Jentezen Franklin - The Power of Bold Prayers
I'm gonna go to the Book of Joshua 6 in verse 3, "You shall march around the city all your men of war. You shall go around the city once. This you shall do six days and seven days shall bear seven trumpets, and seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark, but the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It will come to pass when they make long blasts with the rams' horns and when you hear the sound of the trumpet then all the people shall shout with a great shout. Then the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, every man straight before him".
What a powerful story in the Old Testament, and it has a great lesson for us today that I wanna emphasize. I read this book, and it touched me. The story in it really draws a beautiful picture that I wanna just get you to see for a moment, and we'll come back It's a fact, and it's still taught in synagogues, Jewish synagogues to this day by rabbis the story of a man who has become known as the Circle Maker. It was the First Century B.C. church, and a devastating drought was taking place threatening to destroy an entire generation. The generation before Jesus was born history records. This is not a fairy tale. This is a historical fact what I'm sharing with you because they have historians and papers and so on that they have found.
The world in that region of the earth, Israel, was in the worst famine it had ever been in, and people were on the verge of dying the generation before Jesus was born. All the prophets, of course, had passed away. There's this Dark Ages as it's called in history between the Old Testament and the New Testament. There's no word from God. There's no voice from the prophets. There's no one there. The only one that was left was an old Sage by the name of Honi. His name was Honi. And he lived outside the gates or the walls of Jerusalem, and he had a relationship with God. He was known as a man of powerful prayer.
And in desperation, the leaders of the nation went to this man, Honi. He's a figure in Jewish history that is celebrated to this day, and they ask him would he please pray because they realized it was in such a dire situation now that their families were gonna die if they didn't get water within a matter of days. And you don't really understand that unless you go to the Middle East and particularly you go to Israel, and you understand it's a desert, wilderness land, and water particularly then, not as much now because of amazing inventions, but water then was life. If you could not get water and the only bit of water they had was the Sea of Galilee that water feeds into and if there's no water and there's a famine, then people are going to die, and it was that critical.
So, they go to this old sage, and he says, "Yes, I will pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for rain". And this is a historical fact. He took his staff. It was a bout six feet long, and he began to turn like a math compass. He began to turn 30 degrees, 60 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, all the way around a complete circle he made and drew in the sand with the tip of that staff he drew a circle. He dropped to his knees, and he threw up his hands and as the hundreds and thousands of people began to gather around, and he's in the middle of that circle, he says these words with his hands raised with great authority, "I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy, oh God, upon your children".
The words sent a shutter down the spine of all of the people who were watching. Amazingly, history records that as that prayer left his lips instantly and immediately rain began to descend on the earth. The audible grasp of thousands of people watching could be heard. Every head except Honi's was turned heavenward as rain was parachuting out of the sky and beginning to drop on the people. It was just a very moderate dropping of rain, but people had not seen it in so long that they began to celebrate and shout out loud. But suddenly, the voice of Honi pierced through again, and he lifted his voice and prayed a second time, "Not for such a rain have I prayed but for rain that will fill every valley, every cistern, every cavern, oh God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob".
And suddenly, according to the witnesses and the documentation of that event, the sprinkle turned into a torrential downpour. No rain drop was smaller than the size of an egg. of rain that the people began to run toward the temple mount to get to the highest place because they knew next would come flash floods. But once again, Honi lifted his voice still in the circle that he had made, and he prayed one last time, "Not for such a rain have I prayed, but for the rain of your favor, blessing, and graciousness".
And just like someone turned the faucet down from a ten to a four or a five, the rain evened off and suddenly, it was just a beautiful downpour that went for days. The earth soaked the water up, and a generation was saved because one man drew a prayer circle. He became known as the Circle Maker, and he said, "God, I'm not leaving this circle until you spare my family, you spare my nation, and you spare my generation". It's pretty powerful when you think about it.
When you move into the arena of prayer, you need to understand that this story teaches us that bold prayers honor God, and God answers bold prayers. God does not want us to pray weak prayers. God does not want us to pray get-by prayers. God does not want us to ask for things that we think are not that big of a deal. But God likes it when you ask Red Seas to part. God likes it when you ask for ax heads to swim on top of the Jordan River as Elijah did. God likes it when you stand like Joshua, and you point to the sun, and you say, "Sun, stand still," and God stops the whole universe because someone prayed a bold prayer in faith that was connected to God's purpose and plan in the earth.
Prayers are prophesies of your future, and the lack of prayer means that you're not receiving any prophesies for your future. The only future that you or your family have are the prayers that you're praying for your marriage, for your children, for your future, and the reason some people don't experience anything different is they don't understand prayer is the prophesy of your future. It's alright when you pray to recognize that you're in tough times, but prayer ought to sound something like this if prayer is the prophesy of my future.
Lord, it's tough, but I know that you're able. Lord, I know that you're mighty. Lord, I know that you will deliver me. You just prophesied to your future. I thank you, God, that you are my healer, that you are my helper. Pray your faith, not your fears. Get up out of the mud and say I know what I have believed in and in whom I have believed in. We need to make prayer circles and put our sons and our daughters in that prayer circle and prophesy and pray to their future. Lord, I know my eyes are on you, and God, I put my son in this prayer circle, and I in the name of Jesus, ask you to get every wrong person out. I put my daughter in this prayer circle. Get every bad, evil influence out of that circle and put every right person that's a part of your destiny into that circle.
And God says I dare you to draw a circle around what hell thinks he's got and watch me target what you target in prayer and pray bold prayers, and God will answer. God will answer. I am persuaded that you're able to do to exceedingly, abundantly above all that I could ask or think, and it doesn't matter if it's a famine. It doesn't matter if it's a pandemic. It doesn't matter if it's a drought. God needs some people who will do what that old prophet did and draw some prayer circles and say right in the middle of it. I don't just want little mercy drops from heaven. I am expecting a gully washer. I am expecting an outpouring, and I just wanna keep saying it. God is gonna fill these churches to overflowing again, only more than they have ever been before.
Enjoy the space you have right now. You're not gonna have it long because when He brings it back, it's gonna come back pressed down, shaken together, running over, and we won't have room enough to receive the souls that are gonna get saved. yes, Lord. When you pray, you're predicting your future. Lord, I thank you that you're going to do mighty things in my family and in my children's life and in my marriage. God, I'm predicting the future with prayer. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved and your house. The transcript of your prayers will become the script of your future.
What is amazing in the story that I read from Joshua 6 is 2.5 million people walked out of Egyptian bondage into the desert and because of their unbelief, God said I will not let that generation go into the Promised Land and for 40 years, they lived in the desert until the whole generation died. Only two survived that original group, Joshua and Caleb. Everyone else passed away, and this is why this is important. What that means is every person who was now 40 years old was born in the desert. They had never seen a city. They had never seen a brick. They had never seen a wall. Their style of living was the Bedouin lifestyle which they live out in tents with sheep and goat, and they travel from desert place to desert place. You can go there to this day, and we go to Israel, we go and show that. You can arrange spending the night there if you want to, and you're free to do that if you want to.
I don't plan on ever doing that, but it's amazing that you can see. Can you imagine 40 years of age, a whole generation, and they had never seen a city, and then the first city that they come to is the Walls of Jericho so high, 60 feet high, up to 40 feet wide. Chariots could race, and they would race chariots on the top around the walls of Jericho. People who had never seen a city, who had never seen walls are looking at this city that they're supposed to take, and God gives their leader the strangest commandment. He says I want you to tell them for the next six days one time a day to walk around those walls, and on the seventh day, walk seven times.
What were they doing? They were making prayer circles, and it didn't matter how big the walls were, and it didn't matter what they didn't have. It didn't matter the lies and the threats and the jokes and the sneering that was coming from the top of those walls. They were nobody compared to the walls that were standing there defying them, but many of you are facing walls of resistance. Many of you know that your destiny is there on the other side of that wall. Any engineer would tell you, you need a battering around, it would take a miracle to knock the door down and maybe then you can take the city, but God said, no, I have a supernatural plan and if you will surround the situation that I promised you with, that I promised to you, if you will surround it with prayer, then I will cause the walls, I don't know if you saw it, The walls will fall flat.
And after the seventh time of making a circle around their purpose and their destiny, God saw it, and God said what you circle, I circle and what you focus on and you take serious and you pray bold about I pray bold about and as they marched around that city seven times, at the end, the trumpet blast, and the people lifted their voice and shouted with a great shout, and the walls fell flat.
I want today to boldly proclaim that it's time for the church and it's time for moms and dads and grandmothers and grandfathers and parents to begin to draw a circle in your home and in your family and put your children in that circle of prayer and put your marriage in that circle of prayer because there are some things that are not going to come down until somebody begins to pray bold prayers and becomes persistent and begins to draw spiritually a prayer circle and says I will not leave this spot. I'll be back tomorrow and the next day and the next day until my son gets off drugs, my daughter gets away from that thing that she's... I will not, I will not, and I'm telling you, hell is afraid of the sermon I'm preaching right now because when a husband and a wife, when a mom and a dad draw circles and put your family in it, put your family in, God can level the walls of resistance that they may have up when you begin to pray those kinds of target prayers. You don't quit. You don't give up.
Jericho was the lowest place and is the lowest place on earth. It's 600 feet below sea level. It's the lowest place on Planet Earth geographically speaking, and when you get in the lowest place of your life, and you're facing walls of resistance, God says I want you to target that, and I don't care how impossible it looks. Start targeting it and circling that situation in powerful, bold prayers. Get praise and get prayer going. Now, here's my point. Once you begin to draw circles in prayer that are persistent and consistent, and you just make up your mind, I'm not giving this territory up. This is not a negotiable situation here. Something's going to change inside this circle of prayer that I'm drawing.
Once you draw a circle, then God draws a circle. And when God draws circles, He draws circles with angels because the Bible said in Psalms 32:7, "You surround me with songs of deliverance". When you begin to circle that situation of trouble and problem in prayer and you don't quit and you don't give up and you keep praying and you keep crying out, God says I will surround you with songs of deliverance. God sends angels, and the angels surround you and start singing about the kind of deliverance that they're gonna do and be released to do by God in your situation.
Psalms 34:7 says, "The angels of the Lord encamp round about them that fear of God". So, when you draw circles around your children, they may go off to college, they may go here and there, but when you draw a circle around them, God draws circles with angels, and angels go, and they circle our children, and they circle our family because that's the kind of God that He is. God's already surrounding you if you will begin to pray about it. God's already got a song of deliverance around you and your children. Angels are singing about how they're going to deliver our family.