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I just finished reading Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears (Zondervan 2011). What a hopeful book on prayer. Here are some excerpts that I pray you will find encouraging:

Mark Batterson

Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God is not 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 (13).

And the bigger the circle we draw, the better, because God gets more glory (13).

It is absolutely imperative at the outset that you come to terms with the simple yet life-changing truth: God is for you. If you don’t believe it, then you will pray small timid prayers; if you do believe it, then you’ll pray audacious prayers

We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens (33).

Our generation desperately needs to rediscover the difference between praying for and praying through (33).

One litmus test of spiritual maturity is whether your dreams are getting bigger or smaller (42).

If you keep praying, you’ll keep dreaming, and conversely, if you keep dreaming, you’ll keep praying. Dreaming is a form of praying, and praying is a form of dreaming. The more you pray the bigger your dreams will become. And the bigger your dreams become the more you will have to pray (42-43).

Our date of death is not the date etched on our tombstone. The day we stop dreaming is the day we start dying (43).

Nothing honors God more than a big dream that is way beyond our ability to accomplish. Why? Because there is no way we can take credit for it. And nothing is better for our spiritual development that a big dream to keep us on our knees in raw dependence on God (43).

May you keep dreaming until the day you die. May imagination overtake memory. May you die young at a ripe old age (43).

I learned that we shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God (63).

If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you (63).

“Lord, do something unpredictable and uncontrollable” (64).

If you’ve never had a God-sized dream that scared you half to death, then you really haven’t come to life. If you’ve never been overwhelmed by the impossibility of your plan, then your God is too small. If your vision isn’t perplexingly impossible, then you need to expand the radiuses of your prayer circle (76).

There is nothing God wants to do more than prove His power by keeping His promises. But we doubt God because we doubt ourselves. We don’t ask God to extend His hand because we don’t know His heart (100).

God is great not just because nothing is too big for Him; God is great because nothing is too small for Him (113).

The law requires us to disclose that we did not receive any compensation—or even a free copy of the book—for featuring excerpts from The Circle Maker.