This book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, was originally chosen to be read by a men’s small group that takes place many Saturday mornings. I must admit, I was at first skeptical on it but I ended up getting a decent amount out of the book and it has helped increase my own personal prayer time. Anything that helps your relationship with Christ is worth the time to read!
While I do think my original skepticism of the book was correct, the ability for me to receive from the book changed when I decided that the topic was important and I should be getting something out of it. This book would be easy to skim through with an attitude of “yah, yah, that’s all good stuff… nice point …. fun story …. ” and not really come away with anything to actively change your life.
So what’s the point of reading a non-fiction book if it isn’t going to affect you in some way?
Exactly, there IS no point! If I’m going to spend my valuable time – time that I can never get back – reading a book, I’d better get something out of it. I’d better maximize the use I can get from the book. And you know, while I probably didn’t get everything there is to get out of Mark’s book, my prayer life has been going much stronger now for months. That right there is worth more than any book.
That being said, can I thank Mark for his prose in helping me better my prayer life? Or could I have done this with any ol’ prayer book? Hard to say, but I think Mark helped. He wasn’t just talking about “you should pray, end of book”. He’s talking about how we should pray, what we should pray about, and even a little of how to live your life because proper prayer affects our daily lives.
Mark doesn’t give the lame, typical lessons of “you should read your bible and pray for 15 minutes every morning. Try it, and it will become a habit.” That’s how I would talk sadly. Luckily, Mark isn’t me. He instead he talks like this:
Lord, complicate my life. Pg 111
Whoa! Complicate? Short, and interesting. I’ve even carefully prayed for that now. That is a dangerous prayer! If you don’t think it’s dangerous, read it again. Dangerous, but I know it’s worth it.
“God does not answer vague prayers.” pg 25 (from a pastor of one of the largest churches in Seoul, Korea)
That one is shot right at me. Generic, vague prayers have filled my life often enough. But if God wants me to be audacious, I will certainly try.
[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
Who doesn’t want their life changed? I know the trajectory of my life, and while it’s a decent trajectory, I know there’s a better road out there. Prayer really is the best way to change directions, to become that different person, the better me.
Through God, don’t you want to be closer to Him, to live a fuller life, to have a positive impact on people around you and even the world?
I sure do. I hope I do. God willing. Thanks Mark for helping me.
For additional commentary on The Circle Maker see this list of commentary. For additional quotes, see this list of quotable quotes.