“You don’t need to seek opportunity. All you have to do is seek God.
And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you.”
Mark Batterson – Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge
On Friday of this week I will walk the stage and proudly accept my second master’s diploma, officially completing my journey through seminary. When the Lord called me to go back to graduate school and prepare to be a pastor back in 2012, it felt like a huge leap of faith. But as soon as I obeyed His voice, He began to confirm again and again that I was on the right path.
As I neared the end of my degree in Pastoral Leadership, my mind was filled with questions. Will I be able to find a church position? Where will we live? What will happen to our family? I began sending out resumes, and many of them were quickly denied. “Not enough experience,” many of the churches were quick to point out. “We’re looking for someone who has been a pastor for five years or more.”
My wife could tell I was a little disheartened, and suggested that we go through the Mark Batterson book called Draw the Circle. This is a 40-day prayer journey, where you commit to “circling” situations and people in prayer by praying for them every day for 40 days. That first evening, we joined our hearts in prayer and began calling out to God, asking Him to show us exactly where He wanted us to serve. We were confident that we would have an answer by the end of the 40 days.
The very next morning, I received a phone call from a church in New Mexico. They had seen my resume, and asked if I could send them a list of references. I was happy to oblige, and about a month later they asked if I would be willing to drive across the state line for an interview. About a month after that, in mid-April, we traveled back a second time so I could meet the church family and preach in view of a call. By the end of that Sunday, the church had voted unanimously to call me as their pastor, and we knew that it was time to pack our bags – we were definitely moving to New Mexico!
In the next few weeks, our family will be leaving the grassy plains of North Texas for the beautiful desert mountains of the Land of Enchantment. We’re excited about this new chapter in our lives, are thrilled to begin the ministry God has called us to, and are amazed at the clear and powerful way God answered our prayers… from the very first day.
Why do I share this with all of you? First, we would so appreciate your prayers as we make this transition! Also, I wanted to testify to the fact that God absolutely listens to prayer, and that in spite of the fact that we often overlook it, a faithful and consistent prayer life has the power to change our lives – and the world – in a dramatic way.
Two days from now I’ll walk across the graduation stage, ready to step into a bright and promising future. We will be adjusting to the desert climate of New Mexico, but will be safe and secure in the center of our Father’s hands.
“Pray without ceasing.”
I Thessalonians 5:17
“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.”
I John 5:14-15
Photo Credit: Organ Mountains, Mesilla Valley – Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, The Wilderness Society