Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Legend of the Circle Maker

A devastating drought threatened to destroy a generation--the generation before Jesus. 
The last of the Jewish prophets had died off nearly four centuries before. 
Miracles were a distant memory. And God was nowhere to be heard. 
But there was one man, an old sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, 
who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. 
And even if the people could no longer hear God, 
he believed that God could still hear them.

With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi drew a circle in the sand. 
Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. 
With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, 
Honi called down rain.

Lord of the Universe,
I swear before Your Great Name
that I will not move from this circle
until You have shown mercy upon Your children.

Then it happened.

As his prayer ascended to the heavens, raindrops descended to the earth. 
The people rejoiced over the rain, but Honi wasn't satisfied with a sprinkle. 
Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the sounds of celebration.

Not for such rain have I prayed,
but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits, and caverns.

The sprinkle turned into such a torrential downpour 
that the people fled to the Temple Mount 
to escape the flash floods. 
Honi stayed and prayed 
inside his protracted circle.

Not for such rain have I prayed,
but for rain of benevolence, 
benediction, and grace.

Then, like a well-proportioned sun shower on a summer afternoon, 
it began to rain in perfect moderation. 
Some within the Sanhedrin threatened excommunication 
because his prayer was too bold for their taste, 
but the miracle couldn't be repudiated.

Eventually, Honi the Circle Maker was honored for 
"the prayer that saved a generation." 
The circle he drew in the sand 
symbolizes the power of a single prayer 
to change the course of history. 
It's also a reminder of this timeless truth: 

God honors bold prayers because
bold prayers honor God.

 (excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson)

Are you still in your circle?
Or have you walked away in defeat?

"Keep on asking and it will be given you; 
keep on seeking and you will find; 
keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7 (amp)

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
 you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' 
and it will move."
Matthew 17:20 (niv)

No comments: