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on November 24, 2017
I first read this book four years ago and it has helped shape my prayer life ever since. First, Batterson is great about emphasizing how God is not a genie and our wish is not His command, but rather it's about finding out and praying the will of God for my life. Great insight into many areas of life are found in this book. I have found myself reading this at the beginning of each year as a way to reset my focus and prayers, and also looking back on the ones God has answered! I highly recommend this and often buy extras to give to people.
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This book changed my prayers forever and my life. I've been praying to Jesus since I was 4. Lots to learn from this book but the one thing that still stays with me years later is simply this: Think about who you are praying to: Almighty God. This means all of those years of "please help" prayers were less than what God should be asked and those kinds of prayers diminish His Glory. The "circle" seems to have been Pastor Mark's signature from God, may not be the same for all of us. If we are watching closely we may see our own signature from God.

Almighty God should not be asked to "help" some situation, which to me does not give God His due respect. Almighty God should be asked to do thoroughly what we all know and believe God can do: which is anything since He owns the Universe. Asking God to do less than He is capable of seems to me to be an insult. God can and will say no if His plan and Glory are not being increased. Asking for the best outcome shows our Faith, let God decide His answer and we will accept it, but never fail to ask.

Jesus even asked for the cup (crucifixion) to be taken from Him, and yet He knew that cup was why He was here in the first place, but He still asked because He knew the Father heard Him and could have done anything to save Him from that cup, to me that prayer in the garden is really how Jesus taught us to pray. Ask for what you want/need: after all, thanks to Jesus we have been given the grace to talk to the Creator of the Universe, it's an immense privilege, let's not forget who we are praying to and this book brings that home.

This book increased my Faith and I've never prayed the way I used to before reading it. Highly recommended, read it more than once.
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on October 19, 2016
First of all, I love prayer. It seems that Mark Batterson's books just appeared in my inbox. I ordered them immediately and then ordered again for my Bible study gals, but also ordered the Prayer Journal. As I was reading the books, it hit me like lightning, that these books were a follow-up to the movie War Room. I thought, "Of course! God wants to teach me about prayer." These are the very books I needed to set a fire in my soul. I am not saying the Bible doesn't set a fire in me. What I am saying is that they came at a perfect time in my life, because before I saw War Room, my Bible study group had studied the Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer, and Priscilla is all about prayer. This whole year has been an emphasis on prayer. Actually, our church is praying for revival in the church, beginning with each of us. What Mark Batterson calls "dreams" can be anything we want or need to pray about. It is especially about kingdom building--praying through and praising through--until God gives us the spiritual desires of our heart, including the places we worship, people getting involved in the work of ministry, and ministry of all kinds. I highly recommend these books to any who want a refreshing perspective on prayer and trusting God to provide. They are very readable and my new favorites. I am so glad I ordered Batterson's books, including the Prayer Journal, which I truly consider an indespensible tool.
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on April 3, 2017
The Circle Maker has helped reshape my prayer life. I committed to journaling for 40 days during my read of this book, and I have not missed a day yet, well 2 months past the time I committed. While I don't agree with Batterson's point of view on praying over some things, he did provoke me to think more deeply about the covenant I create with my Lord during prayer, how I approach Him, what I petition him with, and how I sense He is revealing His answers to me.
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on January 10, 2013
About the Book:

Mark Batterson shares a perfect blend of biblical yet practical advice that will revolutionize your prayer life by giving you a new vocabulary and a new methodology. You'll see how prayer is your secret weapon. Through stories of parents just like you, Batterson shares five prayer circles that will not only help you pray for your kids, but also pray through your kids.

Batterson teaches about how to create prayer lists unique to your family, claim God-inspired promises for your children, turn your family circle into a prayer circle, and discover your child's life themes. And he not only tells you how, he illustrates why.

As Batterson says, "I realize that not everyone inherited a prayer legacy like I did, but you can leave a legacy for generations to come. Your prayers have the power to shape the destiny of your children and your children's children. It's time to start circling."

About the Author:

Mark Batterson serves as the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D. C. Recognized as "one of America's 25 most innovative churches," NCC is one church with seven locations. Mark's blog ([...]) and webcast ([...]) also reach a virtual congregation around the world. Mark is the author of several bestselling books, including New York Times Bestseller - The Circle Maker and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. He and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children. You can follow Mark on Twitter: @markbatterson

My Review:

Bathing your children in prayer is really the only answer you have to life's little problems and worries that seem to creep up from time to time. I have very real recollections of my mother discerning at her bedside for her entire family. Her tear soaked bedside a reminder of the prayers she sent heavenward. She was always standing in intercessory prayer for my sisters and me. That Christian woman, my momma, knew how to get things to look better for us. The answer to it all was to go to the Lord in prayer and cover her children.

I'm eternally grateful that God gave me a mother who was not afraid to stand in our place and kneel before him and bathe us in prayer. She was a terrific mom and seeing her do that time and again was a testament to me when raising my children. This will span generations which is exactly what Mark is trying to teach us. I have definitely followed by example by covering my children with the ultimate protection Jesus' blood. Mark Batterson has written a book that is the companion to his earlier book The Circle Maker. He tells you exactly how powerful prayer is and how this is the only thing you as a parent will be able to do to fight the evil that is ready to come after our children. He shows you that it is very important for you to cover them in prayer because the enemy.... is not far behind. For those of you that would like to purchase a copy of this book please go to this link.

**Disclosure** This book was provided to me for free through Zondervan Publishing for my honest review.
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on July 26, 2017
GREAT concept.... but after a couple of years of it sitting on my shelf, I finally picked up this book when a really hard season of life hit. Mark Batterson details out numerous stories of God answering circled prayers... which is great. But the reality of this broken world is that we don't always see circled prayers answered... at least not how we wanted.

PLEASE PLEASE read John Eldredge's "Moving Mountains" after you've read this. The Circle Maker (to me) was like a plate full of sweet cake, but it left me craving steak. Within 10 pages of reading "Moving Mountains", I was in tears. It's great to be encouraged by others' testimonies, but we also need to understand the deeper workings of prayer - AND how to handle our hearts when our prayers aren't answered the way we hoped.
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on December 23, 2016
ANYONE WANTING TO GROW SPIRITUALLY OR KNOW THEMSELVES MUST GET THIS. IT HELPED ME SO MUCH, I BOUGHT MORE AND GIVE OUT AS GIFTS. GREAT FOR AGES 10 AND UP. MY 11 YEAR OLD WANTED ONE! HE DOESN'T LIKE WRITING EITHER SO THAT IS FUNNY. I BUY MANY BOOKS AND JOURNALS AND TEACH ENGLISH. THIS IS BY FAR MY FAVORITE!
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on March 11, 2017
Our God given power is first off - only in Him and given by Him. This book is a great reminder of that. I had started a prayer journal months before reading this book. God lead me to circle each person, concern, need, desire and vision... up to now -I didn't know why. Thank you for writing this book. And now I am off to draw a second circle to that which God has already answered in His way, will and time. Amen.
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on July 20, 2016
This book is very inspiring and thought-provoking! Batterson uses so many real-life stories, Bible verses and examples to prove just how powerful our God is! It has challenged the way I think about prayer and what I think about God.
There were a couple small things in his theology I didn't totally agree with, but overall a very solid book and an easy read! I have recommended it to many people and have bought it for some of my family.
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on July 22, 2015
Now, I am all for prayer. This book has enriched many thoughts who give this a read. As a gift for a friend, I noticed that her personal business skyrocketing and booming! This book is about the dream, well...your dream! There should be no age or ethnicity or race or anything put on a dream, just you! You are not a statistic and should not be confined within a small box. This book entails how to take a box cutter and release what is ready to be unleashed. Fear can always petrify and slow us down, but pray, mind, and spirit can be in tact when surrounding yourself with the right people. Our interior is affected by our exterior surroundings, but this book can guide you in the right direction according to my friend.
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