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The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  10,556 Ratings  ·  877 Reviews
Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a prayer circle maker, Batterson will help readers uncover their heart's deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published by Zondervan (first published November 1st 2011)
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Gerald Thomson
Apr 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book has so much to recommend it. Written in an engaging style, it reminds us of the power of prayer and encourages us to use our lives effectively for God. However, there are so many approaches to prayer that are either wrong from a scriptural standpoint, or can be easily misunderstood, that I have no enthusiasm for this book. Batterson claims that his is not a “name it and claim it” approach to God, but then he turns around and encourages the reader to “name” a Biblical promise from God ( ...more
Sep 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is surrounded by a lot of hype, but there were some issues with the theology presented here that are WAY too big to overlook. In my opinion the writing is pretty poor, but I'll focus on the more important aspects of why I gave this book one star. First off, The Circle Maker is book is filled with a lot of blatant misinterpretations of scripture. The example that comes to mind first is the usage of the "miracle" of the quail in the desert as an example of how we can ask God for anything ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so so SO much. It's really encouraging in a number of ways, and Mark Batterson has a way of writing that is interesting and engaging. I love storytelling in a non-fiction book more than almost anything, and this definitely fulfilled that desire.
Highly recommend if you are a Christian and want to be simultaneously challenged and encouraged.
Dream Big & Pray Hard!
Rebekah Choat
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
The Circle Maker opens with the story of Honi, a Hebrew sage from the generation before the birth of Christ, whose prayer, according to legend, resulted in the breaking of a severe drought, thereby saving the people of Israel from decimation. So great was his trust and reliance on God that he drew a circle on the ground, knelt down inside it, and announced that he would not move until rain fell from heaven.

I generally approach books that promise to tell me how to get my prayers answered with a
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-book-list
This is the next book my small group will read together. Very challenging, inspiring book on prayer. Here are a few takeaways:

* Every great movement of God begins with prayer. Within the circle of prayer. Within you.

* Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.

* God isn't offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers.

* Who you become id determined by how you pray.

* If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver.

* What if Jesus were to ask you the same question h
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was eye-opening for me, and I've put a lot of it into practice.

There were a lot of "coincidences" around my reading of the book that made it quite clear that Someone was trying to get my attention!

Yes, I've read the reviews that mention Batterson's theology. I read the book carefully, and discussed it with my husband. He skates close to the line a few times, but I think he's on the correct side. Like anything else, you need to check it against Scripture and against what you know of God
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
"When you live by faith, it often feels like you are risking your reputation. You're not. You're risking God's reputation. It's not your faith that is on the line. It's His faithfulness. Why? Because God is the one who made the promise and He is the only one who can keep it. The battle doesn't belong to you; it belongs to God. And because the battle doesn't belong to you, neither does the glory. God answers prayer to bring glory to His name, the name that is above all's about giving G ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Very few authors have grabbed my attention and focus from a spiritual perspective as Mark Batterson has. The last authors who captivated me to this extent were John Eldredge or Henri Nouwen. I have been reading everything by Batterson I could get my hands on. But to be honest, I was weary of reading this book. It has so much hype, and it is 'the book' to read in some Christian circles currently. But after reading Praying Circles Around Your Children and The Circle Maker Student Edition: dream bi ...more
Patrick S
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Batterson's writing is full of catchy language, devices, and effective rhetoric. It corroborates that he is an avid reader and has learned many things from his reading. Also positive are a few broad strokes that he makes about our lackluster faith and worship of the God of scripture. Taken somewhat in isolation, I would agree with his points that many of us have a small view of God, we pray with very little faith in God's power, that God wishes and even requires that we pray for certain works of ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll begin by saying that any book that influences one to pray more and to think more about one's praying has been beneficial to read. This book certainly has done that for me. It has helped me be a little less about "doing" and more about "praying". To simply be reminded of God's ability and desire to act in our lives as we appeal to Him is renewing and reviving.

I did find myself at odds with the author's perspective in a number of matters. The assumption is made that God often and regularly gu
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 t
John Gilberts
Nov 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
I chose to read this book because I know a number of people who have or are reading it and I wanted to be informed. I must say I was disappointed. The book is basically a string of bumper sticker level phrases strung together with random stories (mostly about the author) that are meant to illustrate that God answers prayer. On one level I do appreciate the book's admonition to pray and believe big things. On another level though the prescriptive ways to "draw a circle" are a real stretch. Most d ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book concerning prayer. There were several valid points about sticking with a prayer, trusting that God is going to answer, utilizing Scripture to help you know how to pray, etc. These are excellent point and being reminded of the simplicity/difficulty in those points, often brought me to tears.

There are three reasons I didn't score it higher than three stars. For one, it was repetitive. His book could have been 75-100 pages if he only kept the new material in. Two, if it's not ca
Rachel Blom
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Here’s the premise of the Circle Maker, a book on ‘praying through’: pray circles around your God-given dreams and keep praying ‘till God answers.

Yep, it’s controversial. As someone who has a healthy aversion to anything that reeks of ‘name it and claim it’, I was skeptical as well. After the first chapter, telling the story of Jewish legendary circle maker Honi who stood in a circle to pray for rain, I wasn’t convinced this book was Biblical at all. But after reading the whole book, I’ve change
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: prayer
I have mixed feelings about this book. This is a book on prayer which is loosely based on a Jewish legend of a man named Honi who during a drought drew a circle in the sand and prayed that God would send rain and lots of it. And God did. Essentially Batterson is encouraging readers to pray similar big risky prayers. He claims it is not about health and wealth and magically getting what you want but pressing in and faithfully asking for the big stuff because God will do great things.

So far so go
Jill Kemerer
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book engaged me from beginning to end. I loved the personal testimonies mixed with historical references--they combined to give me a rich understanding and belief in the message.

What is the message of this book?

Pray strong. Pray long. Pray through.

I needed this. It's easy to pray strong, long, and through when life is going your way--it's much harder to pray this way when nothing feels right. But that's when we need it the most.

I loved this book. I would give it more than five stars if I co
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I did not LOVE this at the beginning because I could not "believe" it. Now,I am recommending to every person I know who has a goal or a dream and a God-sized vision.
Jody Britton
Jan 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Having a hard time getting into this book. Pretty disgusted from the get go. I will keep reading for a bit, but so far - I see nothing Biblical in his teachings on prayer. Feels very "prosperity theology" and mystical to me at the moment. If I should keep going, by all means - tell me so! But I'm about to throw this one out. It's making me angry.

***4 chapters in is enough for me. I will not be finishing this book. I read a great review that summed it up far better than I could if you are interes
Cara Putman
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved listening to the Audiobook, too. A great challenge to keep praying and dreaming big with God.
I would technically give this book 4.5 stars. Here is why: I'm not really into the mega church concept. I have nothing against it, I just prefer what I have, 100% satisfaction guaranteed! ☺

That being said: There is so much encouragement in the place of prayer in this book. It felt like a mini special meeting that I needed. All of the references were spot on with the KJV and he brought out things I hadn't realized and in the place of prayer that's huge. I've heard long ago about the need to pray
Craig Dyson
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I have mixed feeling with this book. First, the author is a very good writer, I enjoyed his style. As far as the negatives go, I felt that he bordered on prosperity gospel to the point of almost going over the edge. The idea of dreaming big because God wants you to dream big, and claiming your miracles. Most of his examples revolved around money I noticed as well. I am not saying this is bad, it seems that Pastor Batterson is a very giving person. I just don't see in the Bible this idea of name ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don't typically take the time to write a review, and I don't often give a book one star or abandon it part way through, but upon reading this book and actually looking up the context of "promises" in Scripture that Batterson refers to, I was appalled to find how blatantly misapplied some of them were (by a PASTOR with a SEMINARY degree. As a layperson, I could read one chapter of scripture around a "promise" and see that it was manipulated to fit the author's purpose).

Batterson draws on the m
Frank Peters
Oct 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was far from my regular reading, and in many ways was far from what I would typically recommend. Then again, there is much to recommend about the book. OK, so far I have not actually said anything, so here are some more objective statements. “The Circle Maker” is all about praying to God, the master of the universe, as seeing Him do the miraculous. It (the book) is both consistent with scripture and totally honouring to God. In this sense, the book is highly recommended. But, the metho ...more
Autumn E. Thomason
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was life-changing for me. I can't wait to read it again. I have read few books that have been so inspirational, simple, and easy to read. The Circle Maker really got me passionate about the things the Lord has put on my heart, and I was especially encouraged to boldly ask the Lord for things instead of passively ask for His will to be done. This book truly energized my faith. A second read is necessary to really digest the truths in this book and really apply them.

Mark is repetitive, b
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
I struggled with this book from the beginning. It seemed pretty man-centered. Instead of just praying in the manner Jesus taught, Batterson wanted to "do" something to help him pray for bigger, more audacious things. It's never enough for people to simply follow Jesus' example or other teachings in Scripture. We must do something because faith simply leaves our busy-body needs out of the equation. Also, there seems to be a rampant desire across America to pray for bigger, better, crazy "dreams." ...more
Carol Bruntlett
Apr 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
To me this book is not what I thought it would be , I feel like the guy mark Batterson thinks God is a genie in a bottle if we pray big we get big things, I do. It think or believe like that God answers our prayers according to His will and For His glory not ours and He chooses how those prayers get answered . It may not be the way we want them answered. So if you are praying big things and those things do not get answered period you set your self up for disappointment , God has promise many pro ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this was a decent read but not nearly as captivating as I thought. Although the author provided great examples on how to pray bold prayers, it was not anything that I did not hear before. In fact, a lot of the things I read was basically rehearsed from other authors. However I did like how the author used scripture references to verify his point. I don't think it was worth the hype it received though, it was satisfactory to say the least.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing!! It is totally changing how I pray for those who need prayer. Almost every line in this book, I underlined. It is filled with so much. I couldn't have come at a better time, since I am praying for three people who are battling brain cancer. This is a MUST READ for anyone who prays.
Jena Clark
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely loved this book. It kicked my butt in the very best way possible.
Roger Miller
Long on grandiosity and short on scripture.
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Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times be ...more

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“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.

Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.

The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.

God does not answer vague prayers. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives.

Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens.

If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle.

Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means.

We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.

If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed.

Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems.

Because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence.

Persistence is the magic bullet. The only way you can fail is if you stop praying. 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered.

Where are you most proficient, most sufficient? Maybe that is precisely where God wants you to trust Him to do something beyond your ability.

What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers. Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did.

You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other.

Just as our greatest successes often come on the heels of our greatest failures, our greatest answers often come on the heels of our longest and most boring prayers.

The biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard.

It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer.

The more you have to circle something in prayer, the more satisfying it is spiritually. And, often, the more glory God gets.

I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes.

Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”
“Finally, I learned that we shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God.” 15 likes
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