Matthew 7:8 NLT
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
This is an awesome time for our church family in many ways. Many have spent time the last quarter reading and absorbing Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker, and it has given us fresh excitement and encouragement as we seek God. Many have begun the new year by doing the Daniel Fast which is a powerful time of focusing on God and seeking Him.
These people are doing this to gain recognition or because they are more spiritual than others. Fasting and praying is the way we deny ourselves and seek God even more. It is a way of telling or showing God that we mean business. I believe that during this time God will open and change lives, He will give us direction and open resources for greater ministry and that He will reveal Himself in greater ways.
Matthew 6:18 NASB
Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Batterson’s book and the accompanying 40 Day Prayer Challenge continues to take me places with God that I would not go on my own. Let me give you a few of the thoughts from the book that continue to roll around in my head and heart:
· If you want to keep growing spiritually, you need to keep stretching. How? By going after dreams that are bigger than you are.
· Drawing prayer circles often looks like an exercise in foolishness. But that’s faith. Faith is the willingness to look foolish.
· Prayer and imagination are directly proportional: the more you pray the bigger your imagination becomes because the Holy Spirit supersizes it with God-sized dreams.
· “God does not answer vague prayers.” When I read that statement, I was immediately convicted by how vague my prayers were. Some of them were so vague that there was no way of knowing whether God had answered them or not.
· 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.
· Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big.
The truth is that God honors prayer, and He honors those who pray. He also changes those who pray. We must be willing, very willing to set aside our thoughts, our agenda and even our wants so that we can receive what God has for us. Hold on to the truth.
Hebrews 10:23 NLT
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.