I’ve never been more nervous about a post as I am about this one.
A few weeks ago one of my dearest friends told me I had to read the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. This friend of mine is one of the most Spirit-filled people I know and an amazing prayer. I even wrote about how scared I am when she tells me that she’s praying for me. When she told me I needed to read the book I knew that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me through her.
I started reading the book and, in all honesty, it’s messing with my life.
The subtitle of the book is “Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears”. The book is all about bringing big, bold and audacious prayers before God. Not for our own benefit or our own good but for God’s glory. If we pray big, bold, audacious prayers within God’s will, then we should expect him to answer.
Batterson sums up this idea in the following excerpt:
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.
This book has been challenging my view of God and my prayer life. I enjoyed praying for my family and friends but I’ve never thought about circling something big in prayer. Any time I thought about praying for something that would require a miracle, my logical left-brain would take over and push the thought aside.
So instead of having bold prayers that honor God, I’ve had pedestrian prayers that haven’t forced my faith to grow.
I want that to change.
As I was reading The Circle Maker I began to think about our church’s annual golf tournament. Every June we hold a golf tournament to raise funds to support our youth camps. The tournament has been fun and successful but never a huge moneymaker. As I spent more time reading about circling big things in prayer and expecting God to work miracles, I could not push the golf tournament out of my mind.
I felt like God wanted me to pray circles around this year’s golf tournament and boldly ask for a miracle.
Before praying for that, though, I wanted to make sure that this was indeed God’s will. I don’t want to waste my time and God’s by praying circles around something that is outside of his will. There are plenty of reasons a hugely successful golf tournament would benefit me.
I’d come in under budget for camp.
It’d make me and our team look great for pulling of the best tournament ever.
I’d have parents applauding our efforts to help them pay for camp if needed.
So before I even began praying circles around our golf tournament, I spent a week praying for God to give me discernment. I wanted to make sure that this was God’s will so I sought his face and prayed for the Spirit to speak to me. And he did. Not audibly (that would be awesome) but enough for me to know that this was his will. God wants me to move in this direction.
Our tournament is on June 7 so, over the next two months, I will be praying for these three things:
- $21,000 raised
- 54 tee sign sponsors
- 120 golfers
Those numbers are far and away beyond anything we’ve ever hit. Those are miraculous numbers and when we hit them God will be the only one able to receive glory. None of us planning the tournament can make those numbers happen. They’re illogical and out of our human reach. God will make them happen, though, and when he does he will be glorified.
I didn’t want to write this post. I would have been happy to hold these numbers in my heart and fervently pray for them. Had they remained in my heart, though, God would not have received as much glory.
But by sharing them, I feel like I’m risking my own reputation.
What if I’m way off base?
What if this isn’t God’s will?
What if I end up looking like a fool?
But this isn’t about my reputation; it’s about God’s. This is about God listening to a bold prayer and acting in his omnipotence to bring himself glory. This is about God working a miracle because it brings him pleasure and he likes showing off.
I’m dreadfully scared because I don’t know what I’m doing. I do know, though, that our God is all-powerful and he can’t be contained by the logic of my left-brain.
I also know I need to pray and pray hard. Here’s what I’m planning to do:
- Pray every morning at 7:00 until June 7
- Fast one day a week to better seek God
- Make a prayer walk around the golf course once a week until the date of the tournament
This is new to me and, as I’ve said, it scares me. It also excites and quickens my spirit to imagine how God will use this to glorify himself and draw students closer to him.
I will be blogging through this experience over the next two months. If you feel led, please join me in praying circles around our golf tournament.
For more information about our golf tournament, please go here.