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Mar 6, 2013

Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge By Mark Batterson

Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge By Mark Batterson
Published by Zondervan, December 2012
240 pages Paperback, available on Kindle
Free Review copy provided via booksneeze
Life and prayer lessons to remember! Fantastic inspirational tool

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.

Drawing from forty days of true stories, Mark Batterson applies the principles of his New York Times bestselling book The Circle Maker to teach us a new way to pray. As thousands of readers quickly became many tens of thousands, true stories of miraculous and inspiring answers to prayer began to pour in, and as those stories were shared, others were bolstered in their faith to pray with even more boldness.

In Draw the Circle, through forty true, faith-building stories of God’s answers to prayer, daily scriptures and prayer prompts, Batterson inspires you to pray and keep praying like never before. Begin a lifetime of watching God work. Believe in the God who can do all things. Experience the power of bold prayer and even bolder faith in Draw the Circle.

I had seen this book mentioned quite a few times so I was eager to snap up a copy of my own. There are times when I'm wanting to "be" or "feel" closer to God, and just reading the bible sometimes doesn't cut it. I wanted to try out a devotional, and learn how to feel like I am accomplishing something when I am praying to God. The first sentence sold me on the book, and the other rave reviews helped seal the deal.

And so my first experience with a 'Prayer Devotional' shall begin with Mark Batterson's Draw the Circle. What I expect from the book is a bit of guidance on getting organized with my prayer requests, and to learn how to formulate a prayer request in my mind without stumbling over my words. Based on the synopsis, I should draw inspiration from 40 stories that will inspire me to be more bold in my prayers.

The book reads swiftly, with mini-anecdotes to illustrate the point of each chapter. Most memorable are when he writes of hitting his knees in the airport, something that I turned into an easy to remember 'stop, drop and pray' mantra. When is it okay to pray? Obviously, whenever, and however you can manage it. It's a reminder that hey, God is everywhere, and He is listening.

Topics covered include persistence in prayer, and having the ability to act on your prayer. Sometimes just waiting for God to answer your prayers isn't good enough, God wants to see you want to work for it, too. And what if you are very persistent, and you are praying, and yet there is nothing fulfilling? Maybe you are looking at it the wrong way. Maybe you need to do it differently.

Think of George Washington Carver, and peanuts, and then UNICEF and peanut based nutrients for the impoverished of the world, as not such a good idea as it is a God-idea. And a seed.. that single seed and how much life it holds in its tiny existence, yet so full of promise: Day 12: Sowing a Seed made me cry. Perhaps you will find a different chapter that will be your spark of recognition for God's love for you, but this book will help you find some solace. And it will bring new meaning to your prayers, when you pray and how you feel about it.

 Thank you to Zondervan and Booksneeze for my free review copy, for which I am still reading and will use it as an inspirational tool in the future as well..
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