Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, has already had a profound influence on my life and I am just 60-some pages into it. It is a new understanding of what we are to do when we pray that he describes as “Circling Jericho.” The Israelites were told to circle Jericho once each day for six days, then on the seventh day, circle seven times. At the end of the seventh lap the priests were to blow the trumpets and everyone was to give a loud shout. They obeyed and Joshua 6 says that when the wall fell down, “every man went straight in.”
Trust and obey. That’s what the Israelites did and that’s what we should do when we pray. Silently circle your Jericho even though it seems foolish or foreboding. 600,000 Israelites raised a holy roar on the 13th lap “that registered on the Richter scale, and the walls came tumbling down.” God delivered on a 400-year-old promise proving once again “that His promises don’t have expiration dates. And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it” (p.21).
What is your Jericho? And, how long have you been circling it? You don’t have to “manufacture the miracle for God,” especially “when God doesn’t answer (your) prayer right away.” Don’t “try to answer it for Him.” Moses tried to do that when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster who was abusing a fellow Israelite and it cost him forty years in the desert. “When we try to do God’s job for Him, it always backfires.”
So if you’ve circled a promise, while you’re waiting and praying and believing, seek God, not just the answer. Don’t get “overanxious.” As Batterson cautions, Don’t “try to microwave (your) own answers instead of trusting God’s timing.” “If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. There comes a point after you have prayed through that you need to let go and let God. How? By resisting the temptation to manufacture your own answer to your own prayer” (p.63). Let God deliver on the promise He has made to you sometime, someway, somehow! God may just come through on the promise He gave you “out of nowhere and (deliver) on (it) with a holy surprise.”
David F. Nixon, D.Min.
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