Tag: prayer

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

A Simple Prayer

I wrote this post right after my church’s online prayer meeting.

Dear Holy, Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father,

I thank you

  • for being Holy, Gracious and Loving
  • for being generous with your love and blessings
  • for being incomprehensible – unable to be fully known but yet fully knowing us.

Lord as far as you being incomprehensible, I am unable to fully understand why on April 22, 2020, it is snowing – again.

I thank you for the snow. I may as well thank you for it because this mere mortal can’t stop it.

All I ask is that you use the rain, lightning, thunder, wind and snow that have blown through here the past few days and weeks, to clear out the Coronavirus. Just like in The Wizard of Oz where Glinda the good witch cleanses the field of poppies with snow.

That request may sound far-fetched to others, but you can do anything. I know that if it is your will, you will use this funky weather to lay the smackdown on the Coronavirus, ridding it from Northeast Ohio and the world forevermore.

In You Son Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name I pray.

Amen.

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

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