Praying Circles Around Your Children
It has been a long time since I have read a book so immediately applicable, a book that literally drove me to my knees. It is a book that instilled a greater desire and conviction of the need for prayer and ways to pray specifically. But this book is much more than just a guide book. It is amazing that a book of just over 100 pages can have so much power and an incredibly lasting impact. This book was so powerful I did not trust myself to write a review at first; I waited until after a second reading and a month had passed to have some more perspective. All I can say is that it truly is an amazing book. I honestly believe that every Christian parent should read this book to be better equipped to pray for their children.
My first time reading this book I highlighted 20 passages. I have pulled out some of the best to highlight for you in small glimpses, some of the knowledge and wisdom that this book will impart.
Mark starts off by acknowledging that becoming a praying parent is hard work. To be disciplined to pray for our children is work and many in family life start to let things slide. "You don't become a praying parent by default. You do it by design, by desire, by discipline. Spiritual disciplines take sheer determination, but if you determine to circle your children in prayer, you will shape their destinies, just like Susanna Wesley shaped the destinies of her children. Your prayers will live on in their lives long after you die. Your prayers for your children are the greatest legacy you can leave." p. 18. From there he moved on to remind us that all our prayers must pass two tests: "It's imperative to distinguish between your will and God's will. Every prayer, including your prayers for your children, must pass a twofold litmus test: your prayers must be in the will of God and for the glory of God. … Prayer is the way we take our hands off and place our children in the hands of God." p. 20-21. We need to pray God's will and God's glory or else we are just not doing it right.
Mark's earlier book, The Circle Maker, has been immensely popular. This book is an off-shoot but can easily be read without reading the first one. Mark States: "Drawing prayer circles is a metaphor that simply means "to pray without ceasing." It's praying until God answers. It's praying with more intensity, more tenacity. It's not just praying for; it's praying through. … We need to start praying ALAT prayers - as long as it takes. That's what praying circles is all about. It's resolving in your heart of hearts that you will pray until the day you die." p. 29 And that is what God is after for us as parents, to be Prayer Warriors in our children's corner, interceding for them, to stand between them and the enemy and them and the world, to raise them up in the ways of God. "Parenting is the hardest thing you'll ever do. And the more you love your kids, the harder it is." p. 31. The more we love, the more we can be hurt.
Finally, he reminds us this will be a life-long journey. "Does this mean the final battle has been fought? We know better; we're parents! The challenges never end, but we need to celebrate our victories along the way. And for the record, prayer is the way we fight our battles. Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you. Secret prayer is our secret weapon." p. 33, 34. We will be praying until we go home to God or until Christ comes again.
This was an incredible little book. I cannot say how beneficial it was to my prayer life and know I will be reading many more of Batterson's books in the months to come. Give it a try - it is more than worth the low price tag!
Books by Mark Batterson:
The Circle Maker
The Circle Maker Enhanced eBook Edition
Praying Circles Around Your Children
Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
The Circle Maker Student Edition: dream big, pray hard, think long
The Circle Maker for Kids
Be A Circle Maker
All In Student Edition
Going All In
Praying Circles Around The Lives of Your Children
Jack Staples and the Ring of Time (With Joel Clark)
ID: The True You
In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day
Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God
Chase the Lion Stepping Confidently Into the Unknown