The Circle Maker

The Circle Maker[Download] ✤ The Circle Maker By Mark Batterson – According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book The Circle Maker “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God It’s a mechanism where According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book The Circle Maker “Drawing The Circle PDF or prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us” Do you ever sense that there’s far to prayer and to God’s vision for your life than what you’re experiencing It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi The Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer. This book has so much to recommend it Written in an engaging style it reminds us of the power of prayer and encourages us to use our lives effectively for God However there are so many approaches to prayer that are either wrong from a scriptural standpoint or can be easily misunderstood that I have no enthusiasm for this book Batterson claims that his is not a “name it and claim it” approach to God but then he turns around and encourages the reader to “name” a Biblical promise from God even if the promise was for a specific person or people group for a specific time in history and then “circle” that promise read “claim” Though Batterson says he encourages people to pray only for God’s will he then goes on to say “If you aren’t careful the will of God can become a cop out if things don’t turn out the way you want” One of the most disturbing sections of the book involves the advice another pastor gives to a couple whose child has lost the ability to communicate The pastor “receives” a promise from God based on Isaiah 5921 and says “I guess that settles it Your child will talk” The passage is about God’s faithfulness to Israel and how His word will be in the mouths of His people and the mouths of their children Can God heal this child? Yes Will God heal this child? Who can say? As of the writing of this book the child had not been healed in the 10 years since the parent’s interaction with this unnamed pastor But based on this promise in Isaiah a promise not directed to followers of Christ or about God’s ability to heal the parents believe the only outcome for their child is that he will be healed This example and the message of the entire book ignores the possibility that God may want this child to be unable to communicate because it fits into God’s overall plan Though we don’t understand why in God’s plan children die people spend their lives in wheelchairs or have thorns in their flesh that He does not take away and the innocent are crucified on crosses Some of this is the result of sin but other “tragedies of life” are God’s tool to accomplish His work Success in life is defined by how God’s kingdom is advanced not by whether we get our way by praying a certain way claiming a certain “promise” or working really hard to accomplish our goals I wish Mr Batterson would stop hiding behind a façade of orthodoxy and be honest about his clinging to the prosperity gospel This book is surrounded by a lot of hype but there were some issues with the theology presented here that are WAY too big to overlook In my opinion the writing is pretty poor but I'll focus on the important aspects of why I gave this book one star First off The Circle Maker is book is filled with a lot of blatant misinterpretations of scripture The example that comes to mind first is the usage of the miracle of the uail in the desert as an example of how we can ask God for anything we want and he has the power to do it As anyone could tell from reading 10 verses before or after the verses referenced in the book this is about as apt of an example of God's power as His plague on David for sinfully taking a census in 2 Samuel 24 In the miracle of the uail the people of Israel were being punished for what they asked for and Batterson uses it a evidence that God can give us whatever we need so we should always ask Him for it My issue here is that this is not an unintentional error in interpretation it is the blatant manipulation of the Scripture The second aspect of this book that really put me off was the underlying implications expressed by the types of answered prayers that he provides as examples Almost all of the examples of answered prayer are connected to acuiring something tangible most freuently property This is harmful 1because it focuses primarily on things that are in essence superficial and 2because it minimalizes the struggles of people who have prayed really hard for something much important without an answer Family illness addiction etc There was one chapter in the book where Batterson used a person who was praying for liberation from sin as his example and I found that much palatable I would probably have a different opinion of his book if he had decided to use examples of legitimate issues but I have trouble overlooking the aforementioned misalignment of priorities This book is pretty clearly written to people who want to do BIG things in their ministry There is even a review on the back cover that states that the book will teach you to Be a member of God's boardroom My contention is that I subscribe to Mother Teresa's philosophy Do not seek to do great things seek to do little things with great love There are a lot of people who have ambitions to do big things that are rooted in vanity than in love They don't just want people to be helped they want the ego boost from being the one on top of a multimillion dollar church so that they can take ownership of God's work I will end with a positive note There are some people who I really respect who recommended this book to me very highly I spent a lot of time thinking about why this would be and I came to this conclusion This book can potentially be useful in encouraging people who already are part of a sacrificial ministry that is God centered Their dreams are already aligned with God's will so this book was an encouragement rather than a dangerous misdirection Overall though there were some minutely redeeming ualities I would not recommend this book to anyone and I regret indirectly affirming bad theology by having purchased a copy I loved this book so so SO much It's really encouraging in a number of ways and Mark Batterson has a way of writing that is interesting and engaging I love storytelling in a non fiction book than almost anything and this definitely fulfilled that desire Highly recommend if you are a Christian and want to be simultaneously challenged and encouragedDream Big Pray Hard The Circle Maker opens with the story of Honi a Hebrew sage from the generation before the birth of Christ whose prayer according to legend resulted in the breaking of a severe drought thereby saving the people of Israel from decimation So great was his trust and reliance on God that he drew a circle on the ground knelt down inside it and announced that he would not move until rain fell from heaven I generally approach books that promise to tell me how to get my prayers answered with a certain degree of skepticism Okay actually I don’t generally even approach those books unless I’m reuired to for a church class I’m in or as in this case asked to by a trusted friend After reading The Circle Maker I still trust my friend and her discernment Batterson makes it clear early on that he isn’t touting a magic formula recommending bargaining with God or even promising that we will see what we consider favorable outcomes He is encouraging us to place our fondest hopes our wildest imaginations our most audacious wishes in the hands of the Omnipotence He is challenging us to set goals that can only be realized through divine intervention He is exhorting us to dream big to think long to pray hard – to work as if everything depends on us but to pray and trust as if everything depends on the Lord which of course it does The book is filled with examples not only from the author’s life but also from many others some with instantly recognizable names some known only to a few Delays and setbacks encountered even outright mistakes made as well as amazing coincidences and miraculous occurrences are recorded in the experiences of ordinary people who ultimately saw extraordinary results to their faithful prayers This is the next book my small group will read together Very challenging inspiring book on prayer Here are a few takeaways Every great movement of God begins with prayer Within the circle of prayer Within you Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers God isn't offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers Who you become id determined by how you pray If you keep circling the promise God will ultimately deliver What if Jesus were to ask you the same uestion he asked the blind man What do you want me to do for you? Do you know the answer? The faith you have the specific your prayers One litmus test of spiritual maturity is whether your dreams are getting bigger or smaller The older you get the faith you should have because you've experienced of God's faithfulness When imagination is sacrificed on the altar of logic God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him Do you have a vision beyond your resources? If you seek answers you won't find them but if you seek God the answers you will find you Ove the past year I've been repeating one prayer with great freuency Lord do something unpredictable and uncontrollable Are your problems bigger than God or is God bigger than your problems? Our most powerful prayers are hyper linked to the promises of God By most conservative estimates there are than 3000 promises in Scripture By virtue of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross every one of them belongs to you Every one of them has your name on it The uestion is How many of them have you circled? A paradigm shift happens when you realize the Bible wasn't meant to be read through but prayed through We need the patience of the planter We need the foresight of the farmer We need the mindset of the sower Dream Big Pray Hard Think Long When you live by faith it often feels like you are risking your reputation You're not You're risking God's reputation It's not your faith that is on the line It's His faithfulness Why? Because God is the one who made the promise and He is the only one who can keep it The battle doesn't belong to you; it belongs to God And because the battle doesn't belong to you neither does the glory God answers prayer to bring glory to His name the name that is above all namesit's about giving God an opportunityGod is for you I can't promise that God will always give you the answer you wantor on your timeline But I can promise He answers every prayer and He keeps His promisedream big pray hard and think long there is nothing God loves than proving His faithfulness This book was eye opening for me and I've put a lot of it into practiceThere were a lot of coincidences around my reading of the book that made it uite clear that Someone was trying to get my attention Yes I've read the reviews that mention Batterson's theology I read the book carefully and discussed it with my husband He skates close to the line a few times but I think he's on the correct side Like anything else you need to check it against Scripture and against what you know of God to see if it's worthwhile for youThe bottom line for me was that it re emphasized God's desire to give His children good gifts granted not necessarily the ones we had in mind Also it brought up the point that if you see God as BIG if you try to let Him out of the box where you've inevitably tried to cram him your prayer life will be very different That will lead to your actual life being very different And I hope that's where I'm headed as I start a new business that's outside my comfort zone but where I feel I'm being led I'll begin by saying that any book that influences one to pray and to think about one's praying has been beneficial to read This book certainly has done that for me It has helped me be a little less about doing and about praying To simply be reminded of God's ability and desire to act in our lives as we appeal to Him is renewing and revivingI did find myself at odds with the author's perspective in a number of matters The assumption is made that God often and regularly guides believers in particular non moral choices through inner promptings which can be claimed as God's messages and promises to us I guess I drank too heavily of the Gary Friesen Kool Aid Decision Making and the Will of God in early adulthood to feel comfortable with that assumption I am open to God speaking to me in the way He did to the prophets and apostles in a way in which there could be no doubt it was God speaking His word to the soul but I have not had that as a regular experience If one does not assent to this particular view of God's leading it is hard to apply much of the content in this book I would be happy and feel God would be delighted if I simply obeyed the commands of Scripture even if I never picked up on a clue from the Holy Spirit about what to name my child what property to purchase or what to pack in my luggage I think this emphasis on particular guidance takes one's eye off the obedience ball and distracts us from our main goal of being holy as God is holyAnd one picks up on this in the book The life goals the author states towards the end of the book really very heavily focus on material goals He says the spiritual plays a role in all of them thus there needed to be no separate section for spiritual goals But I really think one could take most of that list and apply it to any Westerner without much adaptation And I look at those things and think Wow how incredibly rich one would have to be to do all that And how huge those goals are The big the flashy the impressive these are the things that are emphasized I'm not saying that's wrong but I'm saying it neglects a very deep view of the spiritual life found by some other Christians that may be a better way I speak in particular of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux's Little Way A very different approach than Batterson's but I think closer to the heart of God I was left feeling that prayer in the author's eyes was about finding one's own will and enlarging it than finding God's will Batterson was raised in a mega church environment in a well to do Suburban neighbourhood and his theology and practice reflect that image It borders on a name it claim it prosperity approach It could benefit from a little Pope Francis and a little less Joel Olsteen Stylistically I felt the book much too long It's ideas could have been presented in a book a third of the size but then all the stories of his own personal successes in prayer and outstanding goals achieved would have not made it into print And maybe I'm becoming an old curmudgeon but I tire uickly of the hip cliches and modern with it cutesy nessIn conclusion if this book will challenge you to pray and pray better then by all means read it But if you want something that goes a little deeper into the soul in prayer look for something older and enduring Batterson's writing is full of catchy language devices and effective rhetoric It corroborates that he is an avid reader and has learned many things from his reading Also positive are a few broad strokes that he makes about our lackluster faith and worship of the God of scripture Taken somewhat in isolation I would agree with his points that many of us have a small view of God we pray with very little faith in God's power that God wishes and even reuires that we pray for certain works of his hand and that thinking long term involves riskBut the problems in Batterson's theology and use of language far outweigh what recommends the book especially since they are subtly interwoven with and recast the positive points I had three principle concerns1 Batterson has a way of euating 'God glorifying goals' with 'promises to be circledclaimed' Throughout the book though it is not explored explicity this maneuver involved the assumption that God has a 'will' for every person's life that one should be determined to find out and successfully track down It also then relies on the timely and also not investigated injection of a 'whisper' 'impression' or 'nudge' from the Holy Spirit to indicate paths and prayers that God wants us to pursue I am not aware of any support from scripture for this view of God's will nor the idea that God typically gives subtle indicators to the average believer that we need to 'catch' or 'discern' I think both ideas have caused great distraction and consternation in the body of Christ and I know that they burdened my faith and life for a number of years2 The core mechanism that the book describes involves finding promises of God in scripture and then circling them for ourselves in prayer it is even unclear exactly how much Batterson intends to imply with the imagery of circling Though there is an unmarked endnote in the back telling us to interpret promises in an accurate historical and exegetical fashion we're uickly encouraged with the assertion that the Holy Spirit often transfers a promise and we don't claim enough of them The difficult careful hermeneutical work is often skipped and when some is attempted the conclusions are uestionable3 As others have noted on Goodreads the language of the book repeatedly rings of 'Name it claim it' values and sensationalism There is almost no mention of sin the gospel and our sanctification much less Jesus' command that we deny ourselves and expect to be persecuted Rather the feeling of the book despite its disclaimers is that God's main purpose is to do nice things for us but with some step of awakening or activation on our part Very few authors have grabbed my attention and focus from a spiritual perspective as Mark Batterson has The last authors who captivated me to this extent were John Eldredge or Henri Nouwen I have been reading everything by Batterson I could get my hands on But to be honest I was weary of reading this book It has so much hype and it is 'the book' to read in some Christian circles currently But after reading Praying Circles Around Your Children and The Circle Maker Student Edition dream big pray hard think long I finally circled back to read this one In under a week I read the book and the enhanced eBook edition with audio and video I am currently reading through for the third time I did not start highlighting this book until my third run through So some of the passages that have really grabbed my attention areBold 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 GodThe greatest moments in life are the miraculous moments when human impotence and divine omnipotence intersect and they intersect when we draw a circle around the impossible situations in our lives and invite God to interveneIt is absolutely imperative at the outset that you come to terms with this simple yet life changing truth God is for you If you don't believe that then you'll pray small timid prayers; if you do believe it then you'll pray big audacious prayersDrawing prayer circles isn't some magic trick to get what you want from God God is not a genie in a bottle and your wish is not His command His command better be your wishDrawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants what God wills And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply Sure you can apply some of the principles you learn in The Circle Maker and they may help you get what you want but getting what you want isn't the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises miracles and dreams He wants for you God has determined that certain expressions of His power will only be exercised in response to prayerThe greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked We pray out of our ignorance but God answers out of His omniscience We pray out of our impotence but God answers out of His omnipotence God has the ability to answer the prayers we should have prayed but lacked the knowledge or ability to even askWell developed faith results in well defined prayers and well defined prayers result in a well lived lifeYou are only one defining decision away from a totally different life One defining decision can change your trajectory and put you on a new path toward the Promised Land One defining decision can totally change the forecast of your life And it's those defining decisions that become the defining moments of our lives So what will be your defining moments? Will you take the risk and pick up this book and learn something new about God? Will you allow scriptures to be opened up to you? Will you become a prayer warrior? This book has tools that could change your life change the course of your life and through your prayers generations to come I personally have found that since starting to read Batterson's books a few months back I pray far often far regularly and get prompted by the Holy Spirit for praying specific things for specific people on a much regular basis I once read that 'reading books can be dangerous' this is one of those books I do not believe anyone can read this book with an open heart and ears to listen to the Spirit and not come away changed Are you ready to begin the adventure?Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More

The Circle Maker PDF º The Circle  PDF or
  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • The Circle Maker
  • Mark Batterson
  • 10 October 2016
  • 9780310330738