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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
BECOME A PRAYER PARTNER
“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
WHAT IS PRAYER PARTNERS?
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.
WHAT WILL PRAYER PARTNERS DO?
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!
WHY DO I NEED A PRAYER PARTNER?
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