Book Review: The Circle Maker

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson was my first book of 2012.  It fit right in with my desire to grow in the area of prayer this year.  I am so often guilty of throwing up a quick prayer as an afterthought in many situations.  I am sad to admit that, but grateful that God has convicted me in that area.  When I hear stories of people who have experienced God through their prayer life in a mighty way, I am always envious of that.  I realize that I can only change that by desperately seeking God in all areas of my life.  I have enjoyed all of Mark Batterson’s books since they read like you are having a conversation with a friend you have known for quite some time.  His authenticity and transparency are both refreshing and challenging.

While reading this book, I asked God to give me insight as to what I should circle with prayer in 2012.  With amazing clarity, I put this book down knowing three things that I am going to circle in prayer this year.  I look forward to blogging about how God works in each of those three situations.   Mark Batterson and his publishers sent me a free copy of this book to review on my blog.  They will certainly get their money out of that as I am intending to buy several more copies to give away.  I’ve shared so much about this book already in conversations with friends and those I lead…that several of them have already come back to me and mentioned they are reading it now too!

As I was reading, I highlighted a lot.  Below I have pasted the things that I highlighted directly from the book.  I would encourage you to pick up a copy of this book for yourself…and while you are at it, pick up five additional copies for people that you are praying circles around this year!

  • It would be forever remembered at the day.
  • With the authority of the prophet Elijah, who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain:  “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.”
  • It has been difficult to believe the day before the day.  The day after the day, it was impossible not to believe.
  • 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.
  • Who you become is determined by how you pray.  Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.
  • We pray out of our ignorance, but God answers out of His omniscience.  We pray out of our impotence, but God answers out of His omnipotence.
  • And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it.
  • What is your Jericho?
  • Define your dream.  Claim your promise.  Spell your miracle.
  • If our prayers aren’t specific, however, God gets robbed of the glory that He deserves because we second-guess whether or not He actually answered them.
  • Circle makers are history makers.
  • Make the sacrifice.  Take the risk.  Draw the circle.
  • “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.” Psalm 126:1
  • Prayer and imagination are directly proportional: the more you pray the bigger your imagination becomes because the Holy Spirit super sizes it with God-sized dreams.
  • When imagination is sacrificed on the altar of logic, God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.
  • Faith is the willingness to look foolish.
  • You are only one defining decision away from a totally different life.
  • If you aren’t willing to put yourself in “this is crazy” situations, you’ll never experience “this is awesome” moments.
  • “Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
  • If you do the geometry and draw prayer circles around your Jericho, God will take care of the multiplication.
  • “vision beyond your resources”
  • If you aren’t willing to be perplexed, you’ll never be amazed.
  • If you’ve never had a God-sized dream that scared you half to death, then you haven’t really come to life.  If you’ve never been overwhelmed by the impossibility of your plans, then your God is too small.  If your vision isn’t perplexingly impossible, then you need to expand the radiuses of your prayer circles.
  • It’s beyond our ability, but that is why we believe God will bless it.
  • Praying hard is two-dimensional: praying like it depends on God, and working like it depends on you.
  • Psalm 32:7 is must-circle promise.  I like the King James Version: “Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”
  • Prayer is a no-lose proposition.
  • Matthew 18:18 “Whatever you bind on earth will bound in heaven.”
  • Psalm 84:11 captures the heart of the heavenly Father: “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
  • God is great not just because nothing is too big for Him; God is great because nothing is too small for Him.
  • Sometimes God gets in the way to show us the way.
  • “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.  What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” Revelation 3:7-8
  • “Don’t be afraid.  Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.  The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.  The Lord himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14
  • We want to reap the second after we sow, but this isn’t the way it works with dreaming big and praying hard.  We need the patience of the planter.  We need the foresight of the farmer.  We need the mindset of the sower.
  • We live in a culture that overvalues fifteen minutes of fame and undervalues lifelong faithfulness.
  • The harder the better.  It’s true in life; it’s true in prayer.
  • Prayer is priming. Prayer puts us in a spiritual frame of mind.  Prayer helps us see and seize the God-ordained opportunities that area around us all the time.
  • It’s amazing what a difference it makes when I pray circles around the people I’m meeting with.  It turns appointments into divine appointments.
  • Where do you dream big?  When do you pray hard?  What helps you think long?
  • What would happen if you focused your prayers on one thing for one person for one month or one year?
  • “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.” 1 Timothy 2:1
  • Moments of absolute brokenness before God are too few and far between.
  • Circle Daniel 1:8.  Make a resolution not to defile yourself.
  • Prayer is the way we escape the gravitational pull of the flesh and enter God’s orbit.
  • God-ordained goals are conceived in the context of prayer, and prayer is what brings them to full term.
  • “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

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