If you pray to God regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis.
- MARK BATTERSON from
Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
Don’t be fooled into thinking this “40 Day Prayer Challenge” is a lite version of Mark Batterson’s original book, The Circle Maker.
This is much more than a little devotional; it’s a a full book unto itself.
A book about praying.
Fervent praying. Confident praying. Persistent praying.
Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers.
I’ve been using it to coincide with the 40 days of Lent. It’s encouraged me to pray consistently to release and reframe some religious
injuries misconceptions from my past (and we all have some, right?).
So why is the book entitled Draw the Circle?
Not because there’s something mystical about circles. It’s just an image to remind us to pray without ceasing. To march around our Jericho’s over and over until God brings the walls down.
Batterson tells the story of Honi, a Jewish scholar in the 1st century BC, who drew a circle around himself and vowed to stay inside it until God sent rain to end a drought. It’s not something Batterson is recommending we do literally, but representatively we can be equally diligent in prayer.
The Israelites circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down. That’s what a forty-day prayer challenge is all about.
Too often we quit circling almost as soon as we start. Drawing prayer circles is a metaphor that simply means “praying until God answers.”
It’s a determination to pray as long as it takes, even if it takes longer than you ever imagined. Drawing prayer circles isn’t some magic trick to get what you want from God.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. I draw a circle around the words in my prayer journal each day. Then as I add new words, I work backwards to circle the previous words in prayer, again and again.
I circle words like “Be compassionate” and “Move into new” and “Share grace” and “Spread Jesus.” Over and over and over.
I’m not demanding that all roots of bitterness be gone in 40 days—Batterson wouldn’t suggest we demand anything either—but I do trust Jesus to continue draining negativity away from me, transforming me, as I seek his help.
One of the biggest misconceptions about prayer is that it means outlining our agenda to God as a divine to-do list. The true purpose of prayer is to get into God’s presence so He can outline His agenda for us.
So whether you have a particular issue you’re praying about or just praying in general, I’d recommend Batterson’s book as a read-along. It’ll help you stay focused.
More quotes from Draw the Circle:
* Too often we pray ASAP prayers — as soon as possible. We need to start praying ALAT prayers — as long as it takes.
* We can’t create divine appointments. All we can do is keep them. We can’t plan God-ordained opportunities. All we can do is seize them. We can’t perform miracles. All we can do is pray for them.
* The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. That’s why I keep a prayer journal.
* It’s not our job to answer; it’s our job to ask.
* He did not say, “You will build My church”; He said, “I will build My church.” The key pronouns are I and My. The church belongs to Jesus Christ. So does the battle. So does the victory.
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THANKS TO BOOK SNEEZE
FOR THE REVIEW COPY OF THIS BOOK