Pray in Circles - January 2, 2023
Monday, January 2nd
Devotional written by Pastor Brian Howard
Pray in Circles
To read today: Philippians 4:4-9
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
One of my personal favorite ways to pray is to pray in circles, concentric circles, to be specific. I begin by finding a place to be alone, whether that be going on a walk or finding a quiet place to sit. Then I begin praying in this order, imagining concentric circles starting with me and moving outward to the world:
First, I pray for myself, asking that the Lord would make me more like Jesus, help me overcome my sin, give me peace and use me to accomplish His purposes. I start with me because of everyone in the world, I am most aware of my weaknesses and need for God’s presence.
Next, I pray for my wife, asking that God would bless her and keep her and that she would know His peace. I ask for patience and wisdom for her as she raises our kids, and that God would protect her heart, mind, body and soul.
Next, I pray for my three children, asking that God would protect them and raise them up to be men and women of faith, courage and love. I pray that they would come to know, serve, love, and follow Jesus and be a blessing to the world.
Next, I pray for my extended family, asking for God’s presence and peace to be with my parents, brothers, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My extended family is quite large, so it always takes me a while to pray through each of them by name.
Next, I pray for my small group that Dani and I have been part of for 10 years. I pray for each of the members and their children by name and ask for God’s blessing on their families and God’s protection over their homes.
Next, I pray for the leadership of our church – our elders, pastors, staff and volunteers. I pray for wisdom and courage for every leadership level in our church family.
Next, I pray for the congregation at Calvary – those I know and those I do not know – asking that God would bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus and that those who know Him would be formed into the image and likeness of the Son. I thank God for the people He has called me to serve.
Next, I pray for the greater Conejo Valley, asking that God would use Calvary to make a difference in the 250,000 people who live in this region. I ask the Lord to open doors for ministry and to use our church as a blessing.
Next, I pray for California and ask that God would bring revival to our state through men and women who humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, turn from their sin and lift up Jesus.
Next, I pray for the United States of America, asking for the exact same thing: that revival would break out and that the name of Jesus would be lifted high. I also take time to pray for our political leaders, that they would make wise and godly decisions.
Finally, I pray for the world. I pray for the Global Church, persecuted believers, for relief from wars, famine, natural disasters, and political chaos. I pray that the glory of the Lord would cover the earth as the waters cover the sea!
I find that this list takes me about an hour to get through. I could run through it much faster or slower, but it tends to be about a 60-minute commitment, which is perfect for those of us who have signed for to pray for one hour a week in 2023. However long it takes you, this allows you the space to fully and completely, “present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6.
Final Thought: Pick a time to pray in circles this week!