Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Circle Maker

"The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson

I was given this book to read by my dad.  It sat on my shelf for quite a few months.  Then my pastor said that we would be doing the devotional that goes along with this book for a sermon series on 40 days of prayer.  So I decided I should read the book.  It is based on the legend of the circle maker who is a man that drew a circle in the sand and said that he would not leave that circle till God sent rain, they were in a severe drought.  He dropped to his knees and prayed for rain and it began to rain.  The author uses this as an example that we need to draw circles around our prayers and keep praying till God answers, which come in many different forms and not always the yes we are looking for.  I liked the book, it challenged me to not stop praying when it seems there isn't an answer.  It challenged me to pray through and that God wants me to be persistant.  The book stretched my faith.  "We quit praying right before the miracle happens."  We give up but maybe just one more prayer and we would see His answer.  "You are always only one prayer away from a miracle."  I like that, that keeps me praying.  "Too often we let how get in the way of what God wants us to do.  We can't figure out how to do what God has called us to do, so we don't do it at all."  I think we need to leave the how up to God.  We need to have "vision beyond our resources."  "God can do anything through anyone who circles their big dreams with bold prayers."  It takes all kinds of people, willing people, and He can and will use anyone willing.  "With God, it's never an issue of 'Can He?'  It's only a questio of 'Will He?'  And while you don't always know if He will, you know He can.  And because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence."  I know I don't always pray with hold confidence.  "Sometimes the power of prayer is the power to carry on.  It doesn't always change your circumstances, but it gives you the strength to walk through them.  When you pray through, the burden is taken off of your shoulders and put on the shoulders of Him who carried the cross to Calvary."  "When you know you are praying the promises of God, you can pray with holy confidence."  His promises are right in the Bible, we can take those promises and pray them for ourselves.  "We pray as if God's cheif objective is our personal comfort.  It's not.  God's chief objective is His glory.  And sometimes His gain involves a little pain."  Our prayers shouldn't be for our comfort but for His glory.  "You can't pray for open doors if you aren't willing to accept closed doors, because one leads to the other."  Well alright then, we have to accept the closed doors as open doors somewhere else.  "One reason God does miracles is to stretch our faith so we can draw bigger circles so He can do bigger and better miracles."  This gives us bigger faith, willing to believe for more so that He can be glorified.  "The good news is that you're only one defining decision away from a totally different life. That defining decision will lead to a daily decisioin, and together, these defining decisions and daily decisions will lead to a different destiny."  That is empowering.  Just one decision, one prayer can change everything, pray through, don't give up.  

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