Draw the Circle is a devotional book on prayer, a sequel of sorts based on the New York Times best-selling book, The Circle Maker. I have not read The Circle Maker, but I have read, Praying Circles Around your Children, a good book for parents to read! What I learned from that book is this:
You don’t become a praying parent by default. You do it by design by desire, by discipline and determination. It’s imperative to distinguish between your will and God’s will. God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish.
After “praying circles” around my children and grandchildren and experiencing God answer many of those prayers, I looked forward to using Draw the Circle as a challenge to establish a prayer habit that would continue on day 41, day 75, day 365.
In Draw the Circle, we are encouraged to make a daily appointment with God by setting a time and place to pray. The author chose the time of 7:14 AM, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. The “If” at the beginning of this verse convicted him to become a man of prayer and to lead his church through a revival of prayer. Having a set time and place created tremendous synergy and accountability.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Batterson reiterates that there is nothing magical about physically circling something in prayer. 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. “Praying with the same kind of consistency with which the earth circles the sun.”
I appreciate the exhortation and challenge from Mark in the introduction to “find out about prayer… for each day of prayer to yield a new discovery that will change the way I pray…and when I change the way I pray, everything else changes.” (the quote was personalized)
The book is an easy read, with mini-anecdotes to illustrate the point of each chapter. On Day 4, I was pulled into the story of John and Tricia and their precious son, Eli. You need to read it. “Sometimes the purpose of prayer is to get us out of circumstances, but more often than not, the purpose of prayer is to get us through them.” I can relate to that!
By Day 40, I was in a rhythm of praying very specifically for a number of significant things. The devotional book ended in part with this exhortation:
“It doesn’t matter what you do; prayer is the key to your business, your practice, your career. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need innovative ideas. If you’re a physician, you need the discernment to diagnose. You may sell homes or teach classes…whatever you do, prayer is a critical part of what you do and who you become. Turn your classroom, boardroom, locker room, operating room, courtroom, and conference room into a prayer room!”
It takes watching and waiting to see how God will answer prayers. I recommend that you read, Draw the Circle…read a chapter each day to remain committed to the 40 day prayer challenge. There is scripture woven throughout each chapter. Take time to read the verses and explore the historical facts of God’s word. Engage with God in prayer using the bible verses as a guide. Ultimately, the book is a good lesson in persistent and faith-filled prayer.
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