mccormick


bookshelf

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.”

I don’t know if I can adequately review this book. The topic of prayer is incredibly confusing.

Does prayer change God’s mind? Does the number of prayers have an effect? Does the intensity of the prayer have an impact? Does my view of God have change the outcome?

In reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, I would think the answer is “yes” to each question.

One example would be the number of prayers. Example after example, Batterson shares numerous stories from his personal experiences; praying over and over again until the prayer is answered. After each example, Batterson follows it up with a question, “What if I didn’t pray that final prayer?” It’s as if God has set some predetermined arbitrary number that we have to meet before he decides to act.

Batterson even shares stories from the Bible such as the march around Jericho. “What if the Israelites marched around Jericho only six times instead of seven?” I guess that is a valid question, except in that case it would be more about disobedience to God since He directly told them to march seven. It would make more sense (and fairer) if God always told us the number I needed to pray.

I finished this book thinking this: obviously my doubt in God has made me a poor Christian and God has no interest in answering my prayers. I assume that is not Batterson’s intention but it’s hard to not think that way. When a prayer is not answered was it my inability to believe or was my prayer misdirected? Since there is no definite way to know, you keep praying until either your prayer is answered or you come to the conclusion that it’s not God’s will.

I want to create a prayer infograph that shows cyclical prayer life. It would go something like this:

Pray.

Was it answered? Yes, then praise God!

No, then try again.

Pray again.

Was it answered? Yes, then praise God!

No, then it wasn’t God’s will. Change your prayer.

Doesn’t that seem a bit weird and cyclical?

Maybe I’m too foolish to understand. Though a Christian, perhaps my doubt is too big.