Yes, we Christians come in all shapes and sizes and are equally guilty of succumbing to the pressures and traditions of the secular world. While we do put God first on our list of priorities, that doesn’t mean we can’t rearrange a schedule or two to accommodate cultural traditions and special events. What I’m saying is that we’ve decided to start our new small groups next week—when football season is over.

There’s going to be a lot of praying today—not just in church but on the ten yard line, before the extra-point kick, and for many, for the hangover cure on Monday morning.  At church we’ve been reading and studying a book written by our pastor, Mark Batterson called The Circle Maker. One of the recurring themes in the book is to pray big prayers.

For example, when your team is losing by 21 points and there is only a minute left on the clock and it seems completely impossible for you not to lose that ill-conceived bet you placed while the tailgating was in its early stages—that is the perfect time to pray for a win. Why? Because it’s the impossible situations—the miracles—that give glory to God. If it’s not a miracle, we tend to give the credit to coincidence or frankly ourselves. So in other words, go big or go home.

There are so many stories in the Bible about monumental miracles that God performed. It’s these seemingly hopeless situations (a band of three hundred men defeat an army of tens of thousands; the Jews’ triumphant victory of Jericho not via battering rams but by walking circles around the city; feeding 5,000 people from a few loaves of bread) that show just how glorious and wonderful God is and that He alone can make ANYTHING happen. It’s living with RAW DEPENDENCE on God that allows His work to be done.

Throughout the last few weeks in church, Pastor Mark had been sharing story after story of answered prayers. We know they were answered prayers and not coincidence because we mere mortals could not make them happen—only divine intervention delivered these miracles. I kept leaving the services with an overwhelming sense of joy. Story after story—on and on—it’s a true testament that God is at work with us everywhere all the time. It made me wish (and pray) that our news programs would someday turn into hour-long segments of testimonials of the miracles and answered prayers of God. Can you imagine how wonderful our world would be if we heard about these stories all the time? People would become hopeful instead of depressed. People everywhere would start praying and waiting patiently instead of living a life in want of instant gratification. I am confident that someday that is exactly how it will be. We may need to wait for the second coming, but it will happen. It just would be much cooler if it happened sooner. (Or is that instant gratification rearing its ugly head?)

I would very much like to hear your stories. Your answered prayers. Let’s start telling the world about them so we can give hope to others. I would also like to hear about your big prayers. I want to pray for you. I’m going to make a circle here on this blog. I’m praying that people like you will reply to these posts and share your stories and your prayer requests and then share them with your friends and family and your Twitter and Facebook followers and anyone else you come across. Let’s start the ball rolling right here. It’s GAME TIME people!

I’ll start and put myself out there in the hopes that others will follow.

Today I’m praying for:

Opportunities to travel the world to see the beauty that God has created. I pray that I can take stunning photographs and write about the experiences to share God’s glorious creation with others. I want to meet people and learn about their cultures, traditions, and beliefs and to educate and share those wonderful stories with others. And I want the courage and opportunity to share with the people I meet my testimony about how God has blessed me.

Healing—to be pain free from my joint and back injuries and to become fit and healthy enough to climb mountains and play sports again.

For legal help for a friend’s sister. For her to break free of an abusive relationship and get help in the form of physical healing, a job, and a new home.

My friend who is pregnant to be relieved of the physical suffering that comes from being pregnant and for a perfectly healthy baby who will one day come to know Jesus.

For the healing that needs to happen with family members.

To be filled with the fruit of the Spirit and emanate light, grace, and love so that those who meet me will see the joy and freedom that comes from accepting Jesus and putting your faith in God.