Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Circle Maker

This book has been popular lately, and I was thankful that Zondervan sent me a copy to review.  I always need encouragement in my prayer life, and this book certainly points us in that direction.

The basis of this book is a legend about a Jewish man named Honi.  A few years B.C., Honi drew a circle and stayed in this circle praying for rain.  He intended to remain in that circle until the rain came, which it did.  The author draws a parallel from this legend that we can draw a circle around our dreams, concerns, hopes, etc. and stay there until our prayers are answered.

While reading this book I was both nodding my head in agreement and shaking my head with disagreement.  I am all for praying big prayers and trusting God for answers, yet I do not agree that "If you keep drawing prayer circles, the answer is yes" (p. 43).  Later on the author clarifies this point by stating, "No doesn't always mean no; sometimes no means not yet."  This sounds too much like a 'name it and claim' routine which the author says this book is not about, "drawing prayer circles isn't some magic trick to get what you want from God" (p. 14).  So I am confused about the purpose of a circle prayer.

I was reminded of The Prayer of Jabez while I was reading this book.  Years ago that book inspired people to pray big prayers and trust God.  Where the Jabez prayer is found in the Bible, the Honi legend is just that, a legend.  I am having a hard time with the theology of this book especially since the basis of the book is a legend, not a Biblical truth.

Suffice it to say, this book did not inspire me.  I really wanted it to, but it fell short.


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