40 Day Prayer Challenge: What I Learned


So I am finally getting around to writing about the book I recently read called, Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. I made a challenge for myself in a previous blog post to read this book daily, read the Bible, journal my prayers, and create a painting everyday for 40 days.

While I would love to say that I completely stuck to these goals, I did not. There were a few days that I totally skipped altogether, and about half way through I stopped doing the daily paintings. Life just happens sometimes, and even though I didn't complete this challenge as I had originally planned, this challenge truly impacted my prayer life in such a positive way.

I just wanted to share a few truths that I learned about prayer that I didn't really grasp before.

Journaling

One thing that this book for huge on was journaling your prayers. This plays such a big role in giving God thanks and glory when a prayer in answered. There are so many small and large prayers that God answered for me during this challenge. I know for a fact that I would have forgotten that I ever prayed them and would have never given Him the thanks for that answered prayer, if I hadn't written in down.

I plan on continuing to journal my prayers. I think when I look back days, weeks, and especially years from now, I will have my first hand account of how my life has played out through the years and a record of God's grace and goodness in my life.

"Write down the revelation"

Habakkuk 2:2

Patience

Patience is something I think everyone has struggled with at some point. I have been especially struggling with patience at this point in my life. I want what I want and I want it now, and this applies especially to my prayers. When I pray for something, I want to get an answer immediately, but that is not how God works. I am finally starting to see the beauty in that.

It has been so eye opening to watch the prayers I have been circling for weeks and weeks finally be answered. It gives me hope for the unanswered prayers I still have. I know that God will never leave a prayer unanswered. Needless to say sometimes the answers I have gotten aren't what I was hoping for, but it was still an answer. I just have to keep reminding myself that God has a plan and His way may not be easiest, but it is what will bring Him the most glory.

"The purpose of prayer is not to get what you want, the goal of prayer is discern what God wants, what God wills."

Mark Batterson

Relationship

The most important point that I got out of this challenge was just to have constant communication with God to create that relationship with Him.

Prayer is our direct link to that relationship with Him. There is so much power in that.

My relationship with God just within the past fews days has changed so much, and I know its because of my prayer life has changed. I feel His presence now, more than ever.

"He prayed to God regularly."

Acts 10:2

Grace

I always get this feeling that I am unworthy anytime I step out and publicly proclaim the Lord.

I know, and so does everyone else, that I am a sinner. I have messed up so many times and will continue to mess up. I am so underserving of God's grace, we all are, and He still gives it to us freely.

"There is no one righteous, not even one"

Romans 3:10

I hope this encourages you today.

If you are interested in reading Draw the Circle: The 40 day Prayer Challenge, please message me, text me, call me, email me, whatever! I would love to send you a copy!

Thanks for reading!

Shelby Leigh Gilliland

#40daychallenge #prayer #painting #love #God #shelbyleighdesigns

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All paintings are original works by Shelby Leigh Kizer

Mississippi Watercolor Artist 

As Seen on HGTV's Hometown