Welcome to my office! I hope you had a wonderful week! Allow me to share with you some of what I learned and read in the previous week.
Since I am welcoming you into my office weekly, I had a few professional photos taken at my home office by my photographer friend, Alyson Osborn. Since I cannot have a one-on-one meeting with you each week, I want to invite you in this way into the space where I do most of my reading, writing, thinking, and podcasting.
If you are in the Fort Worth area and need professional or other types of photos done, I want to recommend Alyson to you. Her prices are reasonable, and she is very nice to work with. You can find out more about her?here.
Book I Read This Week:
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
If you have ever wondered how to get your prayers answered, this is a life-changing book.? I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to have a closer walk with God.
If you are of the Christian faith, you know how vital prayer is. However if you are like me, being consistent (and persistent) in this important spiritual discipline does not always happen. In his book Pastor Mark demystifies powerful principles about prayer. Here are a few of my take-aways:
- The book?s title and first three pages reference the powerful story of a first-century Jewish sage named Honi. Honi was known to be able to pray for rain in times of drought, and God would answer him.? He would draw a circle in the sand and sit in it and pray to God for rain. He would not leave that circle until it rained. It always did. Thus, The Circle Maker.
- Just like Honi, Mark encourages us to ?draw circles? around our biggest problems and continue praying (as long as it takes) until we hear from God.
- God can answer yes, no, or not yet. Many times when He responds not yet, we think it?s a no.
- But we have to remember that sometimes the answer will be no, and we will never know why. We have to be okay with that, and trust that He knows what is best for us just like a loving parent.
- And we should not pray vague prayers. Mark says that when we pray vague prayers, we do not know when God answers. We may want to write down the prayer with the date and keep praying until we hear from God.
- He encourages us to ?pray crazy dreams.? If we really believe in God, then we should dream big and be persistent in our prayers to God.
- He explains how God did not deliver the Israelites and split the Red Sea when the Egyptian army was still in Egypt ? He waited until they were close. Mark says that God wants us to stand still, and many times God will come through right before we need Him. This will show us that we are to depend on Him and trust Him.
- He also encourages us to ?think long? ? pray for future generations and pray for things that may not impact us directly or now. He says prayers are like sealed messages in a bottle. They will have an impact in due time.
- He talked about how Daniel prayed three times per day, even when praying became outlawed.
Keep praying until you get an answer is the powerful message of this book. Even if you have to pray for something for 70 years, like David we should pray and wait expectantly for God?s answer. And when God does a miracle, don?t get comfortable ? draw faith from it and ask for a bigger miracle.
As a Christian leader, I pray for all those who work with me. This book was a great encouragement to me to continue praying consistently for all the battles that are before me.
The Circle Maker is 217 pages and easy to read and understand. This is a book I marked to read again in one year, and a book I will keep several copies of to give as gifts. I think you will enjoy it. You can find it here.
I hope you?ve had a great week of learning and personal growth!
And I hope you are leading with love!