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The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears Kindle Edition
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With over one million copies sold, New York Times bestseller The Circle Maker is a must-read for revolutionizing your prayer life. Get ready to experience new breakthroughs, knowing that bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers.
Do you ever sense that there's far more to prayer than what you're experiencing? Are you praying over your impossible dreams and greatest fears? Do you feel like something is holding you back in your prayer life?
It's time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker. When his land was drought-stricken in ancient times, Honi ha-M'agel drew a circle in the sand, stepped inside it, and wouldn't budge until God answered his petition for rain. Honi's story transformed author Mark Batterson's own experience with prayer and inspired him to document his journey to praying more powerful prayers in The Circle Maker.
Sharing inspiring stories from modern-day circle makers as well as his own experiences, Mark imparts the timeless wisdom and encouragement you need to:
- Discern God's will for your life
- Uncover your heart's hidden desires
- Pursue God-sized dreams
- Connect with God in fresh ways
- Deepen your faith and your relationship with prayer
- Draw prayer circles around your family, your community, your challenges, and your dreams
This updated and expanded edition of The Circle Maker also includes new insights about the ways that God answers prayer along with stories that add convincing proof to the reality that God is able to do exceedingly far greater than all we could ask or imagine.
Learn for yourself that drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn't just a way that we accomplish great things for God--it's a way that God accomplishes great things in us.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“You’ll be inspired and motivated into a deeper level of prayer and faith.”
—Craig Groeschel, New York Times bestselling author of Winning the War in Your Mind
“The Circle Maker will inspire us to dare to pray the kind of prayers that change us and the world around us.”
—Christine Caine, bestselling author, founder of the A21 Campaign
“Timeless wisdom for claiming God’s promises, pursuing dreams, and changing the world.”
—Dr. George O. Wood, former general superintendent, The General Council of the Assemblies of God
“I have changed the way I pray — longing for a more powerful and effective prayer life. I am now drawing circles.”
—Ruth Graham, author of Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There
|The Circle Maker||El hacedor de círculos||The Circle Maker Student Edition||The Circle Maker for Kids||The Circle maker Devotions for Kids|
|Circle Maker Books for All Ages||Get ready to make new breakthroughs in your prayer life, knowing that bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers.||El pastor Mark Batterson sostiene en su libro que dibujar círculos de oración alrededor de nuestros sueños no es sólo un mecanismo que nos permite lograr grandes cosas para Dios. Él también lo utiliza para lograr grandes cosas en nosotros.||Mark Batterson explores how you can approach God in a new way by drawing prayer circles around your dreams, your problems, and, most importantly, God’s promises.||The Circle Maker for Kids, based on Mark Batterson’s New York Times bestselling The Circle Maker, reveals the true legend of Honi, a man whose prayers for rain saved a generation.||Based on the New York Times bestselling The Circle Maker and Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker Devotions for Kids encourages kids ages 8 and up to pray circles around their biggest dreams.|
|Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge||Dibuja el círculo||Praying Circles Around Your Marriage||Praying Circles Around Your Future||Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children|
|Guide Books for Praying Circles||Draw the Circle shares inspiring stories of God's answers to prayer, daily scriptures, and prayer prompts, to stir you to pray and keep praying like never before.||En Dibuja el círculo, los lectores descubrirán el poder que tienen la oración audaz, y una fe más audaz aún en las promesas de Dios.||What your marriage will become is determined by how you pray. This book empowers you to dream big, pray hard, and think long—together.||This full-color, giftable book contains inspiring quotes from his New York Times bestselling The Circle Maker paired with vibrant, full-page photography that together encourage you to dream big, pray hard, and embrace your God-given desires.||A perfect blend of biblical yet practical advice that will revolutionize you prayer life. This guide describes seven important ways prayer circles will transform how parents pray for their kids and lead them to a deeper relationship with Christ.|
|The Circle Maker Participant's Guide with DVD||The Circle Maker Student Edition Video Study||The Circle Maker Children’s Curriculum||Draw the Circle Study Guide with DVD||Draw the Circle Children's Curriculum|
|Video Studies & Curriculum||The Circle Maker, a dynamic four-session small group Bible study, uses the story of Honi the Circle Maker, who prayer-walked until the rains came during a devastating first Century drought. This pack contains one guide and one DVD.||The Circle Maker Student Edition Video Study, a dynamic four-session video Bible study with pastor and bestselling author, Mark Batterson, and his son Parker, digs deep into the power of prayer.||This DVD-ROM, featuring four lessons from Mark Batterson, helps children begin to identify their dreams and future miracles to draw prayer circles around.||The Draw the Circle study includes video discussion questions, personal reflection questions, and daily devotional readings for each of the 40 days in the challenge.||Based on themes in Draw the Circle, this DVD-ROM includes five complete lessons for preschool, early elementary, and later elementary-age children that will make planning and organizing a snap for children’s ministry leaders.|
Honi the circle maker is a long-time legendary figure, and Mark Batterson is well on his way. You will love the freshness of this approach to prayer. (John Ortberg, pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California, and author of The Me I Want to Be)
Mark Batterson has hit the nail on the head in The Circle Maker! He clearly and practically lays out what prayer looks like and the powerful results that come from a bold prayer life. (Pete Wilson, author of Plan B)
Without a doubt Mark Batterson is a voice to our generation and one of my favorite authors. The Circle Maker will inspire us to dare to pray the kind of prayers that will change us and the world around us. When we pray, we move God, and when God is moved, he moves mountains. This book reminds us of the most important key for unlocking the God-dream inside. (Christine Caine, Founder of the A21 Campaign)
What's your Jericho? What promise does God want desperately to shower upon you--if you but ask? The Circle Maker gives you timeless wisdom for claiming God's promises, pursuing dreams, and changing the world. (Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent, The General Council of the Assemblies of God)
My bookshelves at home are littered with books I intended to read but never finished. Mark doesn't write those kind of books. Mark writes books that demand a second and even third reading, because there's always something new to find. With The Circle Maker, Mark has done it again. (Jon Acuff, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Quitter and Stuff Christians Like)
Mark Batterson encourages readers to take their prayer lives to a new level that will honor the mighty power of God. Like the man who made prayer circles for rain, we are to make bold prayers for things that seem impossible. Through the stories of modern-day prayer miracles, you will be inspired to draw prayer circles around your family, friends, and yourself. The Circle Maker teaches that God is for you and that the big dreams you claim in your prayers will be reflected in the way you live your life. (Pastor Matthew Barnett, co-founder of the Dream Center)
Mark Batterson is a master story teller. His stories illustrate important biblical truths that convict me in my heart and make me hunger for a closer walk with God. The Circle Maker is such a story. I have changed the way I pray--longing for a more powerful and effective prayer life. I am now drawing circles. (Ruth Graham, author of Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There)
Mark Batterson is one of the most brilliant and engaging writers on the planet. I love the way he both challenge and encourages his audience through the written word. The Circle Maker isn't just a book full of really good ideas and catchy phrases; it's a concept that, if applied, could totally change the way we walk with God. (Perry Noble, senior pastor of NewSpring Church)
My friend Mark Batterson has a way of always drawing us close to the heart of God through his writing. In his latest book, The Circle Maker, he shows us how through prayer we can enjoy sitting at the table of heaven's boardroom. (Pastor Rich Wilkerson, founder of Peacemakers and senior pastor of Trinity Church in Miami, Florida) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B01CXDN6C0
- Publisher : Zondervan; Expanded edition (December 6, 2016)
- Publication date : December 6, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 2635 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 237 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #204,837 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #250 in Christian Prayer (Kindle Store)
- #258 in Christian Self-Help
- #527 in Religious & Inspirational Coloring Books for Grown-Ups
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2020
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First, there is the fact that the basic premise of the book is based on a myth. Consider these passages from the New Testament.
II Timothy 4:1-5
1I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the
living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the
word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all
longsuffering and teaching. 3For the time will come when they will not
endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves
teachers after their own lusts; 4and will turn away their ears from the
truth, and turn aside unto fables. 5But be thou sober in all things, suffer
hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry.
10For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision,
11whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses,
teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12One of
themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil
beasts, idle gluttons. 13This testimony is true. For which cause reprove
them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14not giving heed to
Jewish fables, and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.
Myths and fables are not things upon which biblical doctrine and practice should be based. While there may be reason to think that Honi was a real person, many of the stories about him seem to be made-up, such as the one about him sleeping for 70 years. And this one about him praying for rain also reads like a made-up story, in that it has him remonstrating with an incompetent god who just couldn't seem to get his rain right. The story exalts Honi while making God look clumsy and inept.
Batterson makes many claims in the book that, frankly, are not taught anywhere in Scripture, and even run contrary to what Scripture plainly teaches. For example, in the second chapter, he claims this...
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn't offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren't impossible to you, they are insulting to God. (Kindle Locations 82-83)
When I consider what the Bible teaches about prayer, though, I do not find such claims supported at all. In Jesus' model prayer, for example, there is the request for the provision of food for the day. In Acts 4, Peter and John and some others did pray for boldness, but it was for God to "enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness". Rather than the insatiable desire for more and bigger, which Batterson encourages throughout the book, in Scripture we are told "Godliness with contentment is great gain", and Paul refers to himself as one who has learned to be content in all situations.
Batterson stresses dreaming supposedly impossible dreams. But many people who do not pray to God have created large and grandiose places of religious worship, fulfilled life goals and dreams, done supposedly impossible things, acquired wealth and paid off debts, practiced charity and philanthropy, started up coffeehouses or other type of businesses, and basically done all the things Batterson claims are signs of God doing the impossible in his life and the lives of those he refers to or knows.
Receiving little if any mention in the book, though, is that there is an impossible thing that we can pray for God to do for us--we can pray in repentence for forgiveness for our sins, and ask God for mercy on us as sinners. God in Christ has died so that we through repentence and faith in Christ may be forgiven and be granted salvation.
One of Batterson's most annoying practices is to 'read into' the biblical stories his own ideas, rather then dealing with what the text itself says. For example, in chapter three, he reads into the account of the conquest of Jericho such things as this; "While the story doesn't explicitly mention the people taking up positions of prayer, I have no doubt that the Israelites were praying as they circled the city", and "The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe-inspiring and frightening. While wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the Israelites had never seen anything approximating the skyline of Jericho. The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear". Later on, in writing about Daniel, he talks about him having a sleepless night in the lions den. But the biblical texts concerning those events say none of these things. God had commanded the people to keep silence as they walked around Jericho, and there is no hint in the text that people smaller as they got closer to the city--in fact, in Joshua 2, when the spies had returned from the city, they were confident that the Lord had delivered all the land into their hands, and the people of the land feared them. And in Daniel, while the account says that the king had a sleepless night, it says no such thing in regards to Daniel himself.
Chapter 5 is a complete mishandling of the account of God sending quail to the people of Israel. Batterson completely erases all mention of God's judgment in the account of this event in Numbers 11, and instead makes it seem like what he calls a 'food miracle'. But God sending them enough quail for a month was an act of judgment. He said they would get so much quail it would "come out of your nostrils and you will loathe it". Why did He do that? "Because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying 'Why did we ever leave Egypt?'"
The section of the book called "The First Circle--Dream Big" is, frankly, insulting. It was disturbing to read him writing stupidly about how bad reason and logic are, and how imagination is the pathway of prayer, and saying that somehow logic is contrary to faith. With such a low view of reason and sense, and such an unwarrantedly high view of imagination, is it any wonder that when he deals with biblical stories, he spends more time inserting his own imaginings rather than interpreting what the text is actually saying? It must be so much easier to imagine what Daniel or Joshua were supposedly feeling in certain situations, rather than correctly interpreting what the Bible says was happening.
Another disturbing part is in Chapter 14, where he tells about his church's attempts to buy an entire DC city block, and being stuck because the man who owned an auto shop on that block didn't want to sell. To quote the book, "I knew that the auto shop would be a thorn in the flesh if we didn't buy it, because it was an eyesore." Here is what Batterson writes about what he and others in the church did in regards to this auto shop. "I also felt like our entire staff needed to lay hands on this property, so we took a little field trip on September 15, 2010. As we laid hands on those cinder block walls, it was a genesis moment", "We circled that property so many times that I'm almost surprised the walls didn't fall down just like at Jericho". So, people from this church walked onto this business' property and prayed that the owner would sell? They literally walked around this auto shop's property? Was it not possible that this business owner sold simply to get away from the creepy church people trespassing on his property and walking around it all day long, or that maybe the creepy church people were driving customers off? Given the state of the economy in 2010, was it smart for this church to destroy a small business and caused those working there to lose their jobs? Batterson doesn't say that this auto shop was doing illegal or unethical things, only that it was on a city block the church had set it's sights on and did not meet his aesthetic approval. There's something bothersome about a church trying to spiritualize what seems like the hostile takeover of what seems to have been an honest and profitable business.
One last thing I want to deal with here is Batterson's claiming of biblical promises that are either not addressed to him, or not even promises at all. He claims, for example, that God transferred the promises in Joshua 1:3 to himself, but in context God was speaking to Joshua a promise concerning Joshua and the people of Israel over whom he had just become the leader. Batterson is far from the only one doing this, in fact Joshua 1:3 is regularly abused in such a way, but simply because people believe this promise applies to them doesn't mean it applies to them. God was clearly addressing a certain man at a certain place in a certain situation some time over 3,000 years ago, a promise about a particular land being given to a particular nation of people long ago. You weren't there, neither was I, nor was Batterson. God was not promising Batterson that all he had to do was to stroll around the city for it to be his, nor has he transferred that promise to him or anyone else alive today.
Given all of the questionable claims and statements, how poorly the author interprets Scripture, and how he makes logic an enemy of faith, I cannot recommend this book at all.
Mark Batterson is lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., a church regarded as one of the most innovative and influential in the country. He made his debut in Christian publishing with In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and followed that up with several other titles, including The Circle Maker.
The Circle Maker finds its title and inspiration in Honi Ha-Ma'agel, a Jewish scholar who lived in the first century B.C. and who is described in the Talmud. He is remembered as a miracle-worker in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha. Wikipedia provides a condensed version of his most famous miracle:
On one occasion when God did not send rain well into the winter (in the geographic regions of Israel, it rains mainly in the winter), he drew a circle in the dust, stood inside it, and informed God that he would not move until it rained. When it began to drizzle, Honi told God that he was not satisfied and expected more rain; it then began to pour. He explained that he wanted a calm rain, at which point the rain calmed to a normal rain.
Batterson says, "The prayer that saved a generation was deemed one of the most significant prayers in the history of Israel. The circle he drew in the sand became a sacred symbol. And the legend of Honi the circle maker stands forever as a testament to the power of a single prayer to change the course of history." From Honi he has learned the value of big, bold, audacious prayers. On a very practical level, he has learned the value of drawing figurative (and sometimes literal) circles. The promise of his book is that it "will show you how to claim God-given promises, pursue God-sized dreams, and seize God-ordained opportunities. You'll learn how to draw prayer circles around your family, your job, your problems, and your goals."
The book has been widely-praised and has received hundreds of positive reviews, but surely people have simply failed to understand that Batterson has committed a grave error. He begins with Honi, an character who appears in books that are not (and have never been) regarded as inspired by God. He takes Honi as an authentic character who performed an authentic, God-ordained miracle indistinguishable from the characters and miracles of the Bible, and then reads what he learned from Honi back into the Bible. Rather than interpreting Honi through the lens of Scripture, he interprets Scripture through Honi so that from drawing circles he inevitably moves to marching circles and goes to Jericho, asking questions like "What is your Jericho? What promise are you praying around? What miracle are you marching around? What dream does your life revolve around?" He even reads Honi back into church history, looking to Christians of days past and saying that they were drawing Honi-like prayer circles.
The book's examples and illustrations are largely drawn from his own life, from the dreams, goals and desires that he has seen fulfilled. He speaks of drawing a large circle around an area of Washington by walking around it while praying; before long he had a successful and growing church within that circle. He writes about circling a building he wanted for his church, marching around it, laying hands on it, even going barefoot on its holy ground, until it was his. Occasionally he shares examples from others so that he speaks of a friend who desperately wanted to be general manager at a certain golf course; he describes how his friend marched around the club house with his family seven times and then received the desire of his heart.
He anticipates the critique that what he advocates is a kind of "name it, claim it" theology and insists it is not. He says, for example, "Before you write this off as some `name it, claim it' scheme, let me remind you that God cannot be bribed or blackmailed. God doesn't do miracles to satisfy our selfish whims. God does miracles for one reason and one reason alone: to spell His glory. We just happen to be the beneficiaries." I think he doth protest too much for what he teaches is very nearly indistinguishable. While he may not suggest praying for a bundle of cash or a fancy new car, there is no reason in the book why we would not do this. "I have no idea what your financial situation is, but I do know this. If you give beyond your ability, God will bless you beyond your ability. God wants to bless you thirty-, sixty-, hundredfold." That sounds just too familiar.
When I had finished reading The Circle Maker I found myself reflecting on why a book like this one is so attractive. Why do people love it so much more than a more realistic, biblical book on prayer? What makes it resonate so deeply? Let me share a few suggestions.
First, Batterson describes the Christian life as one of constantly witnessing miracles. He must use the word "miracle" hundreds of times and writes often of all the miracles he has witnessed. I think there are times when every Christian longs to see God work in miraculous ways, yet the challenge for the Christian is simply this: Will you believe God at his Word or will you demand more? Batterson promises miracles, yet as he does this he defines down miracles, making a miracle any answer to prayer. We prayed for a building and got it. Miracle! I needed a bill paid and found money. Miracle! In this way every answer to prayer is a miracle.
Second, he makes direct communication from God the normative experience for the Christian. He speaks often of God whispering to our spirits and encourages Christians to follow inner impressions, what he describes as "the promptings of the Spirit." "Let me spell it out: If you want to see crazy miracles, obey the crazy promptings of the Holy Spirit." I believe that every Christian longs for that unmediated, face-to-face contact with God; and yet again, the challenge for the Christian is whether we will be content with being indwelled by the Holy Spirit who illumines the words of Scripture so that God speaks to us through his Word.
Third, he often takes Scripture far beyond its context which allows him to make promises the Bible does not actually make. He regularly claims Old Testament promises that were clearly meant for a particular people at a particular time as if they were written specifically for him. He looks to Revelation 3:8 and uses it to speak of opened and closed doors as they relate to knowing and doing the will of God. He writes about the spiritual value of the Daniel diet. To be frank, he utterly and consistently butchers Scripture; the Christian reading with an open Bible will soon have to see that so many of Batterson's claims cannot be supported.
Finally, he speaks confidently of things the Bible simply does not say and again, this allows him to claim more than the Bible allows. For example he says, "Sometimes physical contact creates a spiritual conduit. Proximity creates intimacy. Proximity proclaims authority. Drawing a prayer circle is one way of marking territory -- God's territory." He trumpets the value of visualizing what you want as a means to obtaining it: "When you dream, your mind forms a mental image that becomes both a picture of and a map to your destiny. That picture of the future is one dimension of faith, and the way you frame it is by circling it in prayer." The Bible gives us no reason to believe that God consistently relates proximity to power or that there is value in visualization (though you may note that New Age teachers often make both of those claims).
The Circle Maker is a mess. I admire Batterson's desire to pray boldly and love his call to more prayer, better prayer, more audacious prayer. Yet so much of what he teaches is sub-biblical, extra-biblical or just plain unbiblical. With hundreds of good books on prayer available to us there is absolutely no reason to spend as much as one minute or one dime on this one.
Top reviews from other countries
I repeat: THIS BOOK IS NOT BIBLICAL. - It's based on the occult. Look up: Wheel tarot card.
If you know you serve a God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that you could ask or think and that He loves you with a passion enough to die for you for... if you can't think of anything else, then to me that is a good enough reason & a promise that you can circle and believe for.
This book is not purporting to be one of those "get rich quick" schemes or fancy notions of doing some fancy action 3 times a day to make God move into action on our behalf because of the repetition; it is simply saying, your faith CAN move mountains, if you come into AGREEMENT with HIS plan and purpose for your life!!!
Stick to the straight and narrow path and love God with all your heart mind and strength.
You don't need this book to do that, you need the Bible, God bless.
It’s also re-ignited my desire for dreaming big dreams, and it’s inspired me to think beyond my own life and generation with these dreams.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s excellently written with lots of great real life stories. It’s one of those books you’ll want to read over and over again in years to come.