Posts Tagged ‘Circle Maker’

Persistent Prayer

December 12, 2014

Luke 11:5-8 persistent prayer – why did Jesus emphasize this?

Like Luke 11:5-8, Jesus also taught in Luke 18:1-8 that as we cry out to God for help and are persistent in looking to Him, He will answer.

  • We do not need to be persistent because God cannot hear
  • We do not need to be persistent because God is toying with us
  • We do not need to be persistent because God needs the attention
  • We do not need to be persistent to twist God’s arm

=> The purpose of persistent prayer is for us to get our minds in accord with His.

That’s why in Matthew’s account following the Lord’s Prayer, we find Jesus teaching to take no thought for our lives but to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt 6:25-33)

Persistence may require more than one knock. Knocking once does not indicate perseverance, but “continued” knocking does. This requires faith that God will answer in His time – maybe that’s why it’s emphasized here!

Hebrews 11:6 AMPC
6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

If we persistently seek after God, His way of doing and being, we will find Him. Searching for Him is intentional and requires focus. Seeking as if  seeking for something precious and valuable.

Matthew 13:44-46 AMPC
44 The kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and precious pearls,
46 Who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.

Seeking knowing that God is a good Father who gives good gifts to His children who ask(v13 below).

***

Luke 11:1-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Instruction about Prayer

1 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
3
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4
‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

A Structure for Prayer

December 11, 2014

The following prayer is traditionally taught as a passage to be recited, rather than a model for prayer, hence the words “when you pray say”. However, “The Lord’s Prayer” is actually “the disciple’s prayer”. Many of Jesus’ followers were men who first followed John the Baptist, so they were familiar with the forerunner’s practice of spiritual retreats in the wilderness (fasting, prayer, repentance). After being with Jesus, the followers sensed something different about His posture of prayer. Just as John the Baptist taught his disciples, Jesus teaches about prayer from the passage below. Jesus outlines the structure or pattern of prayer for His followers by placing emphasis on 5 key points:

  1. Adoration => honoring the Father, coming in humble reverence(v2)
  2. Submission => His will/kingdom first, His way of doing and being(v2)
  3. Supplication => Asking for His daily provision(v3)
  4. Repentance => forgiveness of sins, ours and others(v4)
  5. Protection => from the evil one and awareness of our own selfishness(v4)

Questions to ponder:

  1. What was Jesus doing before His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray?
  2. According to this passage, what is the kingdom to come?
  3. Consider the placement of this passage in relation to Luke 10
    =>Jesus sends out the 70(Lk 10:1-12)
    =>Jesus rejoices upon the return of the 70(Lk 10:21-22)
    =>Jesus visits Martha and Mary(Lk 10:38-42)
    Is this significant?

Tomorrow consider Lk 11:5-8 persistent prayer – why did Jesus emphasize this? Plus answers to the above questions in the comments. 🙂

Luke 11:1-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Instruction about Prayer

11 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
3
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4
‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

A Model for Prayer

December 10, 2014

Praise the Lord! My husband is involved with a ministry in camden and told the leaders they should do a teaching on prayer. Guess what?! This morning he tells me he looked at my sunday school book — in it there is a teaching on prayer! It’s like the Lord answered him 🙂

Not only that but it’s also an answer to some of the deceptive teaching on prayer that is in the church today ==> The Circle Maker and the New Age practice of “Entering God’s presence through silence(emptying you mind) – Contemplative Prayer – Be Still” promoted by Dallas Willard, among others.

 
***

So here is the passage – a good passage to base a model of prayer on! So next time you hear of a “new” way to pray or “our prayer ministry is based on this book” why not ask – “why not base prayer on the model Jesus Himself gave us?” I’ll post some more about this tomorrow …

Do you see a structure for prayer in this passage?

Luke 11:1-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Instruction about Prayer

11 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
3
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4
‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Related:
The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker
Contemplative Prayer from Lighthouse Trails
The Be Still DVD & Contemplative Prayer

Quail: Answered Prayer

September 14, 2013

Numbers 11:4-6The rabble who were among them had{yielded to} greedy desires; and so the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”

From NetBible Num11:4

  • *The story of the sending of the quail is a good example of poetic justice, or talionic justice. God had provided for the people, but even in that provision they were not satisfied, for they remembered other foods they had in Egypt. … God will give them what they crave(answer prayer), but it will not do for them what they desire.
  • *The Hebrew simply uses the cognate accusative, saying “they craved a craving” (הִתְאַוּוּ תַּאֲוָהhitavvu tavah), but the context shows that they had this strong craving for food. The verb describes a strong desire, which is not always negative (Ps 132:13-14). But the word is a significant one in the Torah; it was used in the garden story for Eve’s desire for the tree, and it is used in the Decalogue in the warning against coveting (Deut 5:21).
  • rabble[0628] = mixed multitude, riffraff
  • greedy desires[08378] = lust, intense craving, covetousness
The people were not satisfied with the Lord’s miracle provision of manna. They craved another “food”,  another miracle – “meat”. 

Numbers 11:18-20 … Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

The people in yielding to this craving for meat actually rejected the Lord and His provision of manna. Manna = Bread from heaven = The Lord’s words (Jn6:31-35;Dt8:3)

Numbers 11:31-34Now there went forth a wind from the Lord and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. 32 The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very severe plague. 34 So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy.

From NetBible Num11:31

  • *The irony in this chapter is expressed in part by the use of the word רוּחַ (ruakh). In the last episode it clearly meant the Spirit of the Lord that empowered the men for their spiritual service. But here the word is “wind.” Both the spiritual service and the judgment come from God. *Wind=judgement

From NetBible Num11:34

  • Kibroth-hattaavah[06914] = graves of lust
    *from [06913] = graves and  [08378] = lust, intense craving, covetousness
Be careful of being ungrateful for the Lord’s miraculous provision and demanding more. You may be trading the truth of God’s words(manna) for a lie(quail). You may get what you desire – another “new” food – a delusion that results in death. (Ro1:18-32;2Thess2:1-12)

Related:
Dream Big: Cloudy with a Chance of Quail by Mark Batterson

Quote from: http://zondervan.typepad.com/zondervan/2012/05/seek-and-ye-shall-be-surprised-excerpt-batterson-circle-maker.html:
Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle. How God performs the miracle is His job. Your job is drawing a circle around the God-given dream. And if you do your job, you might just find yourself standing waist-deep in three feet of quail.

Beware of carving more than manna(God’s words). Indeed, your prayers for more may be answered, but you may just find yourself “buried” deep in quail!

Prayer: Elijah compared to Honi

September 4, 2013

Ephesians 5:11 … Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them … -Eph5:11;1Tim5:20;2Tim4:2-4;Ti1:13-14

From The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:
http://www.thecirclemaker.com/The_Circle_Maker_Sampler.pdf

Honi’s Prayer:

And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.

… Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. 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 mercy upon your children.

… The people rejoice over each drop, but Honi wasn’t satisfied with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the celebration.

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

… It rained so heavily … people fled .. to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request.

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

Then … it began to rain in perfect moderation.

From my previous post The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker it was seen that the technique of drawing or visualizing a circle is a pagan technique used by Wicca and ritual magic. This made me wonder about Honi’s prayer itself. He addresses God as “Lord of the Universe”, I wondered is this a pagan title for God?

A quick google search for “”lord of the universe” god names” reveals that this is a tile used by Moses for God(Lord of the Universe). However, “lord of the universe” is also a tile used in Wicca circle casting. It also reveals that combining this title and circle technique is a way to build an altar to this Wiccan god. This “lord of the universe” tile is also linked with other gods from new age, mormonism, islam, kabalah … etc.

So how do we know which god Honi was demanding rain from? Notice in the above excerpt Honi is compared to Elijah – maybe a good place to start is by looking at Elijah’s prayer(1Kings 18).

Prayer: Elijah compared to Honi

Take a look at some key verses from 1 Kings 18.
1 Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.”

Elijah does not act until he hears from the Lord. There is a condition on the Lord sending rain – Elijah must show himself to Ahab.

*Honi does not hear from the Lord.

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals.

Elijah is accused of causing trouble or conflict. The real reason was because of not listening to the Lord and following other gods.

*False or mixed teaching causes conflict.

36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Elijah prepared an altar and offering according to the Lord’s instructions. The main point of his prayer was that the people may know the Lord and turn their hearts back to the Lord.

Hosea 14:2 … Take words(repentance) with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips”(sacrificial bulls).

Hebrews 13:15 … Through Him(Jesus Christ) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to(confess) His name.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 … Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances[do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning].. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;22 abstain from every form of evil.

*Elijah’s offering before prayer can be compared to giving a thank offering now through Jesus Christ – a sacrifice of praise = the fruit of lips that give thanks – confess His name.

*Honi displayed the opposite of thankfulness in demanding more than a sprinkle.

*Elijah did not demand fire.

41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. …  45 In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 

*Elijah did not demand rain, but instead by following the Lord’s instructions, the Lord sent rain as He promised.

Elijah’s prayer clearly followed the Lord’s instructions.Honi’s prayer is not a prayer that follows the same pattern as Elijah’s prayer. Since Honi did not hear from the Lord, it makes you wonder what pattern of prayer he followed and what foundation his prayer was built on.Maybe, just maybe this is why Honi and his prayer are not in the bible.

James 5:16-20Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Related:
Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?
Bull? Or fruit of your lips?
A Sacrifice of Praise

The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker

August 31, 2013

There is a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, making it’s rounds in christian churches. The book is about a “new way” to pray based on the legend of Honi the circle maker. It claims that you will learn how to “dream big”, “pray hard” and “think long”.

Right off the bat in this video we see Mark drawing a clockwise circle in chalk around himself. Honi is also depicted drawing a circle in the sand with a staff.

A quick search on google for clockwise chalk circles reveals that this technique is called a magic circle or casting a circle used in ritual magic. It is used in Wicca. The technique may or may not be physical as stated here:
Magic Circle

Mark encourages people to “circle” promises in the bible, “circle” your family, “circle” your kids. We see these circles need not be physical — they can be “visualized”. It is very disturbing to see a model for christian prayer which uses a technique from witchcraft to obtain power or answered prayer. This technique is found nowhere in the bible.

This is the technique that Honi the circle maker used to get his prayer for rain answered. Mark calls him a legend.

The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker

The legend of Honi is found in the jewish book of legends — this is stated on the circle maker site:
http://www.thecirclemaker.com/resources/The%20Circle%20Maker%20Sermon%201%20-%20The%20Legend%20of%20the%20Circle%20Maker.pdf

Honi the circle maker stood firm inside his circle drawn in the sand until his prayer for rain was answered, this is the legend.

Honi as a Prayer Model?

 

My question is on what foundation was he standing? What foundation does this book encourage us to stand on? Is it the Rock – God’s word or Christ? If so, why are we not encouraged to pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? Why does this circle making technique not appear in the bible, but is easily found in ritual magic? Could this be why scripture warns against giving heed to Jewish fables – “legends”?

Titus 1:13-14

Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 And this account of them is [really] true. Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely with them], so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error,
14 [And may show their soundness by] ceasing to give attention to Jewish myths and fables or to rules [laid down] by [mere] men who reject and turn their backs on the Truth.

Matthew 7:21-23
New International Version (NIV)
True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:24-26
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Two Foundations

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

1 Corinthians 10:4
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Psalm 40:1-4
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
God Sustains His Servant.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

John 16:24
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.