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Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,385 ratings  ·  225 reviews
The 40-day prayer plan that will change your life plan

Do you pray as often and as boldly as you want to? There is a way to experience a deeper, more passionate, persistent, and intimate prayer life.

In this forty-day devotional, Mark Batterson applies the principles of his New York Times bestselling book The Circle Maker to teach you a new way to pray. As thousands of reade
Paperback, 226 pages
Published December 9th 2012 by Zondervan
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4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,385 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book. No, that's not true. I wanted to love this book. Before requesting a copy to review, I had read several other reviews first, and saw many people talk about how life-changing it was. How it had revolutionized their prayer life.

I am sad to report that this wasn't the case for me. I did like it. It had some interesting and inspiring stories, some great quotes and reminders, and some good suggestions. It was just missing one thing: structure.

What I had expected, needed, a
Igor Putina
Started reading this book just 40 days ago with my wife, and we're excited to be done today. I recommend this book if you are a Christian and want to draw closer to God in prayer.
Cherie Hill
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most life/faith transforming book I've read in a LONG time. The Circle Maker RADICALLY altered the course of my life (in a good way :) and the 40 Day Prayer Challenge trumped it. If you can only get one of the books, I HIGHLY recommend the 40 Day Prayer Challenge. It's a book you'll read over and over again.
Varina Denman
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know how many times I burst into tears while reading this book. God definitely used it to work on me the past forty days, and I'll be returning to these pages again and again.
Steven R. McEvoy
In the last month and a half I have read four books by Mark Batterson, and I have read each of the books twice. That speaks to the power of these books. But to be honest, this one might be the most powerful one yet and most likely to change your life and maybe even help to change the world. It all started when a friend recommended reading Praying Circles Around Your Children which was being offered for free in ebook format at the time. I started reading and only really stopped to pray for my kid ...more
Jackie Hutter
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this as part of a bible study I am doing with friends and found this book difficult to get through. There were some enjoyable and very helpful parts that I will tuck in my back pocket. I even quoted it a couple of times, because of some profound things he wrote. I just expected it to be more of a " let's pray this way today" book. It's a 40 day prayer challenge, but I did not really feel challenged. It was very far from that. I felt he could be very forced, cliche' and cheesy a lot of the ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, booksneeze
Author Mark Batterson uses the metaphor of Drawing a Circle to teach several key lessons about prayer: Circling back and praying for the same thing repeatedly, committing to staying in a literal or figurative circle before God to wait for his answers, physically drawing a circle around written prayer requests that still need prayer, etc. While the metaphor is a rich one, and well developed in Batterson's work, I was hoping for more depth in other ways.

I wished for more stories of answered praye
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a good guide to assessing and improving your prayer life. It's set up as a 40-day devotional and could be read over and over to remind you of the power of prayer. If War Room spurred you to improve your prayer life, this is a good way to start.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! Learned a lot. :-)
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
It is weird to rate your pastor's book, but I'm going to do it anyway:

3.5 stars -- I love the idea of a 40-day prayer challenge; it's just the kind of thing I needed to do during the Lenten season. But like a lot of other reviewers, I was expecting more of a "pray about this topic today," "pray about that topic today," so the structure of the book threw me off a little. But it's not fair to judge a book based on my expectations.

It is definitely encouraging to read stories of God showing up for
Mark Montgomery
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, faith
Prayer is powerful! Read the book as requested by our pastor for a church wide activity to get everyone thinking about prayer. Our pastor, as I believe Mark Batterson is doing in writing this book, is to have all of us focus on the discipline of making prayer part of our lives.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an interesting experience. While I found the act of reading a chapter a day and journaling accordingly to be a great habit to firm, I often found the book to be clichéd. Much of it felt like an ad for the author's church and other books. However, overall, the practice that this 40 days has created for me has been life changing. I appreciate this book for that.
Jermaine Gayle
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was not praying enough!! Wow, Mark Batterson is a well capable writer. With stories and numerous illustrations, this book was nothing short of inspiring. I sincerely appreciated the many powerful insights concerning what it really means to have a strong prayer life. Was worth reading, was worth spending the extra time taking copious notes and underlining every other phrase.
Robin Hatcher
This was a fabulous 40 days. I did the challenge with a friend via email, and it was good to have someone to share with. But I think using this book for a daily devotional on prayer would be just as powerful if reading it on your own. I will definitely revisit this book in the future.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A spiritual awakening to the power of prayer. Amazing insights and truth into a believer's prayerlife.
Mason Frierson
Oct 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Like Batterson's book "The Circle Maker", this book is very troubling and must be read carefully with much discernment and compared to the Bible carefully. Many have publicly commented negatively on the direction that author Mark Batterson's teachings are taking and the direction he may be headed - with accusations of "witchcraft", "ritual magic", "Jewish Talmud", a "prosperity gospel" "name-it-claim-it" direction of money, greed, false promises and a "me-centered theology", rather than "God-cen ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic 40 day devotional setting out various types of prayer and what those prayers did in people's lives. I enjoy Batterson's stories and the stories he takes from others showing the importance of prayer and how it radically changes people's lives.

When I began the devotional I was in the middle of a long job search to leave my law firm and work in-house for a company, preferably a construction company. I had had a few phone and Skype interviews with a Washington DC construction company and w
Brett Gorney
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-book-list
Really enjoyed this book! Batterson does a great job of covering so many areas of life and topics surrounding prayer - all as they relate to drawing closer to God and living life in the presence of God 24/7.

Me and 6 other brothers in Christ started this on Dec 1st and sent emails periodically of how the book was impacting our lives! Gods timing is always perfect as reading this at the end of a year was a great time for me because it showed me where I was lacking in prayer but most important, is
Nancy Kroneberger
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a phenomenal book. I hate to admit this, but at first, I thought the author used an awful lot of one-liners, and popular buzz phrases that didn’t have much depth. But after just a few readings I realized I had judged too hastily. The author actually makes a lot of great points in a very simply profound or profoundly simple way. He draws from his own life stories, as well as from others’ lives. He seems to truly live out what he believes in and preaches heartily. My friend and I did this ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book changed the way I pray. For real. I went in skeptical because my dad was so into it and I was like, "There's no way it's THAT good." Now I get it. The short devotionals for each day are so manageable and so packed with truth. Go into it with an open mind a teachable spirit, and you won't be disappointed. I applied some of what I learned through this book and God answered my prayer in two minutes flat. I'm not saying that this is a magic prayer formula. That's not the point. What I'm sa ...more
Karen & Gerard
Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson is a devotional book on prayer along with a workbook and a DVD. Our church encouraged everyone to do this study together for 40 days so my husband and I read this book and participated together. The DVD is simply the author talking about the same exact things he wrote in the book. In my opinion, the DVD is redundant and not needed if you read the book.

I thought the book was very interesting and it helped me to improve my prayer time and inspired me to pray more
Carl McKever
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians, those struggling with prayer, those who need a good thought life
I first heard about this book in January 2015 when my local church in Omaha decided to do a corporate 40-day fast for the new year. I've read the book in completion two times and each time God dealt with me differently. This book has revolutionized and changed my prayer life and helped me to understand the importance and reason to pray. I encourage anyone struggling with their thought life or prayer life to read this book and don't skip through the days so quickly. Read one day at a time and med ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I started this book a couple of weeks after I decided to start a new business. As I was leading up to grand opening day, I carried this with me everywhere . . . Grabbing words of wisdom and encouragement as often as I could. Then, the doors opened and I put my book on a shelf. Today I decided to catch up and finish. Right before Pr. Gaub got his random phone call in Day 39, I had a special call of my own - one of those “don’t give up on me yet” calls. :). I am a HUGE fan of The Circle Maker book ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book was okay, I really enjoyed the witnesses of others he told of. I like the quotes and reminders but it lacked something for me more structure or something. I bought the companion study guide and I couldn't answer half of those questions. This book assumes that if you are a Christian and you pray and you want to learn more, that you're automatically an every Sunday church attendee and that when you asked Jesus into your life that it was full of fanfare. My journey has been more of a lone ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic. It really stretched my prayer life and challenged me to pray more consistently. Normally, you can pray for something and abandon it after awhile. This book really helps you zeroing, focus, and commit to covering something in prayer with perserverance and sheer determination. It's a Jacob mindset, "I won't let go till you bless me." It will change the dynamics of your prayer life if you stick it through. I still apply these tactics and principles into my prayer life, toda ...more
Kara Larson
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
While I really needed this 40 day study in my life at this time to focus on the power of prayer, I’m sad to say the author’s emphasis on prayer being the vehicle to “allow God to work”— often stating that God won’t move unless we pray or that we can slow God’s work by our lack of prayer left a sour taste.

My biggest takeaway and a sweet word to me during this time in my life is the encouragement to pray that a trial/hard time in my life will last as long and be as hard as it needs to be so that I
Sarah Elizabeth
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I loved the Circle Maker, but this book was just okay for me. There were some good tidbits but overall, not as inspiring and life changing as the original book. It should be called, "Random People's Circle Maker Testimonies." I wanted this book to be something that would help me in my prayer life, an area of my spiritual walk I have always struggled in most. I expected to go more into the daily scriptures and to have prayer prompts to help me get started every day. Unfortunately, I came out no m ...more
Trista Robinson
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read, renewed outlook on prayer

I really enjoyed this book, the end more so than the beginning. Initially I was slow to get in because it spoke a lot about prayers for material things, but as the book went on it began dealing with issues of the heart....seeking God in it really motivated and inspired me. I read this with a prayer group and I’m so excited about my prayer life. In this small time my prayer life has improved and I look forward to praying again. Thank you!
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
When I first started reading this book it was tough to get into. I had to force myself every morning to read it. The style of the way that ge wrotw the book was not to my liking.

I must say that some of the tools that he has recommended I have used and my prayer has gotten a lot stronger and God has done some amazing things these last 40 days. I wish there were more tools and more success stories

Because of the style of the book this is a one time read.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspired to Improve My Prayer Life

Draw the Circle was an excellent read and a much appreciated accompaniment on my 40-day prayer fast.

I love the insight that Pastor Batterson gave. Every point he wrote, he brought it back to Scripture. This book has really emphasized the essential need for prayer. My relationship with God has improved a bit more as a result of this book.

I will be definitely be reading this book again. There are so many inspritional gems..
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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
“Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations. In fact, our prayers bear fruit forever.” 56 likes
“I have a handful of prayers that I pray all the time... One is that God will put my books into the right hands at the right times. I've prayed this prayer thousands of times, and God has answered it in dramatic fashion countless times. The right book in the right hands at the right time can save a marriage, avert a mistake, demand a decision, plant a seed, conceive a dream, solve a problem, and prompt a prayer. That is why I write. And that's why, for me, a book sold is not a book sold; a book sold is a prayer answered. I don't know the name and situation of every reader, but God does, and that's all that matters.” 54 likes
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