Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Midweek Meditation: "The Second Circle-Pray Hard" (Mark Batterson)

Following last week's first circle, we move to the second circle of Batterson's exhortation: Pray Hard.

"The parable of the persistent widow is one of the most pixilated pictures of prayer in Scripture. It shows us what praying hard looks like: knocking until your knuckles are raw, crying out until your voice is lost, pleading through until your teats run dry. Praying hard is praying through. And if you pray through, God will come through. But it will be God's will, God's way.

The phrase used to describe the widow's persistence, 'she is wearing me out,' is boxing terminology. Praying hard is going twelve rounds with God. A heavyweight prayer bout with God Almighty can be excruciating and exhausting, but that is how the greatest prayer victories are won. Praying hard is more than words; it's blood, sweat, and tears. Praying hard is two-dimensional: praying like it depends on God, and working like it depends on you. It's praying until God answers, no matter how long it takes. It's doing whatever it takes to show God you're serious.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there is no more desperate act than praying hard. There comes a moment when you need to throw caution to the wind and draw a circle in the sand. There comes a moment when you need to defy protocol, drop to your knees, and pray for the impossible. There comes a moment when you need to muster every ounce of faith you have and call down rain from heaven. For the persistent widow, this was that moment.

While we don't know what injustice took place, we do know that the persistent widow wouldn't take no for an answer. That's what made her a circle maker."

(Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker, Zondervan, 2011, p81-82)

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