Praying Circles around Life’s Greatest Challenges!
Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Genesis 18:13-14 (NIV)
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you…” Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
Jeremiah 32:17, 26-27 (NIV)
In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, “Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!” Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.”
Mark 11:20-24 (MSG)
Four Biblical “Faith-Circle” Samples
“A __________ or ___________ that is representative of a _______; an entity that is representative of a _______.”
__________ confronts the ______ Sea!
(The Red ______ Circle)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground… Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
Exodus 14:15-16, 21-22 (NIV)
____________ confronts the setting _______!
(The Setting ______ Circle)
The day God gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to God, with all Israel listening: “Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.” And Sun stopped, Moon stood stock still until he defeated his enemies. (You can find this written in the Book of Jashar.) The sun stopped in its tracks in mid sky; just sat there all day. There’s never been a day like that before or since—God took orders from a human voice! Truly, God fought for Israel.
Joshua 10:12-14 (MSG)
____________ confronts the ______________ of _______!
(The Mount _____________ Circle)
So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good…” Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
1 Kings 18:20-24, 30-39 (NIV)
_________ confronts the ___________man!
(The Gate _______________ Circle)
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.
Acts 3:1-9 (NKJV)
Encountering a Whirlwind of Worship!
O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations… Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook.
Psalm 77:13-14, 18 (NLT)
The Message for verse 18 reads:
“From Whirlwind came your thundering voice, Lightning exposed the world, Earth reeled and rocked.”
“Judah is now my weapon, the bow I’ll pull, setting Ephraim as an arrow to the string… From now on people are my swords.” Then God will come into view, his arrows flashing like lightning! Master God will blast his trumpet and set out in a whirlwind. God-of-the-Angel-Armies will protect them—all-out war, the war to end all wars… Their God will save the day. He’ll rescue them. They’ll become like sheep, gentle and soft, or like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun. Then how they’ll shine! shimmer! glow!…
Zechariah 9:13-17 (MSG)
Just before God took Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on a walk out of Gilgal… And so it happened. They were walking along and talking. Suddenly a chariot and horses of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.
2 Kings 2:1, 11 (MSG)
A Personal Interpretation:
Elijah: The __________ Generation
Elisha: The ____________ Generation
The Whirlwind: The ___________ and _______________ of God!
Twice in Job We Read:
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind…
Job 38:1 and 40:6 (NLT)
A Vision of a Vortex
A Personal Testimony
“A __________ motion… within a ____________
area… that sucks _______________ near, toward its
___________; a place or situation regarded as drawing to its __________ all that surrounds it.”
“Circling around a ___________ at a continuously increasing or decreasing distance.”
The Significance of Gilgal
God told Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the Chest of The Testimony to come up from the Jordan.” Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” They did it. The priests carrying God’s Chest of the Covenant came up from the middle of the Jordan. As soon as the soles of the priests’ feet touched dry land, the Jordan’s waters resumed their flow within the banks, just as before. The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. They set up camp at The Gilgal (The Circle) to the east of Jericho. Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan… “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always.”
Joshua 4:15-20, 23-24 (MSG)
“He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
Joshua 4:24 (NLT)