In our discipleship training process, we are constantly learning and growing. We have over 75 teachings, we read the entire bible in under 10 months, and we read, read, and read some more! We are using this time in SEND to invest in all things mission and ministry. In the first phase of our process, we have been focused on prayer. We have all just got done reading a great book called, The Circle Maker. Everyone in SEND has read this book and has done a report. We then all discussed each other’s reports and discussed this great book to improve our prayer lives. Here is Amy’s report. We hope it encourages you to read the book and helps grow in your prayer life. If you have any questions for Amy or SEND or have any prayer requests, please let us know. Here’s Amy!
So I just finished reading a book on prayer by Mark Batterson called The Circle Maker for the second time. Mark is the pastor of a church in Washington D.C. that meets in movie theaters. The book is about the role of prayer in his life.
The title takes its name from the story of an old Israeli prophet about 2100 years ago who prayed inside a circle he made vowing not to leave it until the drought they were experiencing ended. It is about asking God for things outside of human ability and having faith that he can and will do it.
Mark loves to prayer walk. He takes the story of the Israelites and the wall of Jericho and brings it to every prayer meeting figuratively and literally. He physically walks around things he believes God wants to provide and writes that through that faith along with persistence and longevity, the arm of God will move. He does not believe in putting God or his power in a box: he has seen God answer prayers down to the last detail or give 30 times what was asked.
But this book is more than about getting your way all the time. Prayers are more like time capsules that contain the heart of the one praying and continue out of our known physical universe into the spiritual realm where they are kept and used for eternity to bless the circles of influence of the author.
Prayers are also less about bargaining with God and more about connecting with Him. You see, if you view God as an almighty judge who gives good only to those who deserve it, you are going to struggle understanding this book. Who Mark is trying to convey is a god who gives not based on our goodness but his own and loves blessing the socks off people just because he can. And since what God ultimately desires is a relationship with us, many times prayer is the last thing we do before we see God work amazing things on our behalf. It would really be deceptive if we chalked the blessing of a faithful God up to coincidence or the intervention of a human.
Mark gives story after story of the times God had used prayer to abundantly bless him and his ministry, and not just his own prayers either, he goes back to the prayers his grandfather prayed over him, even when he wasn’t around, that are still bearing fruit in his life.
Anyway, the book is fantastic, and you should really pick it up and read it through. It’s about two hundred pages, you could read a chapter every day and be finished in a couple weeks. I read it through in an evening the first time through, but, you know, I’m just like that.
If you need to borrow a copy, just ask. However, I’ll probably want it back.
But enough about me, how’ve you been?