2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” – Joshua 6:2-5 NIV
I wonder how many times in our lives we quit too early? What if we would have kept going, kept striving, or kept praying? How many times do we stop short in prayer when God simply wants us to exercise our faith and our obedience in praying a little longer?
Throughout the Bible, we see examples of persistence in scripture. Whether it was the woman with the issue of blood pushing through the crowd to touch Jesus’ garment, Elijah sending his servant back seven times to look for a rain cloud, or the children of Israel marching around the wall of Jericho. Persistence through faith is honored in God’s kingdom. I look at the story of the wall of Jericho and often wonder what would have happened if the children of Israel would have stopped short of completing what God had asked of them? In the natural, it seemed like an exercise in futility. I can imagine what was going through some of the people’s minds, “So you’re telling me we are going to walk around the city quietly once a day, and on the seventh day we are going to do it seven times and the city will be ours? That seems hard to believe.” What if they would have given in to those thoughts and faith-stealing doubts? What if they would have stopped short on lap six of day seven, because they were tired?
I don’t know about you, but I have quit too early too many times praying for something in my life. Maybe I lacked faith, maybe it didn’t make sense in the natural, or maybe I was simply tired of praying for this specific thing without seeing an answer. The truth is, maybe I just stopped short. God has recently challenged me and revived my personal prayer life. I started reading a book called “Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. The book challenges believers to pray “Circles” around what they are asking God for. Now there is nothing magical about praying circles around anything; it is simply a concept to represent bold, specific, and unwavering prayer regarding things we are asking God for. What are you believing God for?
Challenge: Start a prayer journal where you write down what you are specifically believing God for. When God speaks to you about any of those things, write it down and watch how your faith will be boosted.
Maybe you are like me and you struggle to concentrate when in prayer. One of the things I like to do is to pray while I am walking or while I am driving (no, I don’t close my eyes). Another thing that helps me is to pray over the list of things I have written down, along with praying God’s Word over specific situations in my life.