Terrific Read: The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

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 The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by Mark Batterson is a life-changer.

I started reading it in November 2012. Coincidentally (or not, actually!), I began to read this book right after I was asked to become a LifeGroup teacher at my church. I really wanted to teach, but felt that it probably wasn’t possible considering everything else I have on my plate.

By chapter 3 of The Circle Maker, I had changed my mind and knew I would teach. This book opened my eyes to the greatness of God’s plan. It let me see that maybe my dreams aren’t so impossible after all. It inspired dreams I’d never had before–dreams that have already come true, just in the last 3 months.

The “Circle Maker” reference comes from an ancient Jewish sage named Honi. Israel was enduring a terrible drought, and things looked hopeless. The people asked Honi to pray for rain. Honi drew a circle in the sand with his staff, knelt down inside it, and told God that he would not leave that circle until God sent rain. And as soon as he began to pray… it rained. Honi refined his prayer three times until he got just the kind of rain he wanted. God used Honi to save the nation.

In The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson teaches you how to “Dream big, pray hard, and think long.” He stretches your entire concept of what God could do in your life. He inspires and challenges you. And it’s all biblical. He’s not a name-it, claim-it type of guy.

This book is chock-full of stories, so it’s easy to read. The stories will preach, too! I’ve been teaching this book to my LifeGroup, and it’s all I can do to get the material covered every week. It’s powerful.

One of my favorite things about this book is how practical it is. For example:

  • Batterson offers the best writing about setting goals–including making a list of life goals–that I’ve ever read. (And I’ve been devouring goal-setting books for years.)
  • He talks about persistence and claiming promises.
  • He talks about what is really going on when you feel like you’re not getting answers.

This book is a terrific read. It’s a life-changer; a keeper. I really recommend that you read it and allow yourself to dream all the way through it. As Batterson says, “You can’t never always sometimes tell” what will happen in your life when you give God and yourself a chance!

You can buy The Circle Maker here (Amazon affiliate link).

Have you read The Circle Maker? If so, what did you think about it? Leave your comments below!


  1. Jamie, I taught his book this year and it was a big hit with my class. But what do you tell people when they think “drawing a circle” is come kind of spooky magic? In one case I tried to explain it as a metaphor for giving God room to operate. What’s your advice?

    1. Hi Bill,
      “Drawing a circle” is a metaphor for getting alone with God: getting in His face. It comes from Rodney “Gypsy” Smith, who was a great revivalist of the 1800s. When people asked him how to walk in revival, he responded:

      “Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle round yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”

      Revival has always been a personal matter. One of the great revivals seen in Africa in the 20th century began through the ministry of Rees Howells, a missionary and intercessor. The revival started when people got this song in their spirit: “Lord, send revival, and let it begin in me.”

      Just like revival, getting answers to prayer is a personal matter. Always has been, always will be. How do you know? Because people that don’t pray don’t get answers, even though God loves them just as much. You have to get in God’s face. You ask, believe, claim His promises, and thank Him for answering. You pray until you get the answer.

      When you draw a prayer circle around something, you’re getting alone with God and drawing on the relationship that you and He have. It’s not magic. It’s not just letting God work. It’s a personal thing. You get in God’s face because you believe that, as long as you are praying for His will, He would never tell you no.

      Related: God Is Not Waiting For Revival

      1. “People that don’t pray don’t get answers.” Good stuff.

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