Mark Batterson begins Chapter 9 (“The Favor of Him Who Dwells in the Burning Bush”) of The Circle Maker with a discussion of the by-products of answered prayer. Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, a community outreach ministry of National Community Church, is the result of eight years of praying hard and circling. God miraculously made it possible for NCC to purchase a former crack house and transform its prime location.
The rooftop of the coffeehouse is Mark’s favorite place to pray because he feels like he’s praying on top of a miracle. Mark writes:
“. . . the faith to pray hard . . . is one of the by-products of answered prayer. It gives us the faith to believe God for bigger and better miracles.”
With each answered prayer, we draw bigger prayer circles. With each act of faithfulness, our faith increases. With each promise kept, our persistence quotient grows.
The process of persistently praying hard stretches your faith. When you have to pray for a long time, there is no temptation to take a miracle for granted. As Mark commonsensically notes, if it doesn’t take a miracle, it isn’t a miracle.
Pastor Batterson cites Matthew 18:18- Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” The word bind means “to place a contract on something.” Mark notes that is precisely what happens when we pray. If you are praying in accordance with the will of God, when you pray for something in the earthly realm God will bind it in the heavenly realm. God loves to keep His promises. He is actively waiting and watching for us to take Him at His word.
“The Lord is watching over His word.”- Jeremiah 1:12 (ESV)
Today’s questions (from Mark): Do you have a favorite place to pray? A place where your mind is more focused? A place where you have more faith? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The greatest moments in life”