Hey guys! Yesterday was the last day of the 40-day prayer challenge I participated in, so I thought I’d update you with how it went (and how awesome God is!).
The challenge came from Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle, and the goal was to be on your knees in prayer at 7:14 every morning for 40 days. I am happy to announce that I missed that appointment no more than 3 days!
On day 2, I used a different alarm than normal and it didn’t go off. 😐 (I still prayed, just later than I had wanted). On day 34, I was soo tired because I was up late the night before and I guess I subconsciously turned off the alarm and went back to bed. 😆 And I think it was day 37 that I took a little too much time to wake up and ended up being 5 minutes late. But other than those three days, I kept my commitment for 7:14 sharp.
I read the chapter each day in Draw the Circle, and I also semi-journaled in the Draw the Circle prayer journal. I thought it would be fun to share some things I wrote down/ drew, and I’ve also been looking for excuses to use my new camera, so here’s some pictures! 😎
Day 11: (yes, that’s Wite-Out… #perfectionist) 😂
Day 19: lol 😂
There isn’t anything interesting for the rest of the journal because, to be honest, I got lazy during the last 10 days. And I also have to admit, my prayers had become quite regular and repetitive by that point. I guess that’s why Mark Batterson says that once a routine becomes a routine, it’s time to shake it up!
Even so, it was an incredible 40 days and I regret not taking the challenge sooner! God taught me so much and answered several prayers better than I could have ever imagined.
Prayer changes things in ways I can’t even explain. Life is just BETTER overall. And cool “coincidences” happen with more frequency–like how my pastor mentioned the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris (founders of The Rebelution) in one of his sermons, and then I got an email from The Rebelution advertising the new book Love Riot by Sara Barratt (lead editor for TheRebelution.com), and then one of my pen pals just out of the blue asked me if I’d ever heard of the Rebelutionaries. All within the same week!! I was like, “umm…. God? Are You trying to tell me something??” I love how God often does things in threes when He wants your attention! After that, I couldn’t not look into Do Hard Things, so I bought it from Amazon and am planning to read it after my other pen pal and I finish Love Riot.
During the challenge, I learned that prayers are best answered His way and in His timing–if God gave me everything I had asked for and only what I had asked for, then the challenge probably would have been pretty boring to be honest. He loves to surprise us, and I’ve learned to love His surprises! It adds a holy anticipation and excitement for what He’s going to do next. You might pray something like: “please send people to my blog” but instead of having your site stats go through the roof like you thought they might, you have two people ask for the link. But then a few days later your pastor gives you a shout-out in church and quotes one of your posts and you’re just sitting there staring at the TV in awe, like, “What did I ever do to deserve God’s blessings?” (True story!) And the answer is absolutely nothing. That’s what prayer does… it opens the floodgates of Heaven and gives God opportunities to bless us for absolutely no reason other than the fact that He loves to surprise us. “Coincidences” become blessings when you’re following God close enough to recognize them as such!
I also got a taste of how powerful and exciting it can be to “walk by the Spirit.” I’ve already shared this in a CoCo’s Clips, but one morning I was praying about something and God said, “Don’t let this moment pass you by.” A couple minutes later, I got an overwhelming urge to text someone to let them know I was praying for them. I had no idea why God wanted me to do that (and I still don’t, really). But success equals obedience no matter the outcome!!
Another time, I was praying for my pen pal (when I got the email about Love Riot, actually) and God said, “You need to buy that book, and one for your pen pal too.” I asked her about it, and she was just as excited as I was, so now we’re going through the book together. Since we just started reading it two days ago, I have yet to see the complete reason God wanted me to do that, but I have no doubt that there is a reason! God is good and will reward those who diligently seek Him!
Yet another awesome experience I had was being woken up early in the morning by God Himself! It was just after 6:00 on day 30 of the challenge (May 11) and my phone went off with some kind of notification (my phone goes off in the middle of the night all the time and it almost never wakes me up). I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but I just had this overwhelming feeling that God was calling me to spend some extra time with Him. I’ve never felt so compelled to read the Bible before! He led me to a certain Psalm and told me some things, which I’m still trying to process so I won’t tell you right now (maybe in a future post). But yeah… that was pretty amazing.
One last thing I learned… we have to go private before we go public. We can’t speak God’s truth until we know the truth. We can’t spread the Light until we ourselves have the Light. If we go public first, our words are going to be our words. But if we go private and seek God first, our words will be His words!
I’ve got a lot to learn still, and I’m never going to reach a point that I’m praying too much, so I’m looking forward to continuing on in prayer even though the challenge has ended. It’s time to shake things up and do something new! This morning, I still got up around the same time, but instead of praying in my prayer circle, I went outside and walked circles around my house while listening to music for an hour! That was a lot of fun and it was nice to get outside (not to mention it wasn’t even 10:30am before I had 4,571 steps for the day 😄).
I want to end this post just reminding y’all that God is ALIVE. His Word is living and active. He will reward those who diligently seek Him! Keep on keeping on and keep your eyes on Jesus! We the Church will get through this time of uncertainty together by the power of Christ in us.
Thank you so much for reading! Writing this got me so excited and fired up again!!!
I hope you were encouraged by the goodness of God, to whom all the glory belongs. God bless ❤
In Christ now and always,