On My Shelf: Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson


As a working college student, finding time to read for fun is difficult. But it’s so worth it.

Although it took more than a month, I finally finished Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. To save some of my pride, let me just say that this book is supposed to be read over a 40-day period. To cut my pride in half, let me also say that it took me 48 days to finish. As I’ve said before, I’m busy.

Draw the Circle is a 40 day devotional following one of Batterson’s best sellers, The Circle Maker. I have yet to read The Circle Maker; so, I did this a bit out of order. But suffice it to say, after reading the devotional, I will definitely be picking up The Circle Maker.

Draw the Circle expounds on the idea of circling goals, dreams, passions, and Scripture in prayer. I was skeptical of the book at first because, honestly, I just like to be difficult. My dad adored the book. That was my first indication that it might not be as great as I was told. Not because I don’t trust my dad, but because I love to joke around and patronize him. He bought everyone in my family a copy of this book and I thought it was such a comical gesture. When he gets excited about something, he’s all in.

But if my dad really liked it that much, and it seemed like a good catalyst for getting me closer to God, I decided it was worth a shot. With my skeptical attitude, I tried to go in with an open mind. And my expectations were blown out of the water. This book really changed my prayer life.

I’ve never been very good at praying, but as Batterson puts it, “I’ve never met anyone who felt that they pray too much or too effectively!”

All of our prayer lives could use a jumpstart. And I believe God used this book to do just that in me. The chapters average only six pages, but each one contained a simple truth that either gave me a gentle, encouraging nudge or punched me in the throat. All in all, this book wrecked me in the best way.

I found myself praying more often, more earnestly, and more specifically. During this time of my life, I am seeking to honor God in my career choices and I am trying to discern His will. I want to know if He is sending me in any particular direction or if He is simply honored by my turning to Him and forging a career path of my choice.

Draw the Circle pushed me to dive into conversation with God. Even though this may have added a little bit of stress or strain as I focused more intently on my uncertain future, it also brought me closer to God.

He answered a specific prayer for career guidance within two minutes and blew my mind. I found myself taking my shoes off in a public place, knowing that when I was talking to God in that moment it was Holy Ground.

This sounds crazy. Trust me, I felt crazy.

I’m not usually super vocal about my faith, but God used this book to embolden me and remind me that He cares about the minute details of my life. And He cares about yours too. He genuinely loves us and when our desires align with His will, He wants to give us the desires of our hearts. If we open ourselves up to Him and His plan for us, He will hold no good thing back.This book is by no means a magic formula for getting your prayers answered. And it’s not perfect. In fact, I found some of the phrasing cliché and almost cringey at times; but, I was able to look past this because of the applicable content.

It’s simply a collection of truths that push you to dream bigger and better for the glory of God and bring those dreams to Him in bold humility.

So, if you find yourself lacking in your prayer life and looking for a bit more purpose — and let’s be honest, who isn’t? — pick up Draw the Circle and have a conversation with the God who loves you.

If you read this book, share your thoughts with me! We’ll have our own little book club. Follow me on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading. This is where I leave reviews and keep track of the books I have already read and still want to read.

While you’re at it, let author and pastor Mark Batterson know what you think too. I have a feeling he will appreciate it.

P.S. Dad, I’m swallowing my pride and thanking you for this book. It came at just the right time. No promises that I’ll take your next suggestion though. I gotta keep you on your toes.



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