Leading on from Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker, this is a 40-day devotional-style book. In each of the 40 chapters there’s a Bible verse or passage, a true inspiring story of someone who prayed, and an application point for the day. The chapters are short and readable, and are well-suited to the design of the book.
There were things that I liked about this book – its incredibly well-written, and each chapter is clearly thought through. The application points from each chapter are challenging and Bible-based.
But, unfortunately, I wanted to love this book a bit more than I did. I haven’t read The Circle Maker so don’t know if it’s explained in there, but even after having read this I still have no idea what Batterson means by ‘circling’. In the book it seems like at times it means taking a pen and drawing a ring around a particular Bible verse (e.g. ‘circling 2 Corinthians 7:14′), at others it means praying over a particular location while walking around it (e.g. ‘circling the living room’), and at others just praying about something (e.g. ‘circling a job interview’). Apart from being confusing this means that it lost its meaning, like when the author took Jesus’ command to ‘keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking,’ and added ‘keep circling’ – what does that even mean?!
Something else that frustrated me was that the overall tone of the book made it seem like this guy just had everything in his life sorted now that he’d got ‘circling’ sorted out. There was quite a lot of things like ‘when I hit trouble I just circle it in prayer, trust in God, and continue in life with a smile on my face’ – not something I find useful.
The referencing also got on my nerves – some stories weren’t referenced at all (I’d never heard of Honi until this book talked about him in passing and I had to research him to understand it!), and the others had footnotes in really odd places, which for me broke up some excellent quotes unnecessarily.
Finally, although the book starts by saying that the purpose of circling stuff in prayer is more to learn God’s will rather than to get what we want, there was a bit too much talk about ‘you can get your dream through prayer’ which, again, I didn’t find useful.
Now, although this book did end up annoying me I still want to recommend it – the action points for each day are genuinely good, and if reading it is going to increase the amount of regular prayer (I can’t see why it wouldn’t), that can’t be a bad thing.
I got this book for free from booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review.
- Post 1 (circlemakers.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson (schelastic.wordpress.com)
- 40 Days To Change My Life (thegirlshouse.wordpress.com)
- Why I Highly Recommend “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson (faithfulprovisions.com)
- Book Giveaway! | The Circle Maker (ruthiedean.com)