I was given The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson as a Christmas present from my husband. He knew it was a book that I would want to read because his dad read it…and I always want to read what he is reading. He loves to read too, and I like to keep up with his book recommendations This particular book is about prayer-how important it is, how powerful it is, and how necessary it is for believers to go to God with our prayer requests...HE HEARS US!
Some excellent quotes in the book:
"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. Why? because they don't require divine intervention."
"Who you become is determined by how you pray."
"The author, pastor of one of the largest churches in Seoul, Korea, wrote, 'God does not answer vague prayers.' When I read that statement, I was immediately convicted by how vague my prayers were. Some of them were so vague that there was no way of knowing whether God had answered them or not."
"When you pray regularly, you never know when God will show up or speak up. Today could be the day. When you live in prayer mode, you live with holy anticipation. you know that coincidences are Providences."
"Praying hard is hard because you can't just pray like it depends on God; you also have to work like it depends on you. You can't just be willing to pray about it; you also have to be willing to do something about it. And this is where many of us get stuck spiritually. We're willing to pray right up to the point of discomfort, but no further. We're willing to pray right up to the point of inconvenience, but no further. Praying hard is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but that is when you know you're getting close to a miracle!"
After reading this I am not the same Christian. It has challenged me to pray specifically for things. I don't need to be general in what I ask of God, I must be specific. God answers specific prayers. I think I'm all too often afraid to ask God for specific things because I'm afraid He won't answer me or do them for me. I have thought, "Maybe I'm not worthy enough of that specific request." Or maybe He'll think I'm stupid or ungrateful or asking too much. But that is simply not true. I have had a distorted perspective of God as my Father. He wants to bless my life. He wants and needs me to be open and honest with him. He wants me to have a vision for things and ask specifically for them. He wants to use me and move through me. I have had to grow in my faith and believe these things of God. It has challenged me to get a bigger perspective of who God is. By the way, I've learned He's much bigger than I've made Him out to be. I have been stirred to seek God. I'm seeking His vision and purpose for my life at this time and specifically praying for those things to come to pass.
The Circle Maker is filled with encouraging stories and testimonies of how God has answered prayer in Matt's life and those he knows. I needed to read this book. It has fanned the flame of prayer in my life in a powerful way. I pray it does the same for you!
1. Count your troubles, name them one by one-at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter. 2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories. 3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you. 4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live. 5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it. 6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you. 7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they theirs. 8. Don't fall into any compassion traps-the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own. 9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant-things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones-they're where it's at now.
~taken from Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot