I remember telling God, “there has to be more to life than this.” I was living, praying, but something was missing. I needed something more.
I attended a bible study a few months ago in which a woman spoke on the topic of prayer. And although I knew the importance and power of prayer, knowing I was called to pray for others, I was missing the deeper, passionate, bold, and more intimate prayer life that brought about real change, deliverance, and the manifestations of promises forgotten.
As she taught, she recommended reading Draw The Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. I went home and immediately ordered it on Amazon. It arrived, and I let it sit for at least 3 weeks, still in the box, passing it everyday as I walked in my room.
But one morning, while I was preparing to start my day, praying, God directed me to the box. Today I completed day 40, and I can confidently say, this book has changed my prayer life and my life in general, for the better.
This book is not your everyday devotional with scripture and a few paragraphs to motivate you. You can tell Batterson has a passion for history as he found a way to correlate historical figures and biblical principles that simply expound your mind beyond biblical characters to real humans who saw and sought God in unusual but effective ways. He takes you on a spiritual journey beyond your small scope of living and existing, and pushes your spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear God from a greater perspective and point of view.
The title of the book simply being a challenge, motivated me to dive in. I was use to praying, and felt like I had it down pat, but this book did exactly what it said it would do, challenge me. Each day was chalked full of stories, testimonies and wisdom that challenged your very thought on prayer. It allowed me to see God in a different way; to see Him bigger than I’d ever seen Him before. I found myself praying bigger prayers with increase boldness.
Having read The Circle Maker several years prior by Batterson as well, I understood the concept of “circling” your prayers, constantly praying them back to God, but with this challenge, he expounds on the significance of the circle. He challenges you to not only speak words out of our mouth, but praying the word of God back to Him.
The testimonies are mind blowing and beyond just praying, he challenges you to add fasting to your prayer life. “There are times when circling something in prayer isn’t enough. We need to double-circle it with prayer and fasting.”There are times when circling something in prayer isn't enough. We need to double-circle it with prayer and fasting. ~Mark Batterson Click To Tweet
I looked forward to getting up in the mornings to read each day, anticipating what God wanted to say through the author who clearly sought God for every word and testimony aligned in the book. Each day ends with a quote and/or prompt that literally makes you ponder, think, and pray more fervently.
Batterson encourages you to read the book with others for support and accountability, and I did just that. I had several friends reading along with me and we did a weekly prayer call on Friday mornings to check in, discuss the readings for the week, and pray together concerning our personal lives and more.
Batterson also encourages you to journal, which was a challenge for me as well. I journaled at least half the time. I can look back on circled prayers and scriptures that I’m still believing God for and expecting big results.
I challenge you to take what you think you know about prayer, then read this book. If you desire more out of life than what currently is, it begins with prayer. “The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered simply because they go unasked.”The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered simply because they go unasked. ~Mark Batterson Click To Tweet