How to Pray and Get Answers
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I don’t typically rave about most of the books I read. It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a book that’s made such an impact on my life. (Hopefully, it goes without saying that the Bible has had the biggest impact on my life, but say it I will.) The only other one that comes to mind is Redeeming Love. I’ve shared a couple of posts with you about Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. Check those out here and here. The Circle Maker is now on that short list of books that have made a life changing impact for me.
The Circle Maker was written by Mark Batterson. Throughout the book he shares wonderful testimonies to answered prayers in and around Washington D.C. and for the church he serves as lead pastor, National Community Church. These testimonies don’t always end the way you think they will, but you won’t be able to get enough as each one unfolds.
Today, I want to share with you What I Learned about praying in circles.
I realize this book isn’t hot off the presses and I don’t know if there’s some sort of rule about when it’s okay or not okay to write a review, but I can’t keep quiet. I need to tell you how terrific I think it is. It’s one of the latest reads my book club just finished up. While the level of praise was somewhat different among these wonderful women I share books with, it was unanimous that we all loved it. There were plenty of favorite quotes shared from it, but my favorite quote from the book was repeated several times throughout and goes like this:
“You can’t never always sometimes tell.”
Let that sink in. Read it again. In fact, I’ve created a free art and lock screen download available in the MRS designs Lifestyle Library for you to remind yourself of this simple, yet profound truth. Believe me, once you’ve read the book, you’ll want to be reminded often.
The Circle Maker, Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
Friend as I write this post I’m a little emotional. I can’t describe to you how much I needed the wake up call this book gave me. There was a time in my life I considered myself a “prayer warrior". Oh how life can distract us from the important things. I want that back. I want the kind of faith that Mark Batterson has. The perseverance. The “stop, drop and pray” mentality he displays is nothing short of convicting.
The author, Mark Batterson, displays faith like I long to have. Like I know I already possess. Deep down. This book stirred the Holy Spirit within. In fact, the hostess of this past book club had each of us write our names on a piece of paper then had me draw one out…I drew my own name! After drawing my name she handed me a gift bag with the book Draw the Circle: A 40 Day Prayer Challenge. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start it and to share with you how it goes.
the legend of Honi - the first circle maker
The author of The Circle Maker shares about Honi, the first circle maker, throughout the book. My imagination is brought to life as I absorb every word. Imagine praying for rain when it hadn’t rained in over a year. Everyone around you has completely given up and now think you’ve lost your mind. This is the kind of praying person Honi was.
4 Ways to Get Your Prayers Answered
Before I share my four main takeaways from this book, I’d like to share an excerpt with you that Batterson shares right from the beginning.
“Drawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants, what God wills. And until His souvereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from the power supply. Sure, you can apply some of the principles you learn in The Circle Maker, and they may help you get what you want, but getting what you want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you.”
what i learned about praying in circles from
The Circle Maker
Becoming a Circle Maker Requires Risk
What does a risk taker look like? What characteristics describe such a person? They usually stick out like a sore thumb. They are so focused on the goal they don’t even realize how ridiculous they look. They tune out the naysayers. I want to be described like this. I want to leave a “legacy of prayer.”
“Your greatest legacy is the prayers you leave behind. It’s also your longest legacy.” - Mark Batterson
Being a Circle Maker isn’t for lazy People
It’s a tragedy how we’ve become lazy, so lackadaisical with communing with our Savior. How we throw up quick half-hearted prayers. And then complain that God’s not answering our prayers. Proverbs has a great deal to say about being lazy. Batterson uses several examples, but the one that resonates best with me, and most people for that matter, is the story of the Israelite’s marching around the walls of Jericho. This is probably a bit too literal for some, but that’s how my mind works. This was not a prayer plan for a lazy person. In fact, praying through requires anything and everything that is opposite of lazy.
Laziness induces deep sleep, and a lazy person will go hungry. Proverbs 19:15
Being a Circle Maker Requires You to Stop Looking for an answer
Yes, you read that right. And yes, I did say I’ve got four ways to get your prayers answered. Let me explain. We have to stop treating prayer like it’s for us. We have to change our approach. Seeking God. Seeking His will is the answer. I shared at the beginning a quote from the book that I want to repeat.
“You can’t never always sometimes tell.”
translation - “Anything could happen.”
God is always the answer. When we’re focused on Him everything else comes into focus. But, when we’re focused on ourselves, our needs, our wants we literally can’t see past the end of our noses. We can’t see that God has something different in mind. Something better. And something that will always glorify Him. Seek Jesus, my friend. “You can’t never always sometimes tell.”
Being a Circle Maker is Only for those who refuse to give up
When’s the last time you put action to your faith? When was the last time the word faith in your world was actually a verb instead of noun?
Batterson, also points out something I suppose I’ve heard before, I’ve definitely read it before. Check this verse out.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. Joshua 6:2
Talk about a verb. God said He delivered. Not I’m going to deliver. They just had to circle that promise. The requirement? Not to give up!
If there’s just one thing I would hope that you’d take away from this, my friend, it’s that. Three simple words. Don’t give up! Pray through. Draw those circles. Get on your face and seek HIS face.
I’d love to hear a time when you’ve prayed through. When you’ve prayed circles around something. When you refused to give up. Let me know in the comments below…I want to praise Jesus with you!
I’d also love to hear if you’ve read The Circle Maker or plan to!
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