin where you are. I believe no God-idea or prayer is too big or too small. And we know that our God is big enough to make any dream happen!

Never underestimate the power of a single prayer. -Mark Batterson

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 8 One God-Idea

“But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will teach you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.” Job 12:7-8

George Washington Carver was known for inventing the many uses of the peanut and attributing his ideas to being God’s ideas. In fact, he testified on many occasions that his faith in God was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science. It is said that he spent his mornings in prayer asking God for answers and God led him to Job 12:7-8.

God-ideas are only revealed in the presence of God so why wouldn’t we be on our knees in prayer with everything? Day 8 of Draw the Circle was so inspiring for me, I think I could quote the entire chapter! Here are key takeaways for me –

“We have to trust God to do what only God can do.”

“After all, prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do.”

“Going to God in prayer is the solution to every problem and the answer to every question.”

As Mark Batterson states, “If we hit our knees, the Holy Spirit will reveal things that can only be discovered in the presence of God and he will give us God-ideas for our ministry, family, business – for our lives.”

We have to ask ourselves the question – Are our problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than our problems? Until we come to the conviction that God’s grace and God’s power know no limits, we will pray small prayers. But once we embrace God’s omnipotence, we’ll pray big God-sized prayers.

If God is bigger than your biggest problem, pray like it!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 7 Put on Waders

“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Mark 16:20

We all have dreams. Hopefully God-sized dreams. Dreams that are destined to fail without divine intervention. But if your dream is not the will of God, or for the glory of God, it’s a waste of time, energy, and money. It’s so important to first take your dreams to God in prayer, and then take a step of faith because God is honored when we act as if He is going to answer our prayers! And if your dream is ordained by God, then your step of faith will honor God.

Mark Batterson gives the example of the Israelites standing at the edge of the Jordan River and God commanding the priests to take a few steps into the river. They are finally just on the other side of their dream and they have to take the first step. Otherwise, they would never see God part the Jordan River or see their dream. I think it’s important to note that God had ordered their steps throughout this journey (Psalms 37:23) and was doing so again in asking them to first get their feet wet. By this time along the journey, they knew God, trusted him and did what he commanded. The rest is history (Joshua 3).

If you want to see God move, make a move. -Mark Batterson

I’m absolutely all for dreams, especially God-sized dreams that require divine intervention! And I believe in making a move to see God move (and I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion). But if your dreams haven’t brought you to your knees in prayer seeking his will, then you might be out-of-order.

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 5 Write it Down

I consider myself to be what I would call a “seasonal journaler.” That would be someone with stacks of journals half written in because I like to write during certain seasons of life (and always start with a new journal at the beginning of each season…). I am, however, much more consistent with my prayer journal as I love writing “answered” next to the prayers God answers.

Mark Batterson states in his book, Praying Circles Around Your Children, “It’s important to know that we can make a list of prayers in our prayer journal but the goal is not to lay out a laundry list before God. In fact, prayer is not about our agenda for God at all; it’s about discovering God’s agenda for us. And keeping a record is key so that when prayer is answered God can get the glory.

Today’s devotion in Draw the Circle also expresses the importance of journaling. Here Batterson states, “Journaling is one of the most overlooked and undervalued spiritual disciplines. In my estimation, it’s on a par with praying, fasting and meditating. It’s the way we document what God is doing in our lives. In Habakkuk 2:2, The Lord states, ‘Write down the revelation.’ Why? Because we have a natural tendency to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember. Journaling is the best antidote, maybe the only antidote, for spiritual amnesia.

“My prayer journal doubles as my prayer genealogy. I can trace many of the breakthroughs, blessings, and miracles back to their genesis prayers. As I look back through my journals, I’m able to connect the dots between my prayers and God’s answers. Connecting these dots inspires my faith like nothing else because it paints a picture of God’s faithfulness.”

The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. -Mark Batterson

I pray you are journaling your prayers. If not, begin where you are and let us know when they are answered so that we can rejoice with you!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 4 Don’t Pray Away

“This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3

I’m not sure about you but I found myself highlighting most of day four in Draw the Circle! If you, like me, have been through tough times in life, on more than one occasion we’ve begged God to get us out of circumstances and sometimes to just simply get us through life struggles. Author Mark Batterson states, “We’re often so anxious to get out of difficult, painful, or challenging situations that we fail to grow through them. We’re so fixated on getting out of them that we don’t get anything out of them. We fail to learn the lessons God is trying to teach us or cultivate the character God is trying to grow in us.”

Take a look at Romans 5:3-5. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

This scripture has helped me to find God in my life struggles, asking Him to teach me, help me to grow, and to use me for His glory.

Sometimes God delivers us from our problems; sometimes God delivers us through our problems. -Mark Batterson

Where have you found God today?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 3 Amazing Things

I know it’s only been a couple of days but I’m praying that you have found a time, a place and something and/or someone to lift up in prayer! These 40 days are purposefully designed for you to begin a daily habit of prayer and to hopefully draw you nearer to God.

Today’s chapter was very convicting for me. Can you imagine being in the middle of the airport and kneeling in prayer? And now the National Community Church staff has started a habit of kneeling in prayer any time, any place they feel called to do so. Now that’s consecrating yourselves to The Lord!

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow The Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5

We need to work like it depends on us and pray like it depends on God. That’s what consecration is all about – complete surrender to God; relinquishing everything to Him – our time, talent and treasure.

This reminds me of one of my favorite books (also a short Bible study and devotion), My Heart Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger. A book about surrendering all of your life to Christ.

If we give more of ourselves to God then, God will give more of Himself to us. -Mark Batterson

Where are you giving your time, talent and treasure for God’s glory? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Prayerfully, Paige

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