A few weeks ago, a group of us walked around the church block seven times. We were following The Circle Maker concept by Mark Batterson, which is physically circling our dreams and hopes in prayer. There is nothing magical about it, but it is biblical. The Israelites circled the city of Jericho until the walls came down.

Too often, we quit circling almost as soon as we start. A prayer circle is a metaphor that simply means praying until God answers. It is a determination to pray as long as it takes. It is not a ploy to get what we want from God, like a genie in a bottle, because our wish is not His command. Circling a prayer is the process of discerning what God wants—what God wills. Getting what we want is not the goal; the objective is glorifying God by circling around the promises, miracles and dreams He wants for us.

I will often pace around a prayer request, ministry idea, or prompting from the Lord by tying it to a Bible verse. Sometimes it entails what I deem an impossible situation or challenging person. It could be a life goal or even the new facility we are going to build on our campus.

When I was in Ireland last week, numerous people approached me, asking for prayer. I laid hands on them and asked God to bless them. Yet, because I was up late every night and hurrying in the mornings, I was not able to maintain my usual prayer routine, making me feel spiritually unprepared and underqualified. But this was right where God wanted me because every prayer was based solely on raw dependence on Him touching these people. The humbling result was that a number of people shared a supernatural encounter with Jesus.

God promises to respond if we are willing to exercise faith and lift our requests before Him. I recall the Lord indicating in my spirit that one woman was not going to receive the healing she wanted because God wanted to use her situation as part of her journey. Sometimes the answer is not what we want, but knowing He has a plan for our trials is still inspiring because it means the Lord is involved in our lives. If God is with us, the journey is an adventure of faith!