Book Review: Praying Circles Around Your Children

Before you read any further, please go directly to Amazon’s website and download your own free copy of Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson for free on Kindle.  I’m sure it is only available for a limited time and it has already been available for free for three days…so you better hurry!

The first book I read in 2012 was The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  The Circle Maker encouraged me to grow in my prayer life as I learned more about what it meant to pray for God’s will rather than my will.  I was very excited to see Praying Circles Around Your Children released and couldn’t believe that I found it for free on Amazon.  There are two things that Batterson talks a lot about that I really want to embrace in my role as a parent.  “I want to be famous in my own home.”  “Your prayers will shape the destiny of your family for many generations to come.”

One of our favorite parts of the day is when Clint and I have the privilege of praying with Emma at meal times and before bed.  Just the other day, a friend of ours had something stolen out of their purse.  Emma’s immediate response was to pray for that item and for our friend who was upset.  I was so moved by her childlike faith to immediately turn to the Lord in that situation!

I want to leave a rich legacy of prayer for my daughter.  Emma is a treasure that God has entrusted to me for a period of time.  My hope is that I will run hard after the Lord in a way that inspires her to want to do the same.

Here are several things that I highlighted while reading…

  • I want to be famous in my home.
  • Make sure the heavenly Father hears about your kids daily!
  • Your worst mistakes double as your greatest opportunities.
  • How will your kids learn to apologize unless you model it for them, to them?
  • Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every generation that follows.
  • You can start a new tradition, a new tree. You can begin a new prayer genealogy.
  • You don’t become a praying parent by default. You do it by design, by desire, by discipline. Spiritual disciplines take sheer determination, but if you determine to circle your children in prayer, you will shape their destinies, just like Susanna Wesley shaped the destinies of her children. Your prayers will live on in their lives long after you die.
  • Your prayers for your children are the greatest legacy you can leave.
  • Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. MATTHEW 18:18 – 20
  • It’s imperative to distinguish between your will and God’s will. Every prayer, including your prayers for your children, must pass a twofold litmus test: your prayers must be in the will of God and for the glory of God.
  • Prayer is the way we take our hands off and place our children in the hands of God.
  • I’m circling the promise in Psalm 103:17: But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.
  • Jesus Christ broke the curse so you can break the cycle!
  • Drawing prayer circles is a metaphor that simply means “to pray without ceasing.” It’s praying until God answers. It’s praying with more intensity, more tenacity. It’s not just praying for; it’s praying through.
  • Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you.
  • Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children. LAMENTATIONS 2:19 NLT
  • The favor of God is what God can do for you that you cannot do for yourself.
  • Prayer is the way we write the future. It’s the difference between letting things happen and making things happen.
  • You need to speak words of comfort and encouragement to your children. When you catch them doing something wrong, gently rebuke them. Lovingly remind them: that’s not who you are. When you catch them doing something right, reinforce it. Fan into flame the gift of God that is in them.
  • Philippians 4:6 – 7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Don’t just pray defensively that your child won’t do anything wrong; pray that they’ll do something right.
  • Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD.     Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. PSALM 5:3 NLT
  • Lord, let their ears be tuned to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
  • “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do.” MATTHEW 6:7 NLT
  • Your prayers will shape the destiny of your family for generations to come.
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