Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting and praying

About a month ago I started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson to the youngest four during our daily devotions.  We loved it.  Soon after, I heard about his newer publication, Draw the Circle, a 40 day devotional and prayer challenge, based on his bestseller.  With Lent coming up, I decided it'd be a great theme upon which we could focus.  So we switched midway.  I offered the challenge up to the whole family but in the end it was only those over which I still have devotional control who accepted the challenge.  That's okay.  The five of us are growing in leaps and bounds in our personal prayer lives and pressing into God's desires for each of us.

Soon after we began our Lenten series, Isaac found out that there's a youth version of The Circle Maker and he wondered if we should be reading that instead.  I asked him, "Do you understand what this book is about?  Do you enjoy the stories and examples?  Are you being challenged?  Are you learning about prayer?"  The answer was yes, of course.  "Then I see no reason to change."  My family is used to me giving them adult books on Christian living, but if yours are not, then by all means, thank you Mr. Batterson for giving us more than one option.

To find out what the kids have been getting from this series, read here.

For me, it was the perfect topic during this season of waiting, spiritual attack, and uncertainty.  I soon found out that I wasn't the only one in our adoption group doing this study.  In fact, it seems as if several churches across the nation have taken this 40 day prayer challenge and made it a corporate challenge complete with prayer walls to circle the prayers God hands down to each person.  As a visual learner, that gives me goose bumps!  Trying to figure out which wall of my house could be commandeered as a prayer wall.  Hmmmm.

The first concept that resonated with me was that of not just praying for something, but praying through.  When I was honest with myself I realized that too often I pray for something until I get an answer, whether that be yes, no, maybe, or wait.  Once it appears as if my request is not being answered, I quit praying for it.  Batterson's challenge is to continue praying, to pray through.  At first I found I really had to force myself to persevere when I really just wanted to get discouraged and give up with some form of pity party for those whom the Lord hasn't yet answered.  Now I see my prayer muscle strengthening on an almost daily basis as I persevere through days of doubt and depression.

The second lesson I've taken away from this study is to praise God as if He has already answered my request.  As the saying goes, and many songs have adapted, praising Him in the storm, or in the waiting.  This is also something that Eden has adapted, and which she mentioned in her review of the book.

Mark Batterson makes it very clear that he isn't encouraging a name it-claim it or health and wealth kind of prayer life.  Our prayers have to come from passions and desires that God has first placed within us.  We need to be discerning and searching first, obedient second.  We need to get out of the boat, praising God in the act.  The answer will come.

So where are we in our adoption journey?  Still waiting.  And praying.  But this we know, every day we are one day closer to seeing our child.

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