Tag Archives: Mark Batterson

Weekend Wisdom: Faith

Here’s a quote for you to meditate on as you go about your life this week.

Go into this week with a mustard seed of faith and act with all the power and glory of your faith.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She also does not think or pray like you normal people. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

National Day of Prayer 2020

I invite you to pray with our prayer group tonight from 6:30 – 7:00ish p.m. Eastern (we usually run over a few minutes). Wherever you are, bow your heads in prayer at that time.

The official nationwide broadcast is 7 pm to 8 pm. tonight

Here is my prayer, the prayer of a history lover, based on the verse selected for this National Day of Prayer.

Galveston Bay (2009)

My Prayer

Dear Holy, Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father,

I thank you for being Holy, Gracious and Loving.

Forgive We the People for not being filled with the knowledge of Your glory, particularly as it relates to the history of our country. Forgive us for forgetting our history and Your involvement in our country’s founding.

May We the People not just see and know your glory in the present and the future but let us develop an interest in history so We the People will spend time researching and understanding the knowledge of Your glory the founder fathers possessed.

May We the People visit the past to learn what the founding fathers knew about You. They wove the knowledge of your glorious presence through out our founding documents and in events and speeches (including sermons) that happened in the decades leading up to our independence.

May We the People, use the knowledge of your glory to insure domestic Tranquility and promote the general Welfare of our neighborhoods, cities, counties, states and the country.

May We the People in times of national crisis cling to your words in the Bible and to the Constitution as Your glory is woven through out both. The health and safety of We the People of the United States does not mean our constitutional rights get thrown overboard.

So most Holy, Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father, protect us from the evil one who is using politics, religion, and this virus, (among other things), to pit We the People against one another in an effort to prevent us from enjoying Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

For it is Your name and reputation at stake – not that of us mere mortals.

In Your son Jesus’ Holy and Precious name I do pray.

Amen.

Benediction:

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;

25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26
English Standard Version
(ESV)
biblegateway.com

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Drawing Circles Around Ohio – A 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Hello May!

So wonderful to see you.

Thank you God for nourishing the earth with rain today.

Liftoff!

Today, Ohio starts it’s journey back to economic prosperity. It will be a slow process but we will get our economy soaring to new heights. We have to, work is all there is to do in Ohio as a lot of summer activities are already cancelled.

So I figured this is a very good time for another read through of Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge. Forty days of setting a foundation of prayer around Ohio’s new beginning.

If your state is either still in quarantine or just starting to get back to business as usual, I challenge you to get a copy and circle your state in prayer.

You do not have to start today but can start on any date that makes sense. If your state opens on May 15, then start on that date.

I have a regular spiral bound notebook as my journal for the next 40 days. Ohio got circled in blue pen this morning, but I have my watercolor pens ready to use in drawing daily circles around Ohio. It will be fun to see what this page looks like in 40 days.

Now while I am challenging you to pray for your state the next 40 days, God may overrule me and want you to pray for another area of your life, such as work, family, or friends.

Listen to God.

Circle in prayer what He tells you to circle.

God’s Presence

In the introduction to Draw the Circle, Batterson writes:

If you press into God’s presence like never before, you will experience God like never before.

Mark Batterson
Draw the Circle
The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Considering the shape of Ohio and this country, we need to press into God’s presence more than ever. We the people have eliminated God from our lives and are fearing:

  • the terrors of the night
  • the arrow that flies in the day
  • the disease that stalks in darkness
  • the disaster that strikes at midday

Psalm 91 tells us not to fear these things. However not only are we fearing those things, we are listening and putting our trust in man, in our government, and believing every word they say as gospel truth.

Stop It!

Give your terrors, your fears, your state, our country, or some other area of your life over to God the next 40 days and see what God will do. Maybe He will do something big or maybe something small or maybe He will do nothing at all – until the 55th day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

After the 40 days is over hopefully you’ve established a regular prayer routine. And hopefully Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 finds your state or another area of your life more prosperous, but if not, don’t despair as God answers prayers in His time not ours.

Just keep drawing the circle.

Stay humble. Stay patient. Stay focused.

Keep circling.

Mark Batterson
Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
pg 20

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Pray To Live A Joyful Life

I grew up in a Christian house and went to church with numerous relatives because I am related to 5 founding members.

John 3:16 was drilled into my head from a very, very young age.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16
King James Version
(KJV)

And so was prayer.

When I Learned What Prayer Could Do

I did not understand what prayer could do until I was six years old. My parents woke me up early, early one morning (about 2 a.m.) and told me my paternal grandmother had a stroke and they were going to the hospital. My maternal grandfather was sleeping downstairs if my sister and I needed anything. They asked me to pray for grandma.

I did.

God, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die. God please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die.

Me, when I was 6

I prayed that prayer over and over and over again until God sent the sandman to put me to sleep. The next morning I raced down the stairs and was informed that grandma had not died but she had a long recovery ahead.

Wow! God answered my prayer! The simple prayer of an innocent six-year-old.

That is when I realized what prayer could do.

However, once I moved away from home, I got lazy. Lazy about going to church and lazy in my prayer life.

Oh, I would occasionally say prayers throughout my life, but it was after Joe’s passing that my prayer life and relationship with God got stronger. It did not get stronger all at once but slowly over the years while dealing with grief, unemployment, and building a new life.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Psalm 27: 7-8

Prayer is not for God. Prayer is for you. It is your way to communicate with our heavenly Father, to develop and cement a relationship with Him. He wants to talk with every one of us.

You don’t know what to pray?

Well, if you followed the previous step and read your Bible after exercising, then you have the best prayer book in your hands.

Pray God’s word back to Him.

If you are grieving try the second part of Psalm 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5
New Living Testament
(NLT)

For example: Lord you say weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Would you please let that morning arrive soon? Preferably tomorrow morning? In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

That’s it. Just a simple little prayer. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated.

Just remember God will answer that prayer – in His time, not yours. I know it is tough to wait for His time but His time will arrive.

So for the next 40+ days, including Sundays, pray about one thing in your life or a loved one’s life. Write it down on a piece of notebook paper or in a journal, draw a circle around it and pray about it daily.

Not sure yet what thing or area in my life I will be drawing a circle around in my notebook. I do know it will either be this blog or my job that will be the recipient of intense pray this Lent.

Pray as if God was your best friend because He is. He will never get tired of hearing your prayer request.

I encourage you to join me in making prayer an area of intense focus this Lenten season to jump start living a joyful life.

Resources: Draw The Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson – The perfect prayer guide for Lent or any 40 day period. Inspiring stories about answers to prayer. Also includes scripture and prayer prompts for your journey.

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears – Mark Batterson

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur G. Bennett

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Some Favorite Quotes – Draw The Circles

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Draw the Circle, the 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. Hopefully these quotes will inspire you to get the book and do your own challenge.

I love this book as it is so positive, uplifting and filled with hope. While it reinforces that God is for us, Mark also states that God is not a machine where you input a prayer request and out comes your answer.

So if you are looking to increase your joy, hope, peace and overall reassurance that God has your back – then get this book.

Our biggest problem is our small view of God. 

pg 56

And this is precisely what happens when we pray. We see things no one else sees. 

pg 67 

Christianity was always intended to be a verb-more specifically, an action verb. 

pg 157

God can accomplish more in one day than you can accomplish in a lifetime. 

pg 83

 

Are You Ready For Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is 1 week from today. That means you have 1 week to get your copy of Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge so you can join me and others as we read and pray through this challenge for lent.

I am praying through this challenge right now and it is inspiring me to pray as if I were 6 years old again. It was at that age I learned the power of prayer.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

Actually, I do not know if it was dark and stormy out the night Mom and Dad woke me. All I know is that it was dark in my bedroom. They were headed to the hospital as Grandma Q. was very sick and I needed to pray for her. I prayed the following prayer will a whole lot of intensity:

“God, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die. God, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die.”

I prayed that prayer over and over and over and over and over again until I finally fell back asleep. It was prayed with the intensity, sincerity and boldness of a 6 year old who loved her grandma and did not want to lose her.

God answered my prayer that night as Grandma did not move to heaven for about another 20 years.

Changes So Far

This challenge is rekindling the intensity I had when I prayed that prayer. It is also teaching me to claim and circle the promises in the Bible.

Joshua 1:3 is the verse I have claimed and circled in regards to being able to keep my house.

 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

Since God gave the Israelites everywhere they set their foot, surely He will help me keep everywhere I’ve set my foot in this house and backyard over the years. Yes, I know He will only do so, if it is His will.

Take Up, Don’t Give Up

So purchase a copy of Mark Batterson’s book and see how God will work in your life during lent. Taking up this challenge is better than giving something up for lent.

 

40 Days of Drawing Circles – A Lenten Challenge

I am a believer in taking up something for Lent, instead of giving something up. Giving up chocolate, candy, coffee or anything else is only going to make you tired and cranky. The rest of the world will be miserable because you are miserable.

That is not how you

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Mark 12:31

(NIV)

Instead attend a Bible Study, go volunteer at a non-profit close to your heart, or start an fitness program. (The next round of Faithful Finish Lines starts 2/28.)

Another Option

Now if none of those appeal to you, I triple dog dare you to try Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle; The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.  The book has 40 daily devotions that encourage you to pray big, bold, audacious prayers.

Some of Mark’s lessons are about:

  • our prayers not being bold enough
  • not talking to the mountains about God
  • not praying long enough (think what would have happened at Jericho if the Israelites had stopped circling the city on day 5 or day 6.)

The Challenge

I challenge everyone of my readers to purchase a copy of Mark’s book (non-affiliate link) and participate in the challenge with me starting on February 10th (Ash Wednesday) and ending on Easter. (Sunday’s in Lent do not count – but once you start this challenge you will not want to stop.)

Requirements

Besides the book you will need a pen, hiliter, and journal or notepad. You will want to write your prayers and circle them. It will be helpful if you have your Bible so you can look up specific verses and read the entire passage, if you so desire.

You will also need to set aside some time everyday to read the devotion and then pray about your requests. Do not be afraid to write down the verses that speak to you, claim them as promises, and circle them. Yes, writing in your Bible is also perfectly acceptable.

God’s Obligation To This Challenge

Oh and by the way – God is under no obligation to answer your prayer requests. However after you are done with this challenge, and quite possibly before, you will see God working in your life – somehow, someway if you just open your eyes.

My Why? 

Why did I pick this to do during lent? It’s simple. I am currently on Day 23 of the challenge and God is working on my bigger, bolder prayers.

You should have heard the lecture I gave my mountains (career, expenses) about God and how He will level them with just a blink of His eye.

I will update you on what is happening in my life during the challenge. This might not be until after 2/19 as I am involved in a project the first part of February that will be time consuming and keep me on my toes. Time to write might be very limited for a little while.

Are You Ready To Draw Circles? 

This challenge is open to all my readers no matter what religion. All you need is a willingness to boldly go where you have not gone before.

Please email me at Michele dot Kearns at JoyReturns dot com as I want to hear how God is working in your life this lenten season.

Today is 1/25 and Lent starts on 2/10 so you have a little over 2 weeks to get the book and your supplies.

Go. Set. Ready.

thinbutterfly

 

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