Centerport United Methodist Church

Is any among you suffering?  They should pray.

James 5:13 (NRSV)


Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”                                          Colossians 4:2  


“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.”         Philippians 4: 6



A group of us at CUMC are engaged in reading Draw the Circle, The 40-Day Prayer Challenge, by Mark Batterson, pastor of the National Community Church in Washington, D.C., and author of the NY Times bestseller, The Circle Maker.  It is an inspiring, convicting and challenging approach to how we do prayer – a perfect devotional for the Lenten season, or that next-step book in your journey to a closer relationship with God through prayer.


In the opening sentences of the book’s Introduction, Batterson makes the astounding, exciting claim, “The forty-day prayer challenge is going to change your life.  In fact, the next forty days have the potential to dramatically alter the rest of your life.”  That statement really got my attention!  When God is in the gamble, I want a seat in the game!


  Drawing a prayer circle around something or someone sets that thing or that person apart for an infusion of God’s blessings.  It’s not magical; it just focuses our attention and intensity in prayer.  And, it is biblical.  Batterson gives examples of people who, literally, drew circles around themselves, sat in that circle and prayed for God’s answer, or who walked circles around something, repeatedly, to focus their prayers on the fulfillment of a God-given promise or dream.  In Joshua 6, the Lord promised to give the heavily fortified city of Jericho to the Israelites – they were to circle the city for seven days, and follow His instructions.  And, the city walls came tumbling down!  The time and energy we devote to prayer will develop for us a closer, richer relationship with God and will reap rewards in His eternal Kingdom and in His Kingdom now, in our lifetime.  God has miracles in store, if only we will pray!


For those who want to ramp up their prayer lives, see more answered prayer, and experience more Holy Spirit empowerment, here is some Draw the Circle wisdom, all biblically-based, to begin practicing today.


Batterson says, “It’s not until we die to self that we truly come alive.  The more we give to God, the more we have and the more we become.  It’s only in losing our lives that we will really find them…. Consecration is a process of surrender that never ends.  And prayer is the catalyst.  It begins with the sinner’s prayer.  We confess our sins to the Savior and surrender our lives to His lordship…  The primary purpose of prayer is not to change circumstances; the primary purpose of prayer is to change us… to glorify God in any and every situation... God answers prayer to bring glory to His Name… We can pray until our knees are numb, but if our praying isn’t accompanied by acting, then we won’t get anywhere.  We need to put feet to our faith… to step out in faith… Never underestimate the power of a single prayer… Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers… Prayer is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue.  We speak to God with everything from words to groans to thoughts.  And God speaks to us through dreams, desires, promptings, impressions and ideas… Keep praying, keep obeying, keep giving, keep loving, keep serving.  And if you keep sowing the right seeds, the harvest of blessing will come in God’s time, in God’s way! … the more you pray, the more you will experience holy surprises… Our most powerful prayers are hyperlinked to the promises of God.  When we know we are praying the promises of God, we can pray with holy confidence… the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you… Seek God… He is only a prayer away.”  If we keep circling with prayer our visions, our problems, our “it-can’t-be-done-without-God” dreams, God will answer, and sometimes, in the most miraculous ways.


 Heavenly Father, Loving, Gracious, Merciful God, I thank You for Your presence with me wherever I am.  Right now You hunger for a relationship with me.  You long to hear my voice calling to You.  Help me to seek You in prayer throughout each day, to praise You, to thank You, to bring to You my dreams, my fears, the longings of my heart so that Your healing, provision, guidance, comfort, peace can be mine, all to Your glory and honor.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray.  Amen     



By Meredith Fichtel


Do you have a prayer request? 

You can e-mail it to
Prayer Request Cards can also be found in the pew card holders.
Prayer requests will be prayed for daily by our Prayer Team.
All prayer requests are held in confidence unless you specify otherwise.

Please join us at our James 5:13 Prayer Gathering every Thursday night at 7 PM in the CUMC chapel. This is open to all and you do not need to be a church member to be lifted up in prayer.


Free Bibles

Available from the stands at both ends of the main hallway. Take one home if you need one!


 If you have not signed up to participate in Prayer Partners, and would like to, please contact Meredith Fichtel for more information.


“Prayer is the center of Christian life.  It is the only necessary thing. (Luke 10:42)  It is living with God here and now.”                                                             ~ Henri Nouwen, Prayer and Peacemaking


Jesus said, “And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in My name, I am there with them.”   

 Matthew 18: 19 – 20


Prayer Partners is a team that was formed in our church several years ago to provide encouragement, support, accountability, and faith-building within two-person groups.  With the guidance of Pastor Roy and lay prayer leaders, participants will be paired with a prayer partner of the same gender.


Partners get together regularly to pray for one another, for others, and for whatever is weighing on their hearts.  They share their joys, their trials, their faith journeys, their struggles in a covenant relationship of Christ-like love, compassion, honesty and trust.  Prayer partners are secure in the confidentiality of their relationship.  They often make gratitude to God a focus of their time together.  Learning how to listen to one another and how to become attuned to the voice of God speaking to their hearts are important skills that prayer-partnering helps to develop.  Also, there is real power in praying together!



You might think, “I have close family and several friends I can talk to, why do I need someone else to pray with?”  Your prayer partner will, hopefully, be someone who knows you less well than a family member or good friend, and can be more objective, non-judgmental, and can share in your mutual growth in faith.  Praying gets God involved in our lives in a very personal way.  Scripture affirms that when two or more are gathered in His name, God is there with them.  God wants to share our joys, bear our burdens, and be in communion with us through prayer.  With a mutually-sustaining and caring prayer partner, you will find that you are growing closer to God, and gaining greater insight into the person God made you to be, through the regular, intentional practice of prayer.

Centerport United Methodist Church is a welcoming, family-friendly worshipping community.  In addition to worship services, we offer spiritual formation and christian education for children, youth and adults.  We have an active and growing Sunday School and youth group.  There are multiple and varied opportunities to live out your faith in the local community and the world.  Our members currently come from Centerport, Greenlawn, Huntington, Northport, East Northport, Cold Spring Harbor, Smithtown, Syosset, Fort Salonga and Kings Park.

Centerport United Methodist Church 97 Little Neck Road Centerport, NY  11721 631.261.5222