Praying For verses Praying Through

When God is stirring in our hearts, we need to listen.

book-largeSeveral friends have told us in recent days about a book that has been out for the last year.  It is called  The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.

This isn’t mine or Kevin’s first rodeo with this writer. He seems to say things that challenge us in our faith.  Challenge us in the sense that his writing pushes us in hard places that we would otherwise not voluntarily offer to go to and learn.  If you want a big challenge in your faith to dream big for Jesus read  In a Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day!

We were a little hesitant in tackling this book about the circle maker. It took me weeks to just buy the hard copy while Kevin decided to listen to the audio version. You would think we wouldn’t drag our feet in listening to God, but we are human, sinners saved by grace and live in a very hectic world.  We have known from the past that sometimes when we learn the most from God is when He calls us walk it out pretty soon after the lesson is taught. We weren’t sure we were ready for that journey this soon.  We are still learning from the last one!

Just this week, I was able to really jump in and spend some time reading this Circle Maker book – you know…in between math lessons, waiting at gymnastics for lessons to end, and late nights when my eye lids refuse to cooperate.

Kevin also had a 3 month check with our Oncologist here in our hometown, so I had time to read while waiting on the results and to meet with the doctor. Our wait time was short but in the small minutes that I indulged myself in reading, God jumped off the page and this selection from the book became paramount in my life this week.

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Somehow I was taught this principle of praying through many years ago – I just didn’t know how to explain it as well as Mark Batterson does. Understanding the difference between praying for and praying through has radically changed the way I view prayer.

I have had my fair share of “grabbing the horns of the altar and refusing to let go until God answers” kind of moments in my life. I am sure you have too. In fact, you may be there now.

Praying through with a consistent heart and knowing that the God that seriously hung the stars in the sky is hearing your prayers.  Laboring with time spent at the feet of Jesus – sucking carpet fibers while pouring out your requests to Jesus. That is a consistent heart.

Or I like the part about circling Jericho so many times that it makes you dizzy.  Oh, the many times that I have circled and become dizzy!

It is no magic formula, or ritual that you need to perform when praying through some event in your life or even someone else’s event.  It is just the genuine act of pouring your heart before Jesus and letting Him know the desires of your heart.

Later on through the chapter it explains that after you pray through, you need to praise through.  There is a level of maturity that comes with knowing when to begin prayers like this because this is just hard to do when all that is around you stinks and is falling apart.

Psalm 37:4  “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

I continued learning about this praying through experience in the last 8 months of praying for my husband when we were walking through the valley of cancer.  At some point during your prayers of asking for something, you need to quick asking and start praising for what He has already done, and even what He is going to do.  Prayer and praise are both expressions of faith, but praise is a higher dimension of faith.

Prayer is asking God to do something, future tense; praise is believing that God has already done it, past tense.

{Yes, I am in the middle of teaching these grammatical truths to my children too in our homeschooling adventures.}

Now before you close your browser or even unsubscribe from this blog…hear me out.

This is not some “name it, claim it” scheme.  God cannot be bribed or blackmailed.  God does not do miracles to satisfy our selfish whims.  God does miracles for one purpose and one purpose only; to spell out His glory: We just happen to be the beneficiaries.

So which stage are you in?  Praying through while sucking up the carpet fibers or have you stood up from the altar and moved on to Praising God through faith?

God has been so good to us continually in Kevin’s healing.  We praise Him over and over as our family has seen and experienced milestones.

Last week during the our devotional time before starting our school day we set the timer and began listing as many blessings as we could think of before the ding of the timer.

I will treasure those lists in my girls handwriting for years to come.  They get it.

Here is just a snippet of our gratitude in praising God for the things God has already done.

  • Daddy being able to climb stairs in our home to say prayers with our girls before bedtime.
  • Grilling out steaks and potatoes which takes a lot of standing on Daddy’s part
  • Father-Daughter Valentine dances
  • Trips to the grocery store with Daddy. {You know walking around the grocery store can be exhausting!}
  • Haircuts for Daddy as his hair has come back so curly!
  • Daddy’s ability to go back to work and not be so fatigued when he gets home.

Kevin’s blood work this week showed everything in great standings.  His blood counts were great continue to fall and his all his cancer markers were fabulous too!!!  It just continues to put us in a place of awe and praising Him when we see visually what the Great Unseen has done!

A good friend has mentioned several times during this battle a great truth that I remind myself of on many days when it is just hard to put one step in front of the other.

In his great deep southern voice he says, “Now Amy, you know in my Bible it says that it came to pass, but it didn’t say that it came to stay!”

Isn’t that a fresh perspective of how we should look at situations in our life that can be overwhelming.

Here is a song of praising God in the midst of joy or trouble.  I hope it blesses you today.

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Blessings to you!

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  1. Dearest Amy and Kevin, this was just so wonderful to read! I loved the praying through! God is teaching me how to use the gift of praying in the Spirit for the praying through portion! This is the rest that God has for us (Isaiah 28:11 and I Cor. 14: 21). I am learning how to enjoy the rest in the Spirit. God has a rest for us and the book of Hebrews teaches that we need to enter the rest and cease from our works! I love you and think of you so often. Pray that God will give us a time to be together to share soon! Love and blessings to your entire family! Love, Gail

  2. I love to read your thoughts on prayer. I have watched you walk with God through your trial, and it blesses my heart what an example you have been. I love your humility and willingness, desire and courage to keep growing!

    I love you!

  3. Amy , this is great! You have always been in my thoughts, as long as I have known you, each time that I have needed to come out of the wilderness and put my life in God’s hands. I only now, at the age of 42 have been spiritually mature enough to make the commitment that I cannot do life on my terms. You are an inspiration to me, and I pray that I can bring Christ to my family the way you have with yours. I love your blog and will continue to follow.

    Best Regards,
    Shawn Johnson

    PS. I am so pleased to know Kevin is doing better.

  4. I was inspired to buy and begin reading The Circle Maker after reading your post. It’s kind of like a refresher course and reminds me of the days I used to drive a standard. The shifting became automatic after awhile and I crunched gears a few times not realizing I automatically shifted because I had a sense of when to shift. As in switching from fervent prayer to those prayers of praise and thanksgiving, it seemed the Holy Spirit helped me to know when to shift my prayer gears. My prayers for Kevin and you have been as fervent for my prayers fort own husband. His latest PSA test was less than 0.01 Glory to God that means he is cancer free too!

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