THE CIRCLE MAKER: CIRCLE PRAYER BRING A CHANGE

THE CIRCLE MAKER: CIRCLE PRAYER BRING A CHANGE


Is Jesus the God of the circle? Is there any relevance for circles in the Christian tradition?
A disturbing drought endangered to extinguish a generation in first century BC, the generation before Jesus. This was around 400 years known as silent period in the history when the last of the Jewish prophets had died off. The voice of God and the miracles were distant memories of the past. There was one Saint who was known as Honi, lived outside of Jerusalem, the city of God, who dared to pray anyway. Honi believed even though people don’t hear God, God could still hear them.  Honi’s prayer was the only hope people had to escape from the drought. Honi took his six-foot staff in his hand and began to turn like a math compass and created a circle around him and prayed: “Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children”. As his prayer ascended to the heavens, raindrops descended to the earth. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the sounds of celebration. “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits, and caverns.” The sprinkle turned into such a torrential downpour that eyewitnesses said no raindrop was smaller than an egg in size. It rained so heavily and so steadily that the people fled to the Temple Mount to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request. “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of thy favor, blessing, and graciousness.”[1]

While I was studying in the seminary back home in India, I joined with few of my friends who work with the campus ministry. It was normal to spent time in prayer in the late night being in the top of our seminary building roof. We use to come together as a small group to circle around to pray for God to intervene in the campus. At the same time it was normal for the engineering college students to ride their bike to the city as a group. We prayed to God, will you please touch at least one of those students in that group who ride the bike. Yes God did that……. at last few in the group started to come to the campus meeting and God changed their life and they intern turn to be a great witness. This also eventually helped us to start a worship in our home town.
When Christ said I will be present when two or three gather in my name. What it means? Jesus is present in the circle? In the Jewish tradition for seven days of Sukkot, Jews walk around in circles, carrying an assortment of green and yellow flora. Then, on Simchat Torah, they dance in circles carrying Hebrew scrolls, working up to a frenzy. It is more like marching, putting your hands over the next guy’s shoulders, singing and stomping. In Jericho encounter, Moses asked the people to silently circle around the city six times for the first six days and on the seventh day seven time make noise at the end and circle around. The miracle happened. The tradition shows the wall fell to the inside. Even though the liberal scholars believes it was a gradual miracle.
In the pastoral counseling, counselor circles around the problem and bring its connections with the unconscious and conscious mind. In other words counselor circle around the patterns people follow. This is also often a military strategy. Circle around the enemy. Often the elephant circle around the grass with it’s trunk to pull the grass.  What impossible big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Drawing prayer circles around our dreams and vision isn't just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God.

Binu B. Peniel
2014 (C) binu.peniel@gmail.com


[1] http://thecirclemaker.com/The_Circle_Maker_Sampler.pdf

Binu Peniel

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