The author, Mark Batterson, opens the book with the story of Honi. Honi was an Israelite sage who was known for his powerful prayers. In a season of great drought, Honi decided to intercede for his people. The story goes that Honi drew a circle around himself in the sand and told God that unless He sent showers of rain and gracious favor on the land that Honi would not move from his circle. God sent both rain and blessings in honor of Honi’s prayer.
From that simple story, The Circle Maker introduces the power of prayer.
Mark Batterson is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., and it is clear from his book that he lives a life given over to prayer. With humor and energy Mark shares how God has used prayer over and over again in his life, and in the lives of people he has met, to meet some truly incredible needs.
Mark’s own story of how he came to D.C and started National Community Church is a story of how God uses prayer to do things that only He could do. Interwoven in Mark’s story are stories of other people and other places where prayer has had a truly miraculous impact simply because God’s people asked Him to work.
There is a powerful message and a powerful blessing contained in The Circle Maker; if you are willing to work like it’s up to you and pray like it’s up to God, then God will amaze you with what He can accomplish through you and around you.
There are several things that I really appreciate about The Circle Maker. The first, and the reason that I want everyone I know to read it, is that it will bless your socks off. (In fact, if you decide to read it you might as well go ahead and remove your socks anyway because you will be standing on holy ground. This book is absolutely heaven sent!) I had tears of joy in my eyes on multiple occasions and I rejoiced to see what God is able to do through those whose lives are lived as a prayer unto Him.
Encouragement of this magnitude is powerful stuff and it just might jumpstart your prayer life and walk with God. I know it did for me. So please, read The Circle Maker and expect to laugh, smile, cry and rejoice in what your God can do.
I appreciate that while Mark lays out a great foundation for what prayer is and how it works he also understands that it isn’t the circle that has power and it isn’t just because we ask that we receive. Mark’s entire book points to the Heavenly Father. The focus is always on God; it is always God that gets the glory. That’s how I know that this book is heaven sent.
Mark points out many prayers he prayed that were not answered like he wanted them to be and some prayers that have yet to be answered at all. Prayer is not a “name it, claim it” enterprise and it’s not a way that we can get everything we want. Real prayer opens a channel in us for God to work His mighty acts without violating our free will.
God is for us. Always. He wants to move and to work in our lives and to pour out His great love on us. Prayer is the way we get into sync with God’s plan (which is always the best plan!) and when done genuinely and consistently amazing things can happen. Amazing things will happen.
Reading The Circle Maker makes me want to get involved with God’s plan in a way that I’ve never done before. Since reading it God has filled me with a holy anticipation of what is to come. I have never been more excited to be a child of God than I am right now. Read The Circle Maker and prepare to be amazed.
Publication date: December 18, 2012 (reprint)