Honi Ha-Ma’agel was a first century B.C. Jewish Scholar. He is famous for drawing a circle in the sand during a period of drought in Israel and told God that he would not move from the circle until it rained. God sent the rain as it started to sprinkle. This was not good enough for Honi, so he told God he wanted it to really rain and a downpour ensued. Once again, Honi asked God for a calm rain, and you guessed it- it slowed to a normal rain. He was almost excommunicated for his actions, but was saved by, not only the result, but by his tremendous faith in God to act.
This summer, I read a book by Mark Batterson titled The Circle Maker. Mark Batterson is the pastor of a multi-site church in Washington D.C. called National Community Church. Mark wrote this book to not only show how the story of Honi changed his prayer life, but how it can change ours as well. Throughout the book, Mark illustrates miracle after miracle that happened for his church simply by being earnest in prayer. You see, that was the thing with Honi. He was earnest, he was specific, and he was stubborn- he prayed through.
How many times have we prayed and prayed that God would answer a certain prayer, only to give up because we think He is not listening? How many blessings have we missed simply becuase we stopped praying for it to happen or because we lost faith in God’s ability to answer? How mnay times have we forfeited a miracle from God because we did not pray through? The problem lies in our flawed timeline. We ask for God to answer our prayers in a timely manner that is covenient for us, never taking into consideration that His will and His timing is perfect. We look to bundle our prayers into a nice fast food happy meal that comes quickly without a lot of hastle of pain. However, God always answers our prayers in a timely manner that is consistent with both His will and the need in our lives.
When I think of God’s timing, I am reminded of Lazarus. Lazarus laid dead in a tomb for four days when Jesus came and was informed of his death (as if He didn’t already know). They told Jesus that if he had only come sooner, Lazarus would still be alive. You see everyone thought that Jesus was four days late, when in fact, he was right on time to bring Lazarus out of the tomb. And there lies the point. God answers us in a way that will give Him all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise; and that is where our prayer should be foucused. Praying big, bold, and sometimes scary prayers- so big that when God answers them, there is no doubt that it had to be our Lord and nothing that we have done ourselves. I am currently doing this. I physically circle our church every Sunday afternoon in prayer, putting my hands on the buidling, praying; and believe me, some of those prayers are ridiculously big….or are they?
So. today, I encourage you to pray big. I encourage you to pray bold. You see I believe that God answers all prayers, all prayers except the ones that we fail to pray. That doesn’t mean that he will give you everything you ask for. It means that if your prayer glorifies Him, gives Him the honor & praise, and fits into His will so that there is not doubt that the answer came from God, then he will grant it. Matthew chapter 6 tells us to Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seek and you will find, ask and it shall be given. Mark says repeatedly in his book, “work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.” See your prayers to completion. Sometimes the answer might be no, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how often it is yes if we simply pray through.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach