We’ve started a congregation wide study of Mark Batterson’s book, “The Circle Maker” and already it’s really making me think. One of the things I most loved from the class I attended last night was the concept of what Batterson calls “prayer genealogies.” Here’s one thing he says about them:
“I believe every blessing, every breakthrough, every miracle, and every dream has a genealogy. If you trace it all the way back to its origin, you will find a prayer circle.” (“The Circle Maker – Participant Guide; Loc 107)
In one of the discussion questions, you were encouraged to write down a time when you experienced a blessing or a miracle or a fulfillment of a dream and then reflect back on the people who were praying for you. Because of a previous question I was thinking about what a blessing and answer to prayer it was to be placed at First Trinity for my DCE internship three years ago. There are many reasons why in the world’s eyes, I should have never ended up here, but I believe and trust God wanted me here and generally speaking, God gets what He wants. 🙂 I couldn’t be more thankful! (See some of those answered prayer here and here.)
As I began to create my prayer genealogy it was such a joy to think of all the people that were praying…
- My parents
- My amazing roommate, Katie
- My DCE professors: Mark, Tim, and Thad
- My fellow core staffers
- Other friends, teachers, and professors
- Pastor Bruick and the rest of my practicum church
- Camp friends
- Other DCE students and other DCEs I knew
But then I was thinking about FT. While they didn’t know who I was or that I would be coming here; they were praying circles around the person, whoever it would be, that would be serving in high school ministry.
Then I thought about how people were praying all the way back in 1959 when the DCE profession was created. I’m sure that as it was formed, prayers were said for all those who would become DCEs and the process they would go through to become one. DCEs circling future DCEs in prayer.
I thought about First Trinity getting ready to celebrate our 175th anniversary as a church. I pondered the prayers said nearly 175 years ago as the founding members set out to form a church in Buffalo. Perhaps they prayed for all those who would be members or serve in this place and that it would always be a place that proclaimed Christ and his love. 175 years (and counting) of prayer circles.
Even farther, I thought of Paul, writing to the people of Ephesus talking about all the different people God called to be a part of the church, including teachers, called “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God.” You might even say PAUL circled my internship in prayer.
Then there’s Jesus, when, in John 17, he prays for all future believers. As Jesus prepared to go to His death, He was circling you and me.
Farther back still, even before the creation of the world, God knew me… and chose me… you might even say he circled me:
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In lovehe predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-5)
Yes. Every prayer has a genealogy. And if you trace it far enough, you’ll may just find yourself at the very heart of God.