Pastor Mark Batterson has a genius for making the obscure prominent. His In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day highlights the biblical story of Benaniah (Bena-who?) and makes a pertinent application to those who face challenging circumstances. And his Wild Goose Chase pulled its title from an ancient Celtic name for the Holy Spirit. In The Circle Maker: Praying Circles AroundYour Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears (Zondervan, 2011), Batterson again draws from obscurity via a legend that pre-dates the Old Testament. Here, he uses the story of Honi the Circle Maker, a prophet who dared to believe a miracle and watched as it happened to the glory of God. This book has sources other than legend, however. Batterson shares both from Scripture and his own experience as pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. His basic premise: when you believe a prayer is in the will of God and will bring Him glory, you should circle it in prayer the way the Israelites circled the wall of Jericho. Pray hard, pray long, and watch for God to work. Batterson does a great job of sharing both story and principle in an inspiring, entertaining way. At times, I felt his catchy sound bite-type wording seemed forced. At other times, I marveled at his agility in turning a phrase. At times, I wondered if he was veering into name-it, claim-it philosophy. At other times, I wondered why my faith is so small. And that’s the real strength of this book. Although “circling,” as I see it, is only a paradigm for effective, fervent prayer, this new way of thinking has already enhanced my prayer life. I realized I was often praying what I expected God to do anyway. It was time—past time—to trust God for the miracles I know He can do. It was time I asked Him for the impossible, the work only He can perform. Read this book with a critical eye. Go back to the Word and check its points. But I believe you’ll end up, like Batterson, circling your family, your friends, and various situations in your life with the kind of powerful prayers God uses every day. And that obscure Circle Maker? He’ll be smiling. What book about prayer has had a dramatic impact on you? I have a growing collection and would love to know your favorites. Find a local Christian bookstore Find this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at Christian Book...Read More
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