Book Review: The Circle Maker

Mark Batterson has become on of my favorite authors. If he writes a book, I read it. I have to admit, out of all the books he has written, this is probably the one I was least looking forward to. Why? It was a book on prayer.

J. Oswald Sanders, in his book Spiritual Leadership, said, “If you want to humble any man, ask him about his prayer life.” That statement always challenges me because if any area of my walk with God is lacking, it’s my prayer life. I’ve never been a “great prayer”. However, it is an area that I am determined to grow in, so I read this book.

It was excellent. Mark really challenged me to recognize the importance and power of prayer. My biggest takeaway is that my prayer life is related to how I view God. If I really believe God is God, why wouldn’t I spend hours pouring out my heart to Him? Too often, I’ve prayed vague prayers and expected God to bless me as I pursue what’s in my heart in my own strength. I am done with living that way. After reading this book, I am determined to take advantage of the incredible gift of prayer. I hope you’ll read this book and do the same.


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Some Highlights:

  • Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.
  • Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.
  • Our prayers never die. There have been moments in my life when the Spirit of God has whispered to my spirit, Mark, the prayers of your grandfather are being answered in your life right now. Those moments rank as the most humbling moments of my life.
  • Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in a well-lived life.
  • Don’t just pray. Keep a prayer journal.
  • The author, pastor of one of the largest churches in Seoul, Korea, wrote, “God does not answer vague prayers.” When I read that statement, I was immediately convicted by how vague my prayers were. Some of them were so vague that there was no way of knowing whether God had answered them or not.
  • The more faith you have, the more specific your prayers will be. And the more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives.
  • The greatest chapters in history always begin with risk, and the same is true with the chapters of your life. If you’re unwilling to risk your reputation, you’ll never build the boat like Noah or get out of the boat like Peter. You cannot build God’s reputation if you aren’t willing to risk yours.
  • You are only one defining decision away from a totally different life.
  • I don’t just write books; I circle them in prayer. To me, writing is praying with a keyboard.
  • A second lesson learned is that no doesn’t always mean no; sometimes no means not yet. We’re too quick to give up on God when He doesn’t answer our prayers when we want or how we want. Maybe your deadline doesn’t fit God’s timeline. Maybe no simply means not yet. Maybe it’s a divine delay.
  • Never underestimate the power of a single prayer.
  • One bold prayer can accomplish more than a thousand well-laid plans
  • If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed.
  • Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems.
  • The size of prayers depends on the size of our God.

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