I was disappointed in the Circle Maker. It was too short.
I enjoyed Pastor Mark Batterson’s book tremendously. But I was done much too soon. That’s how reading a book should feel.
There are tons and stacks of books out there about prayer. But Batterson comes at the subject from a different angle. He doesn’t challenge you to pray a formula. He challenges you to pray big. Pray the kind of prayers that God wants to be a part of; the kind of prayers where God gets all the credit.
Batterson introduces the historical/mythical/apocryphal character Honi Ha-Magel. The historian Josephus mentions Honi in his writings and calls him a righteous man and a miracle worker. The most famous incident attributed to Honi happened during a sever drought in Israel. Honi drew a circle around himself and prayed to God for rain. He vowed that he would not come out of the circle until God sent rain. When rain did begin to fall, Honi wasn’t satisfied to come out of the circle until there was a downpour that could only be credited to the hand of God rather than a passing rain cloud. Honi wanted God to be his partner in this endeavor, not nature. He wanted the Keeper of creation to get the accolades .
What I took away from Batterson’s book is not that my faith is not big enough. My prayers are not big enough. For some reason that was comforting. Here’s why: I can’t make my faith any bigger. I’m so weary of my faith being challenged. Wrestling with faith is like wrestling with an 800 pound gorilla. No matter how hard I train and work out, I’ll never be able to win a wrestling match against a gorilla.
Make big prayers. Now that’s something I can do. I don’t need anybody to tell me how to do that. I don’t need a formula. I just need to do it. I need to make sentences with adjectives like huge and impossible and awesome and humongous and giant and unbelievable. Those are the kinds of words that describe God and that is the kind of language that illustrates His deeds. He wants to do big stuff. That’s His style.
Batterson encouraged me with his book.