Prayer Idiosyncrasies

I’ve really enjoyed reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (see “The Circle Maker” 1.0, “The Circle Maker” 2.0, as well as Spiritual Priming and Shaping Culture).

In the book, Batterson talks about idiosyncrasies. He begins by listing some of his own, and even some of Jesus’, including how “he loved to pray early in the morning” (130), usually in the wilderness.

In my own reading about great preachers and spiritual leaders from the past, I have discovered many idiosyncrasies. Many preachers got up at ridiculous hours to spend extensive time in prayer and reading Scripture. I remember reading about one person who commonly read the Bible while kneeling.

This challenges me to think about my own prayer idiosyncrasies.

Batterson writes …

One important dimension of prayer is finding your own ritual, your own routines. Just like Daniel, you need to find your open window toward Jerusalem. (131)

Daniel prayed three times a day. An open window facing Jerusalem was significant for him. Peter had an encounter with God that altered the course of his life while praying on a rooftop. Batterson’s book is based on the legend of Honi the circle maker, who had his own idiosyncrasies. Honi marked out a circle on the ground during a drought and praying inside the circle until God answered his prayer for rain.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to prayer (or any of the spiritual disciplines, for that matter). Everyone has to find their own rhythm. Batterson leads me to believe our practices should be unique, even if a little odd.

One of the prayer idiosyncrasies I’ve developed in recent weeks, perhaps inspired by The Circle Maker, is praying seven laps around the worship space at Centre Grove UMC.

A few times a week, I pray laps around the church’s worship area. Expanding on the acronym, P.R.A.Y. (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield), I pray Scripture on the first lap (Psalms, so far), then a use a lap for Praise, a lap for Repent, two laps for Ask (one of which using my own desperate preacher’s prayer guide), a lap for Yield, and the final lap in silence. For at least a couple of the laps, I also carry around funnel, related to one of the 5 Takeaways from the Preach Better Sermons online event.

Praying seven laps around the worship space is an idiosyncrasy. It’s also a visual reminder of the importance of circling our ministry in prayer!

What are some of your prayer idiosyncrasies?

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