I have mixed thoughts about this book: some of the stories were compelling. But am I praying more, and am I praying more earnestly as a result of reading this book? I'm not sure. There is a fine line between praying with great faith and praying presumptuously. The author does mention the dilemma of mistaking God's will for our own, but he doesn't really suggest how to discern between the two. I am going through this book with a small group, and though we have had good conversations, I'm not sure how productive our time has been.
God has so gifted Mark in writing, not only this book, but in his other writings also. Mark leads the reader not into the power of positive thinking, but into taking God at His Word, believing it and living in the power we have been given. It is challlenging me to believe more and live more positively because as Christians we can and should!!!
I have been reading this book for several weeks now as my devotional reading. A while back that I read Mark Batterson's book, The Circle Maker, but at the same time, I also started his 40 day prayer challenge companion book called Draw the Circle. I sheepishly confess that it took me longer than 40 days to get through it because with moving and a vacation, I didn't read every single day. But my delays were purely self-inflicted and were no reflection on his quality of writing at all! :)
Mark published this book in 2012 after he wrote The Circle Maker, and while you will find some content transferred from the main book to the companion guide, you'll also find a lot of brand new content, some of which was inspired by letters and emails he received in response to the main book. He shared stories people told him after they had begun to pray circles in their own lives, and he added new stories from his journey along the way.
This book is, in format, very much created for daily reading with short chapters and a Bible verse to begin each day's reading. I found within it the same style of underline-worthy phrases and challenges that I have always found in Mark's writing, and it was a good daily guide in learning to pray genuinely and with passion and risk.
I also appreciate that Mark doesn't claim to be a prayer expert or to always pray well. He shares of his own shortcomings and desire/hunger to learn more on the subject, but he also shares incredible stories of moments when God did big things because of prayer.
So if you like a daily reading guide better than a standard book, this would be a great choice for you. Because it's 40 days in length, it would be great for Lent or for any season when you want to mark out a prescribed number of days to pray over something!
I loved the Circle Maker and this is a wonderful, inspiring follow up to it. I am 81 years young and found that I can still get on my knees every morning after reading that days message. What a blessing?