Just recently I finished one of the BEST reads I have done in a while. It’s the first book I chose to read in 2012, and MAN am I glad I read it. The book is called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The Circle Maker is a book all about prayer, and it’s based off the true legend of a man named Honi, who became known as “the circle maker”. Honi was a Jewish sage whose bold prayer ended a drought and saved a generation. It’s this inspiring story that Mark uses as a launching pad to challenge us to “pray circles” around things in our life. This is not a “name it claim it” kind of book. It’s a “Trust in the NAME of God” kind of book. Mark not only talks about ANSWERED prayers, but UN-ANSWERED ones as well and how we walk through those seasons of silence.
The Circle Maker came at JUST the right time in my life. I can honestly say, it is the most challenging yet encouraging book on prayer I’ve ever read. Inspiring to say the least. I would say that last year was the best year of prayer I’ve ever experienced. I was more motivated and moved by God through prayer in 2011 than I ever have been, and The Circle Maker only fueled my fire for prayer. I truly believe that prayer is the forgotten discipline in the church. I’m convinced, if we fully understood the power that prayer has to connect us with the heart of God, it wouldn’t be just the thing we add before a meal, or the desperate plea for provision. We’d be DEDICATED to seeking God daily in it.
Trying to capture the essence of The Circle Maker in one blog is impossible, but here is one statement from the 2nd chapter of the book that I think sums it all up: “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. he is offended by nothing less.” WOW! Makes me wonder about my own prayer life. It inspired this statement in me “Our prayers should be so big we SHOULDN’T expect them to happen, but our GOD is so big we do.” I want to pray those kinds of prayers. Prayers that are generational. Mark talks about that in the book. That God is outside of time. There are prayers He’s already answered 50 years from now, that we haven’t even PRAYED! (That’ll blow your mind) Makes me want to pray BIGGER prayers over my children, my grandchildren…OUR CHURCH!
From PRAYING through things and PRAISING through things (new concept for me). From fasting to goal setting, Mark covers it all. I was literally captured from the first sentence. Rarely are there books that I can’t wait to pick up and continue reading…this was one! All that to say, if you’re looking for a practical yet inspiring book on prayer, this is one I’d recommend. I’ve started praying circles around things in my own life, in fact, I think it might have even inspired a whole sermon series I’m circling in prayer!