Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Just look for the picture of the apple on the books and you will find past Book Club entries. Our current choice of reading is “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson.
While prayer is not a replacement for good health choices and appropriate medical care, as people of faith, we believe prayer plays an essential role in our lives. In addition, studies have shown it can improve medical outcomes and that it boosts physical and emotional health.
Chapter Three of this book is all about praying specific prayers. In order to pray specifically about something, you need to have already defined it. Batterson encourages us to define our prayers, as Jesus asked of the two blind men he walked past in Jericho in Matthew 20:29-32. Jesus responded to the blind men’s cries with, “What do you want me to do for you?” I have never thought about Jesus saying those same words to me in the now, as Batterson points out. Jesus is beckoning us to define exactly what we want. Not just vague prayers, such as “Lord, give me health,” but specific, “Lord, heal my thyroid so that it will be whole and functioning the way you intended.”
Here are three ways that Chapter Three empowers us to move deeper into prayer:
1) Define exactly what you want with specificity. Batterson states that it is more helpful to go beyond saying “Lord help us,” to saying, “Lord, restore the proper and healthy functioning of all my dad’s organs” or “Lord, give us clarity in what we need to pray for to grow our own food.”
2) Keep a prayer journal. Batterson says that this will help with keeping track of answered prayers, which will build your faith in the answers to come. He also mentions that not all of your prayers will be answered in the way that you script them, however, it is the catalyst for the next miracle. Keep praying.
3) Go on a prayer retreat to focus on your prayers. Jesus often went away to pray alone. There is something powerful in excluding ourselves from outside activity and just being alone with the Lord.