Respected blogger and pastor Tim Challies wrote this piece in 2014. Many people are unfamiliar with Mark Batterson and his book The Circle Maker so I thought it would be a good idea to share what’s been going on in some evangelical circles because of what Batterson teaches in his book. Tim also wrote a scathing review of Batterson’s book before he wrote this piece and provided a link to it. Believers must heed Tim’s warning: Don’t pray in circles!
Praying in circles is fast becoming a thing in some Evangelical churches. People have been taught to draw circles around the things they want, or even to walk in circles around the things they are sure the Lord ought to grant them. In either case, they are to pray around those things and in that way to claim them for the Lord.
The inspiration, I suppose, is Mark Batterson and his book The Circle Maker (my review). Batterson bases his prayer technique on a story from the life of Honi Ha-Ma’agel, a Jewish scholar who lived in the first century B.C. Jewish history records him as being a miracle-worker in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha. Here is a brief account of his greatest miracle:
On one occasion when God did not send rain well into the winter (in the geographic regions of Israel, it rains mainly in the winter), he drew a circle in the dust, stood inside it, and informed God that he would not move until it rained. When it began to drizzle, Honi told God that he was not satisfied and expected more rain; it then began to pour. He explained that he wanted a calm rain, at which point the rain calmed to a normal rain.
Batterson explains, “The prayer that saved a generation was deemed one of the most significant prayers in the history of Israel. The circle he drew in the sand became a sacred symbol. And the legend of Honi the circle maker stands forever as a testament to the power of a single prayer to change the course of history.”
And it is from Honi that Batterson found the inspiration to begin praying in circles. In his book he describes many occasions in which he has prayed in circles and seen the Lord grant what he asked. The promise of his book is that it “will show you how to claim God-given promises, pursue God-sized dreams, and seize God-ordained opportunities. You’ll learn how to draw prayer circles around your family, your job, your problems, and your goals.”
I want to give you three reasons not to pray in circles in the manner Batterson prescribes. Continue reading
The Comments Mark Batterson Doesn’t Want You To See–Apprising Ministries
Excerpt: Below I [Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith] am posting the comments I left on Mark Batterson’s Blog today that he does not want you to see and therefore deleted. … This is the typical behavior of seeker-driven / purpose-driven “pastors”. Anyone who would dare to critique them Biblically or call them out regarding their false teaching and scripture twisting are NEVER honestly answered. Instead, they are brushed aside and are branded “pharisees”.