Tag Archives: Mark Batterson

What can we learn from a tiny seed?

It’s wonderful what Creation can teach us.

Did you know that from one of the smallest seeds grows one of the largest trees? The seed of the sequoia is only ¼ the size of a grain of uncooked rice. And yet it grows into the biggest tree, having roots that can cover over 2-4 acres and bark that can be 2 feet thick.

seed

I find that amazing!

And can you imagine our earth without seeds? There would be very little plant growth.

In Genesis 1:11-13,

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three.

Jesus told this parable: From Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Have you looked at a seed lately?

As I planted my garden this spring, I marvelled that the tiny beet seed would produce luscious red beets;tomato seeds would grow into tall tomato plants; bean seeds into edible beans.

seed

But the parable of the tiny mustard seed:

– that makes more sense when I understand the miracle of a tiny seed growing into a large plant like the Sequoia seed turning into the largest tree.

And that our faith can be like that – small, unassuming, but powerful because we enlist the aid of God.

seed

Mark Batterson in his book study called Draw the Circle, reminds us of the miracle of that tiny seed and also how we need to go slow and wait expectantly for our prayers to be answered.

He says:

Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations…. So even when we die our prayers don’t.

In this world we want quick fixes, and instant solutions.

Mark says:

We want God to microwave solutions, MapQuest directions and Twitter instructions.

We forget, yes forget, that we serve a powerful awesome God.

 

In Psalm 50 we hear that God owns the cattle of a thousand hills.

 

We need to remember that we can’t let fear dictate our decisions.

 

Mark Batterson also says:

When Jesus walked out of the tomb, the word impossible was removed from our vocabulary.

Our God who can make a humungous tree grow from a tiny seed,
can surely answer our prayers.

 

Is your God big enough to answer your prayers? Remember you need to ask. So dream big and ask our awesome God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, You came to earth to show us the way. You came to teach us about God. You talked about Who God is and you showed miracles to show us how big our God is. Please help us to have that mustard seed of faith to put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, think about your prayer time. Are you spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word?

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How To Find Out About Prayer

How To Find Out About Prayer

I have been writing on medium.com for the past month. This post is the start of a few posts about a 40 Day Challenge following Mark Batterson’s book, Draw the Circle.

I have started a 40 Day Prayer Challenge based on the book Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. I’m not sure why at this particular time God challenged me with this. I know we all have too much on our plates. But maybe that’s because we don’t pray enough.

 

Mark Batterson

Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson

I challenge you to join me. I have a private Facebook Private Group that you may join by asking. Please ask to join here.

Each day during the work week I will start by reading a chapter and journalling my thoughts. I will share those with you on my FB page.

I enjoy journalling in my Bible as well. Sometimes I draw pictures — other times just notes. Here is an example for the first day which started June 16th.

Mark Batterson
from my journal of June 16, 2017

The first Circle of prayer:

Lord, help me to hear what or who I need to pray for.

Here are 8 things I learned from day one.

 

You can find the rest of the post at medium.com

 

Join me. Let’s learn to pray with concentration and effort and watch God do the work. (tweet this)

Please click to get 2 Free Ebooks, Living Life — One Word at a Time and Five Ways God Changed Me.

Visit my Bookstore.

Am I Spinning My Wheels?

Am I Spinning My Wheels?

by Janis Cox

Are-you-spinning-your-wheels-

Thanks to Photo Bucket for the Photo Stuck Vehicle.

With all the snow up north this winter I thought about a time when I became very stuck in that white stuff.

As I went on a mission to find furniture for a group of refugees we worked with, I drove into a parking lot. The snow in the lot didn’t look very deep. However when I tried to back up, I became stuck.

I couldn’t go forward or backward – I kept spinning my wheels.

People came to help. I would put the car into low gear and then they would push. I would put the car into reverse and they would push from the front. I tried rocking the car back and forth using the gears. Nothing – the car kept spinning.

Suddenly I remembered my hubby’s words, “Don’t forget you have automatic traction on this car. If you have trouble on a hill, take off the traction.”

Well this wasn’t a hill but I needed to take off the auto track, because every time I would slip a little, the car automatically braked. I took off the auto track and with one push out I came.

Do we carry an auto tracking device? Do we spin our wheels?

I think we do. I think my auto track device keeps me from moving by keeping me doing the same old thing. I am going nowhere and spinning my wheels.

What keeps me from moving forward?
What keeps me from following my dreams?
What keeps me from following Jesus’ leading?

In the next few weeks I plan to share what I have been hearing from God for my own life and maybe what is keeping me from expanding my territory?

Satan always want to distract us from the work God wants us to do.

Have you noticed this? Do you have an auto traction device that keeps putting brakes on God’s plans for your life?

Let’s start a discussion either here in the comments or on Facebook or on Twitter.

Answer the question:

Are you spinning your wheels?

Let’s find out what auto track we have turned on that is keeping us from moving with God.

If you want God to move, sometimes you have to make a move. ~ Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker

But Mark also says this:

If you keep trying, you are not failing … God is honored when you don’t give up. ~ Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker

Prayer:

Lord, there is something holding me back from expanding my territory for Your glory. Show me what it is. Release it – if it is something that you need me to do. Take off the auto brakes. Help me to move forward and follow your plans and lead. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

Do we carry an auto tracking device? Do we spin our wheels? (tweet this)

There should be nothing holding me back from fulfilling the plans you have for me. (tweet this)

What keeps me from following my dreams? What keeps me from following Jesus’ leading? (tweet this)

Here is one of my favourite praise songs. Holding Nothing Back by Jesus Culture.

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Janis Cox

Janis Cox

Janis, a former public school teacher and small business owner found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A believer since 2001 and a writer since 2003, Janis blogs at Growing Through God’s Word. She also podcasts on HopeStreamRadio once a week. She loves to paint and tap dance.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website, Facebook and Twitter. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

Sunday Stillness – How is your prayer a time capsule?

Sunday Stillness – How is your prayer a time capsule?

Every-prayer---time-capsule-Mark-Batterson

As I read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson I pray more. I see my prayers answered. I see God working. I love this statement that Mark makes in this book:

Every prayer is a time capsule. You never know when or where or how God is going to answer it, but He will answer it (page 204, The Circle Maker).

As I started my faith walk with Jesus I remember someone explain to me that God always answers. The answer may be: YES. NO. or MAYBE.

If you haven’t had an answer of no – then persist in praying. The answer of YES may be just around the bend.

You won’t know if God will answer unless you keep praying.

That’s why prayers are like an incense to our Father – the aroma of our cries, our pleas and our questions. We watch and wait for the answers. That is exciting. But we need to pray in order to get answers.

Our prayers build before the Lord.

Our prayers don’t dissipate over time; our prayers accumulate through eternity (page 204, The Circle Maker).

Join me over at #UTCOP, Under the Cover of Prayer, as we grapple with all facets of talking and listening to God.

Tweetables:

Our prayers build before the Lord. ~ @MarkBatterson. (tweet this)

You won’t know if God will answer unless you keep praying. (tweet this)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

I hope you consider joining me in my new venture with a newsletter. I am taking a step of faith to do this.

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How to Claim Scripture When You Pray

How to Claim Scripture When You Pray

prayer-circle-family

Do you wonder about all the verses in the Bible? I do. There are so many and each verse can mean something to me a different way at a different time.

I learned something even more fantastic as I read through The Circle Maker. If we take a verse from God’s Word we can pray it back to God. I have done this a couple of times before. Now, though, it feels like it should be something I do on a more regular basis. We have written about praying the Scripture in previous posts. Here are some. You can search for more by using the search button on the sidebar.

Praying God’s Promises

Have You Prayed the Scriptures?

How Can We Pray Using the Scriptures?

When we circle someone in prayer, we can add Scripture to that prayer. For instance let’s say we are praying for our families (and we know we all pray for our families).  It doesn’t have to be fancy – I actually did my first one with all their names in it. I wrote it in pen in my journal. Then around the outside I circle that prayer with Scripture. This time I wrote the verses. Sometimes I write the words of one Scripture around the outside.

The Bible tells us that the Lord is watching over His word to perform it. There is nothing God loves more than keeping His promises. He is actively watching and waiting for us to simply take him at His word. (The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson, page 102)

Here are some Scriptures you can use for your family.

Luke 2:52

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

God is watching and waiting to favour His children. So we pray favour over them.

Philippians 4:4-8 (if anyone of your family suffers from fears)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Praying for peace over someone who fears, can be such a blessing. Praying that they think the right thoughts is a powerful prayer.

Do you get what I mean? Taking God’s Word and sending it back to Him as a prayer.

One more example. What if we wanted one particular outcome? After praying about and sensing that God is in agreement, then we write that desire or dream inside a circle. Then we find Scripture to pray around it.

Mark talks about a building that they wanted to buy. It seemed hopeless and impossible. They circle the building both physically and in prayer, using a Scripture that they sensed God would give them favour for the building. They prayed Matthew 18:18.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

They believed God had promised them the building so they prayed back His promise to Him. And they did get the building – at a reduced rate I might add.

Even this Scripture can be used because God wants to give gifts to His children. Joshua 1:2.

Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.

Tweetable:

How we can take God’s Word and send it back to Him as prayer. (tweet this)

I am in the learning stages of this way to pray. Have you used Scripture to pray back to God? Have you read The Circle Maker? What other ideas can you give us?

The Circle Maker

Prayer:

Thank You for your Word. We are so blessed to have it. Help us to learn how to pray back your Word to You. Thank You again for listening to our prayers. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.