In case you are not familiar with the story, instead of ordering Israel to ram through the gates or even instead of blighting the city with His own mighty hand, God orders Israel to march around the city in silence for seven day. Ummmm. What? God, that doesn't exactly seem to be the best plan. Yeah. I can relate to how the people of Israel must have been feeling. The questions that must have been running through their minds. "God, why don't you just do this?" "Why are you asking us to do it this way?" "Wouldn't it be better if...?" Oh, how I hear my own feeble heart reflected in those questions!
But there was more to God's plan. (Isn't there always?) He told Israel that after seven days of circling the city, the walls would fall and the city would be theirs. God asked Israel to do something that looked totally insane, I mean literally crazy. Why? So that He alone would receive the glory when His plan came to fruition. After seven days of marching, Israel was to give a holy shout, and at that point, the walls would fall. A plan like that could only be God's, and I am convinced that He does things like that (in a way that makes zero sense to mankind) so that He will be glorified through the outcome. I mean, come one, no military general is taking credit for a victory that involved no fighting. That can only be God.
So Batterson poses the following question: What is your Jericho?
This is critical question.
"Drawing prayer circles starts with identifying your Jericho. You've got to define the promises God wants you to stake claim to, the miracles God wants you to believe for and the dreams God wants you to pursue.Then you need to keep circling until God gives you what He wants and He wills. That's the goal."
What is the desire God has placed in your heart for this life?
"Most of us don't get what we want simply because we don't know what we want. We've never circled any of God's promises... Instead of drawing circles, we draw blanks."
Batterson's point is that we need to be specific when we pray. What are the things we feel God has laid on our hearts for our lives? For me, it is our adoption. I know that this beautiful piece of our life has come from the Lord. Adopting is not a natural process. Adopting can't ever be an accident. And adopting is not easy. So I know that the Lord is the One who has put this desire in my heart, and in Adam's heart, as well. So what do I do with that? Well, I pray about it. Because I know that this is part of God's plan for my life, I circle it, soak it, drench it in a whole lot of prayer. And as time has passed, the Lord has emboldened me. He has grown my faith, my trust, my reliance on Him. As a result, my prayers have become increasingly more specific. We are praying for a May referral and a baby in our home by Christmas of 2013. I know that might seem like a loooooong way off, but in the adoption world, this would be an absolute miracle. God will have to move in a powerful way in order of this to happen. But you know what? He can. It is easy for Him. This thing that seems so impossible to me, for Him is easier than snapping His holy fingers. So I am praying that He does it. Will He? I don't know. But I know He can. So I am praying, praying hard.
"The Israelites didn't conquer Jericho because of a brilliant military strategy or brute force. They learned how to let the Lord fight their battles for them. Drawing prayer circles is far more powerful than any battering ram. It doesn't just knock down doors; it fells fifty-foot walls."
This is the approach we must take. It can be so very difficult to do. Especially if you are like me and you think you have all the right answers and all the best plans. To sit back and let God do His thing can feel impossible. BUT, it is always, without exception, the best approach. When we let Him fight for us, let Him conquer our Jericho, He gets the glory and we reap the blessing.
If you know Jesus, you will be called to do some crazy, way-out-there things. The kinds of things that make the rest of the world look at you like you have absolutely lost your mind. These things might seem impossible. The way God asks you to do them might seem nonsensical. I know God has asked some things of me that I feel totally unequipped to do. Things that would make me arch one eyebrow (if I could) and tell Him that He picked the wrong person. I have actually told Him that a few times. But you know what? When I really think about it, and I mean truly think about who I am in Christ and what my purpose on this earth should be as a result of that, I realize and recognize that this is the way I want my life to be. I want the only explanation for my life to be, "Well, God planned it, and she listened. He called and she went." That way, when the impossible happens, when that May referral gets here ;), I can point right back to God, and say, "He did it. He called me, and then He carried me. All I did was pray and show up."
"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
**All italicized segments have been taken from Mark Batteron's The Circle Maker.