Praying Circles Around Your Children (book review)

Launching off his excellent book on prayer—The Circle Maker—Mark Batterson shares with parents and grandparents the incredible blessing of taking the initiative to pray for our children in Praying Circle Around Your Children.

Mark opens the book with these words:

Make sure the heavenly Father hears about your kids daily! …You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. Prayer is your highest privilege as a parent. 

Just as The Circle Maker opened my eyes to new insights on prayer (you can read my review by clicking here), Praying Circles Around Your Children challenged me to step up into my privilege of being a prayerful Dad.

I loved the simple straightforward message in this book: Keep on praying for your kids.

  • Do you feel like you don’t know what to pray? Use the Scripture to help you find biblical promises to pray over your kids.
  • Do you feel like your prayers for your kids have been unanswered? Recommit to pray for them as long as it takes.
  • Do you feel like your prayers lack power? Find ways to pray with your kids where you keep them close, even laying your hands on them.
  • Do you feel like it’s too late to pray for your grown children or grandchildren? It’s never too late to talk to God about your (grand)kids.

This is a short book that you can easily read in one sitting, but the concepts you learn can be applied for the rest of your life.

I loved this book so much that I’m going to buy a copy for every family in my church. If you are a parent or grandparent, I cannot urge you strongly enough to pick up a copy of Praying Circles Around Your Children.

I am a Zondervan book reviewer.

Why Do You Read The Bible?

Do you exercise? Why? What’s the purpose of all of your exercises? To get stronger? To last longer? To get or stay healthy? Yes! But to what end? Why do you want to be stronger, have greater endurance, or better health?

I could ask the same question regarding the spiritual realm: Why would you want to do a spiritual workout? To quote more Bible verses? To have more endurance in prayer? But why do you want to know more of the Bible, or pray better or longer?

Our goal should be simply this: To know God more intimately.

We have to be careful about being so focused on the workout that we miss the purpose… or should I say the Person. Andrew Murray wrote this:

“Christian! there is a terrible danger to which you stand exposed in your inner chamber. You are in danger of substituting Prayer and Bible Study for living fellowship with God, the living interchange of giving Him your love, your heart, and your life, and receiving from Him His love, His life, and His spirit. Your needs and their expression, your desire to pray humbly and earnestly and believingly, may so occupy you, that the light of His countenance and the joy of His love cannot enter you. Your Bible Study may so interest you, and so waken pleasing religious sentiment, that–yes–the very Word of God may become a substitute for God Himself, the greatest hindrance to fellowship because it keeps the soul occupied instead of leading it to God Himself.”

Our spiritual workouts should help us integrate God’s presence into our souls. He is not just someone that we know about; He is the One we know. The One we have let into our hearts. The One who is at the very center of our being. He is the CORE of who we are.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6, 7 from the Amplified Bible)

Don’t lose sight of WHY you read the Bible, and respond in prayer; of why you glorify God and enjoy Him forever; of why you go through your spiritual workouts. You do all of this because Christ is in you, and you are in Christ… and you want to strengthen this core relationship, and let everything else that you do flow out from this core!

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