There’s story I love, about this old Jewish prophet named Honi. It was the first Century B.C, Israel is experiencing a sever season of drought. They are well into the month of Adar, which usually marked the end of the rainy season, and the beginning of spring, but yet no rain had fallen all winter long. This drought threatened to destroy an entire generation. The generation just before Jesus. The age of prophets was long over, and the miracles of the likes of Moses and Elijah, were such a distant memory that they seemed more legend than reality.The people, desperate for rain called upon Honi, an old sage living just outside the walls of Jerusalem famous for making rain.
With a six-foot staff in hand, Honi began to draw in the sand. The people stared in wonder, skeptical of Honi, but hopeful for rain. After what seemed like hours, but had only been seconds, Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn in the sand. He then dropped to his knees and raised his hands to the heavens and shouted:
“Lord of the Universe, I swear before Your great name that I will not move from this circle until You have shown mercy upon Your children.”
The words penetrated the soul of every hearer in the midst. It wasn’t just the volume of his voice; it was the authority in his tone. Not a hint of doubt. As his prayers ascended, the rain descended. Droplets began to trickle down from the sky, hissing as they hit the scorching rocks. An audible gasp swept across the thousands of people gathered around Honi. Some complained at the pitiful drops that descended But most rejoiced at the droplets of rain, the first in months. As the crowd erupted into cheers and celebration Honi remained kneeled in the circle not satisfied with the sprinkle. Head still bowed, and arms extended upwards he cried out:
“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits and caverns!”
The sprinkling intensified. Those who were there swore that no drop was smaller than an egg in size. The torrential rain poured down so heavily that people began to flee to the temple mount to escape flash flooding. And yet Honi remained inside the circle. Still kneeling, he shouted to the heavens, once more refining his bold request,
“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of Your favour, blessings and graciousness.”
Then, the rain began to calm. Pouring perfectly like a calming rain on a hot summers day.The waters not only quenched the land, but quenched the doubt and despair of a generation who had long awaited a miracle, but had not the faith to pray for one.
Step Into God’s Circles
We need to draw prayer circles in our life, and pray as if our life depended on it. Be as resolute as Honi to have our prayers answered. Step into our circles and shout to the heavens, “Lord I refuse to move from here until you answer my prayer.” Drawing prayer circles starts with figuring out what God wants for your life. “Until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply” (The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson). God answers prayers to our benefit. But in order for us be effective in our prayers we first determine what God wants for our lives.
You can apply prayer for personal gain and pray for what you want, but getting what you want isn’t the goal of prayer; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you. Ultimately prayer isn’t to have God grant you whatever you want. God isn’t a magical genie we get to summon and control through prayer. Prayer serves the specific purpose of having God intervene in your life, and do something that you could not otherwise do in your own power.
In order for our prayers, and our circling to be effective, we must circle that which God would have us circle. This may take some time. This may require you to pray for God to reveal to you His will. But if we want to have the sea-splitting, fire-raining, sick-healing, rain-calling power type of prayers we must pray for the things God wants for our lives!
Power, Prayer, Purpose, Prophecy
When we start drawing the godly circles in our lives we tap into this unlimited source of divinely power. At the intersection of God’s will and our desires is where miracles are manifest. When we pray with the power of the God of the universe behind us, we have the power to change history. Through prayer God can step in to our lives and fill us with purpose.
But prayers are important for another reason: prayers are prophecies. “They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. The transcript of your prayer becomes the script for your life,” (The Circle Maker). When we tap into God’s power, our prayers are endowed with purpose. These prayers become prophecy. Predictors for our spiritual future. The power, and purpose behind our prayers become the guiding lights for the future God has in store for each of us.
Bold prayers honour God, and God honours bold prayers. When we step into God’s circles for our lives, and when God’s will becomes our purpose we have no choice but to make our prayers bold. When we are praying for God to divinely intervene in our lives, and when we’re praying for God’s purpose in our lives you have no choice but to step into those circles and say, “God, I refuse to step out of this circle, I refuse to stop praying for this, I refuse to stop pouring everything I have into your purpose for me until you have answered this prayer!”
God loves keeping His promises, answering prayers, performing miracles and fulfilling dreams. That is who He is, and what He does. The bigger the circle we draw, the more impossible the prayer the better, because God gets more glory. God wants to step into your life in powerful ways, and show you that there is nothing that He can’t do, but our prayers have to be bold enough to give God the room to demonstrate His power in our lives.
We Have Not Because We Ask Not
God is a God of unlimited power and potential. He’s just sitting on the edge of His seat waiting for us to ask for help. Waiting for us to ask Him to intervene; waiting for us to want it hard it enough to pray for it long enough and bold enough. His power is endless, and all we need to do is ask for it! “The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked” (The Circle Maker).
There is no difference between the prophets of the Bible, and us today. It’s the same God. He hasn’t changed. He is just as powerful today as He was thousands of years ago! He steps in in miraculous ways today like yesterday, but if we want to change the way we interact with God, we need to change the way we pray.
Prayer is what connects us to the infinite God who is just longing to bless us and transform our lives. When we draw prayer circles around our greatest challenges and our biggest dreams we are declaring that we are as eager to receive God’s blessing as He is eager to give them. Our prayer circles remind us that in our strength we can’t do it; that we need to rely on God to do the impossible for us. God has promised that He will never abandon us and when we draw prayer circles we acknowledge that we are never alone!
God help me to step into your prayer circles. Help me to be so in tune with your will that your wish becomes my desire. Help me to tap into your power supply, and pray boldly. Help me to rely on your strength and be as resolute to be blessed as you are to bless me. Amen