Once they (the people of Israel) said to Honi the Circle-Drawer, "Pray that rain may fall."
He answered, "Go out and bring in the Passover ovens [made of clay] that they be not softened."
He prayed, but the rain did not fall. What did he do? He drew a circle and stood within it and said before God, "O Lord of the world, your children have turned their faces to me, for I am like a son of the house before you. I swear by your great name that I will not stir from here until you have pity on your children."
Rain began falling drop by drop. He said, "Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns."
It began to rain with violence. He said, "Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing, and graciousness."
Then it rained in moderation, until the Israelites had to go up from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount because of the rain. They went to him and said, "Just as you prayed for the rain to come, so pray that it may go away!"
He replied, "Go and see if the Stone of the Strayers has disappeared."
Simeon ben Shetah (a Jewish religious leader) sent to him, saying, "Had you not been Honi I would have pronounced a ban against you! But what shall I do to you? You importune (ask urgently and persistently) God and he performs your will, like a son that importunes his father he performs his will. Of you the Scripture says, 'Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her that bore you rejoice.' "
Honi had stayed in his circle until God answered his prayers. Are you so bold in your prayers? Why not? Maybe, because most of the things we pray about are often petty selfish things. But maybe, when serious issues do arise, we should pray like Honi. After all, did the apostle Paul not write, "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)"? And do we not have the examples of Abraham, Elijah, and Jesus?
In the words of Mark Batterson, "God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God."