The Circle Maker: Quote List

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

The following is a list of quotes I found worth keeping, sharing, processing, writing about, or in general just enjoy.  As is typical, I will attempt to write about these quotes.  Either how they personally effected me, or just a couple interesting observations on it.


There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles, and fulfilling dreams.  That is who He is.  That is what He does.  Pg 13

[In] one way or another, your small timid prayers or big audacious prayers will change the trajectory of your life and turn you into two totally different people.  Prayers are prophecies.  They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray.  Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.  Pg 14

Few things leave as lasting an impression as hearing someone genuinely intercede for you.  Pg 20

“God does not answer vague prayers.” pg 25 (from a pastor of one of the largest churches in Seoul, Korea)

Some of them [prayers] were so vague that there was no way of knowing whether God had answered them or not. Pg 25

A.W. Tozer, believed that a low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils, but a high view of God is the solution to ten thousand temporal problems. Pg 71

I make this distinction between qualified and called with aspiring writers all the time.  Too many authors worry about whether or not their book will get published.  That isn’t the question.  The question is this: Are you called to write?  That’s the only question you need to answer.  And if the answer is yes, then you need to write the book as an act of obedience.  It doesn’t matter whether anyone reads it or not.  Pg 77

Neurologist Daniel Levitin writes:
The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything.  In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again … No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time.  It seems that it takes he brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.

Is prayer any different?
It is a habit to be cultivated.  It is a discipline to be developed.  It is a skill to be practiced.  And while I don’t want to reduce praying hard time to time logged, if you want to achieve mastery, it might take ten thousand hours.  This I know for sure: the bigger the dream the harder you will have to pray. Pg 86

“I do know that 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered”
I love that approach to prayer, that approach to life.  It’s the circle maker’s mantra: 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered.

“Never put a comma where God puts a period, and never put a period where God puts a comma.”  Pg 89 (from an old preachers sermon titled “God’s Grammar”)

My favorite sentence in the twenty-third psalm is this: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” The word follow isn’t a strong enough translation.  It’s a hunting term in Hebrew. It’s like God is hunting you down – but not to harm you; God is hunting you down to bless you.  He wants to show you His goodness and His mercy, but too often we run away from it.  Why?  Because we doubt His good intentions.  We can’t believe that God is for us.  That is why God reminds us so many different times in many different ways with many different words. Pg 101

Blessed of the Lord be his land,
With the choice things of heaven, with the dew,
And from the deep lying beneath,
And with the choice yield of the sun,
And with the choice produce of the months.
And with the best things of the ancient mountains,
And with the choice things of the everlasting hills,
And with the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Pg 104 Deuteronomy 33:13b – 16a
Note the last sentence

Lord, complicate my life. Pg 111

If you want a drummer, why don’t you go get a drum set? Pg 115

All of us love miracles.  WE just don’t like being in a situation that necessitates one. Pg 130

Instead of thinking in terms of time, we must think in terms of eternity.  Instead of thinking in terms of ourselves, we must think in terms of our children and grandchildren.  Instead of thinking in seven-day cycles, we must think in terms of seventy-year timelines, Pg 135

It’s not enough to dream big and pray hard.  You also have to think long.  If you don’t, you’ll experience high degrees of discouragement.  Why? Because we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year.  Of course, we also tend to underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.  The bigger the vision the harder you’ll have to pray and the longer you’ll have to think.  But if you keep circling, it’ll come to pass in God’s time. Pg 135-135

If you’re willing to dream big and pray hard and think long, you might just brings [sp] kings to their knees and shut the mouths of lions.

Is it possible for a man to dream continuously for seventy years? pg 139

We live in a culture that overvalues fifteen minutes of fame and undervalues lifelong faithfulness. Pg 140

We love a good night’s sleep, but sleepless nights are what define our lives.  If you’re going to ring kings to their knees or shut the mouths of lions, sometimes you need to pull an all-nighter.  I’m more and more convinced that the biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock.  If you snooze, you lose.  But if you pray through, God will come through as surely as the sun will rise. Pg 140

Every once in a while, I need a no-agenda day with nothing to do, but those aren’t the days we’re going to celebrate at the end of our lives.  We won’t even remember those days.  What we’ll remember are the days when we had everything to do, and with God’s help, we did it.  We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard.  We’ll remember the miracles on the far side of “long and boring.” Pg 142

The harder the better.It’s true in life; it’s true in prayer. Pg 142

Destiny is not a mystery.  For better or for worse, your destiny is the result of your daily decisions and defining decisions. Pg 168

Make a resolution not to defile yourself. Pg 171

Our motivation for making more is giving more.  After all, you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give. Pg 180

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 he promise, and His 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 names. Pg 195

“Make no little plan,s; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” – Pg 196, attributed to Daniel Burnham

“Now there was one” Pg 211, from Josephus, but used as a statement that punctuates turning points in history.

You can’t fell a fifty-foot wall, but you can march around Jericho.
You can’t shut the mouths of lions, but you can stop, drop and pray.
You can’t make it rain, but you can draw a circle in the sand.
Don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can. Pg 212

O God, the King of the whole world! Since those that stand now with me are Your people, and those taht are besieged are also Your priests, I beseech You that You will neither hearken to the prayers of those against these, nor bring to effect what these pray against those. Pg 213, the final words of Honi the Circle Maker before being stoned to death. Pg 213

What a way to life.  What a way to die.  What a way to enter eternity. Pg 213


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