Today I started another march. This always means my family has a need that bigger, a little more distressing or I just don’t have any answers to thus far. For me it’s a dedicated calling out to God, reaching out and expressing my need. This one is all about me. I feel a little self centered. I’ve never done that before. Just decided I’m worth it. I also know that the stronger I am, the better I am to lead my family. I cannot give what I do not have. I don’t believe in the fake it til you make it mentality. I believe in the call on God til you get it mindset. I don’t want the distraction of my 5 sons involved this time. Though I feel a little inclined to include them on day 7. I’m reaching deep into me and deeper into the heart of God than I’ve ever begged before. The more I’ve gotten to know my Father in heaven, the more I know He’ll honor this request I have. I have found Him ready and willing to give good things, I only need ask. So here I am asking God…and I’ll keep on asking, and I’ll keep on seeking You!
This is my Jericho March. I’ve employed this tactic at least a couple times a year for several years now. I came onto the idea during a lady’s conference when someone used the illustration of the walls coming down at Jericho talking about praise and shouting. They were talking about breaking down barriers and walls of things that we needed to conquer. They used the concept of using praise to reach out to God. If God can pull down the walls of a mighty city, how much more can He conquer the barriers that you and I face. I have had a few walls in my time. I’ve been through a little bit of hell if I might say so and I thought, why not add the marching? Including this patient day by day approaching God, beseeching Him about my needs has been very impacting for me. It’s not my last resort in trouble, it’s sort of one of those very special things I feel called to do to fight a battle on the spiritual front. For the last several years when I’ve gone through tough things or needed to make greater impacting decisions etc. I’ve employed this dedicated act of faith and prayer about specific needs. It’s a dedicated time every day for a solid week that I take to march and pray just like they did in the Bible around the city. Most times I circle my entire home like they did the city of Jericho. Sometimes I have a specific object or need that I might do this indoors around. I prefer to encompass my whole home though – why not cover everything?
We literally do march around our house for 6 days one time per day in silence. Then on the 7th day we march around seven times making loud cries out to God. We praise Him. We beg His help. We just declare all the goodness that is in our little world and all the things we need to see happen. My 5 boys can make plenty of noise believe me! I have bought them special things just for this march sometimes. If we don’t praise God, the rocks are gonna cry out. I’m not going to be responsible for that. We have seen the impact of this beautiful act on our home. We have felt it, physically, financially, emotionally and oh, in tidal waves spiritually! I’ve had a young son say to me that he felt like angels walked with us. I’ve felt like they carried my weary soul when I couldn’t go on.
On the 7th day during the first lap around the house I always am in prayer and praising God for His goodness and for helping us get this far thanking Him for every good thing. By the 2nd lap I begin getting direct downloads from heaven. Specific tasks to do and issues to fix and work on. Ways to correct or redirect my little family better on the godly pathway. Every lap all the way up to 7 I get new revelations about the issue I needed help with and often more. I hear and feel God speaking right into my being. Lovingly handing me a blueprint to go forward from here. The tasks are never heavy or burdensome. They are always full of kindness and gentle correction if needed. It’s like He lays His hand on my shoulder and says dear daughter the house is so much easier to clean if you do a little cleaning every day. Or yes, I give my blessing to move your bakery to your homestead, you’ll have even more time with me when you are calmer about your baby’s whereabouts. In fact, I would be glad to help make it happen. Always, always I get a message of love.
The march doesn’t go on with out conflict or spiritual resistance. I got poison ivy going around the house on one of my weeks. Other weeks we truly brave the icy cold or the heat. Sometimes we have no choice but to complete it in the rain. Partway around I start limping and think my feet just cant go one step farther. Day 5 and 6 always hit me at an exhausted point. I’d like to just shut down entirely. I give in at times to thinking God shouldn’t make me work so hard for things that seem to come so easily to others. Always though, the reward is partly in the pressing through. The persistent prayers of the saint avails much. It’s worth every little trial.
Below I’ve included a few of our experiences of our Jericho March. I can tell you this, God meets us where we are when we are open to Him. He doesn’t leave us stranded and hanging by a thread. Scripture is true and God is just: “We have not because we ask not.” “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Just in case you feel selfish asking or wonder if your prayers are worthy. I can tell you that your prayer may change over the first 6 days. Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us. My prayers always become more defined as the days go on. I’ve never felt I couldn’t ask for what I started with. My intensity of need grew greater for God to be the one to meet my need. I found myself tired of human striving. I found my praying moved to a very humble state. I knew God was the only answer and that perspective relieved me because I was in His presence and I knew He was hearing me. This is sort of like having 7 days in a row of divine appointments. Sometimes help begins on the first day of my march. Sometimes not until days after the full march is completed. Every time though I know I have an audience with the King of Kings and that He is moved on my behalf. I feel it and know that I am heard. Always from day one I feel heard. I’ve often heard stated that one of the most healing things is to be able to voice your need and to feel like you are heard. God does that and then He acts on our behalf also. So, here you go…a few personal stories of our marches.
* My family owns a small bakery and coffee business. A few years ago, we were at max capacity of production in our kitchen. Totally busting at the seams. The health department said scale back, shut down or expand. I was devastated at first. What would we do? Scaling back meant not enough money to live on, we already made too little. Shutting down meant exiting my little dream of self-employment and everything I’d already figured out and worked so hard for. Expansion meant finding money and figuring out where in the world to go. We were in a mall and there was another store to move to there. So, I started researching; it was way above budget. I began praying. Suddenly 2 landlords from the main street of our town showed up at my shop and attempted to recruit my business to their rental spaces. I couldn’t fathom leaving the mall at this point in time and the rent on these shops was just as astronomical to me as the larger place in the mall. This was hard, I didn’t know which way to turn. I knew it was time for a march. During the crazy heat of July and early August I went early to work each day and even over the weekend when closed to make the 15-minute walk around the entire mall property. I couldn’t just circle my shop inside it didn’t seem right. By the tail end of my weeklong march I had spoken to another Christian business friend who had just revealed that they too were thinking of exiting the mall in order to expand. I told her about my march and how I used these marches in the past to make decisions. She offered to join my 7th day which was only a day later. That day dawned super-hot. We made it around the building 1 ½ times and were passing her car. She asked do you think God would care if we drove. I said I don’t think so as long as we finish it. So, we proceeded onward in her vehicle with great sighs of air-conditioned relief. As we entered our 6th lap, we both looked at each other with stress written across our faces. At the same time, we revealed we had no answers yet. But we kept on calling out to God. At this time all I had left was the name of Jesus which is what I tend to repeat over and over again any time I am in distress. Suddenly we were ready to round for the 7th lap, at the same time we looked at each other and said we need to go the other way. At first, I felt a bit perplexed…did I have to start over and do all the laps again the other way. Could I have done this wrong? Is there a right way and a wrong way? …and then the peace washed over me in an emotional downpour. We were unwinding, like this was unscrewing a jar and releasing the contents. We’d been so wound up creating businesses inside this building and just now in our 7th lap of our Jericho march/drive God was releasing us of this building. We both had an instant answer and that was that. I didn’t move to the space inside that mall thankfully since the mall closed barely a year later. Thank God for that. With the release to look for spaces outside the mall I came across new places and found one that served us greatly for several years to come. Unwound – who’d have thunk!
*When I’ve been in financial distress, I’ve laid my wallet on the floor in the house with all my unpaid bills. I’ve included the plans to create financial increases I needed to grow my business at that time in the pile. I wrote down house repairs that I couldn’t afford to fix, but desperately needed to. I’ve marched and prayed for 6 days. Yes, the circle in the room is small but prayer and the faith is big. On the 7th day God gave me peace. He told me to write checks as if every bill was paid in full and tape them to the bottom of my cash register. I also added a prayer cloth to my cash register and farmers market bags. Money wasn’t immediate – but everything changed from that moment on. My problem is big, my God is bigger!
*In my home when I was so emotionally distressed and really didn’t feel strong leading my family. I was a new widow; we were approaching the first-year anniversary of my husband’s passing. We had so many issues of grief, children in anger, suicide and distress, unanswered questions. This was January 2019 and a chilly -5 degrees most of the week. I was struggling so hard. This was just after the murder trial and the beginning of grief transitions. The whole family was in a world of upheaval. I felt a desperate need for our Jericho Walk. I didn’t really feel power filled enough for a march. I talked to my big boys about it and instructed them that we were going to do this as a family. I think they felt the injury as much as I so the desperation was real to all of us. We walked around our whole house. Through a fence, up and down deck steps, through garage doors and circled until we finished our lap every day. If boys fought to much on the lap we began again. Sometimes I sent one ahead to stagger their distance because they couldn’t walk side by side without conflict. I didn’t want to be distracted in my prayer time around the house. After all I had true needs. We all did. We all took turns carrying and coaxing little toddlers whom we guarded very carefully from the frigid cold. We go five days into the walk, praying every day all around the house silently as we went. Then on the 6th day we just didn’t go around, nor the 7th day. We don’t take this lightly, so we started all over again. Day 1 crystal clear and so cold my nose froze before I got through the first fence. I remember just praying to make it around the house. Day 2 was similar. Day 3 was stronger courage was coming back. Boys were resolute. If we were gonna do this, they were stomping their way around paving that trail for me and little guys. Day 4 was beautiful, and we quietly thanked God and told each other about it afterward. We kept our agreement not to talk all the way around the house. Day 5 and 6 were angry harsh and horrible weather, we felt it internally also. Nobody wanted to go out and nobody was quitting lest we had to start again. We braved it – boys with glares and daggers in their eyes. Stomp, stomp, stomp. My brain said stomp on you Satan stomp on you Satan! Take that! How dare you mess with my family? In Jesus name we will be healed. On day 7 we go out and its drizzling, nasty school canceling weather. We march today! No walking now!! Together out we went…this time there’s noise – boys had instructions to tell God all their wish list of beautiful things for the future. How they wanted to honor Daddy with their lives. How they’d turn bad into good in Jesus name. They marched and we shouted, and we prayed and laughed and came in drenched and cold but happy and resolute. Every lap gave me a new revelation of a new life. God told me it was time for me to learn to grieve over my lost husband. It was ok to not be strong and it was ok showing my hurt and pain. It was ok to not be ok. I needed to embrace my anguish and learn to lament. He told me to relax and learn to have fun with my boys like my husband used to. That was my best way to carry on his legacy. He told me showing my weakness with my boys actually showed them strength and there would come a time again to stand up tall. God told me that in the absence of my earthly husband He was my husband, He would fight my battles. I only had to call on His name. The changes in our home began immediately. Day 8 was calmer in the fighting among brothers. Depression eased a bit in boys and there was less suicidal talk. I entered into truly grieving my husband which I had not done yet. What had been frozen emotions began to thaw and warm in the love of God my Father. I embraced His empathy and began learning to trust again during my much-needed time of lament. Truly out of our horrible situation He began making a beautiful new thing. We’d never be the same again and oh, how precious the transformation. It truly was a turning point for me. I began a sit-down time with God, where I literally pulled up a chair and poured Him a cup of coffee. Sometimes I’d begin the time with some whining complaint, and He’d listen then hush my worries in His calm ‘I’ve got this’ way. He led me into grief in these moments. I rose early to get this time alone with God. I’d pull up His chair and we’d both be quiet just enjoying each other’s company. Sometimes I couldn’t help myself, I’d bend to the floor and crawl across to lay my head on His lap. He laid His mighty hand on my head and comforted me. Words aren’t needed when your Father holds you. Somehow the coffee always disappeared. I’m pretty sure He poured it into my cup when I wasn’t looking. Guess He figured I needed it more than He.
March anyone? We’re on day two…we have a plight. I know He’s listening, I’m certain He’s got answers for my heart, He never fails me!