Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Holy Week Book Review- "The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears" by Mark Batterson

Welcome to today's Holy Week post, let's get started shall we? I have a feeling that most of this review is going to be quotes and not a lot of reviewing.

The book starts out by telling the story of Honi. He lived in the first century BC, the century before Jesus. His area was going through an incredibly long drought, one that could eventually kill everyone and everything in the area. Honi drew a circle around himself and prayed for rain, but not just any rain. He prayed for enough rain to fill cisterns and wells and  rejuvenate the land. He also asked for God to rain down blessings on the people as well, that they might believe. Honi was bold in his prayers and the book proposes that everyone takes on this bold kind of prayer idea.

(Here's the part where I just start quoting the book)

"You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other." You know the popular phrase "Sometimes when one door closes another door opens?" I think that goes for prayer too. Maybe you desperately want something and you pray circles around it and it still doesn't happen. Maybe it doesn't happen because there is something even greater that He has planned for you, and that plan doesn't go through the "door" that you originally wanted, it goes through another one.

"God can recycle our mistakes" Have you made a mistake and feel like you can't come back from it? Or that nothing good possibly could come out of it? God can make even the bad things turn out for our good.

"God can not be bribed or blackmailed. God doesn't do miracles to satisfying our selfish whims....He does miracles for one reason and one reason only: to spell his glory". So if you're praying for a Porsche 911 because you think it'd be a great way to pick up chicks, maaaaybe take a minute to reevaluate. Though if it's a way to pick up chicks and then talk to them about Jesus you might have a little more leeway. I don't know, I'm not the Boss, I don't make the rules.

There was a story about a woman (Lisa) who the author knows who works at a church and outreach center in Birmingham Alabama. As she was walking out the door to go to work she felt this incredibly strong impulse to grab a pair of her warm, woolly socks. She had no idea why, but she put them in her purse because she couldn't shake the feeling. She went to open the church and there was a woman, slumped in the doorway passed out. She brought the woman into the church and Lisa held her until she woke up. They talked for awhile and Lisa asked "If you could have anything, what would it be?" and the woman answered "Woolly socks". Lisa gave her the socks she had felt the strange impulse to grab that morning, they even matched their new owners outfit. (I'm so curious about the rest of this story, but that's all we get!)

In full disclosure, I don't agree with all the author's theological points that he utilizes in the book. I think that's fine. I think that what he says about prayer being powerful and underutilized is absolutely true. I think the important thing is that it made me reexamine my prayer life and to consider all of the ways that I can make it better. 3 out of 5 stars!


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