Over the summer I was required by my woman’s ministry at my church to read a book of my choice and write a one page summary that includes how the book impacted my thoughts. The book, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge,” by Mark Patterson was a book that kept me engaged in prayer, but also helped me understand the purpose of prayer. After writing my summary, I felt that I should share my personal thoughts about the book on the blog because I could not help but think, what if someone is confused, discouraged, and ready to give up. I am not a spiritual leader by any means, but I know that I am constantly learning and accepting the process in my spiritual journey. Overall, I hope you find this to be enlightening and perhaps a blessing to you.
In the book, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge,” author Mark Patterson discusses how to pray and have a more closer and intimate relationship with God using forty of his personal stories of prayer. Each day the book presents a prayer challenge with the use of God’s word and how He views prayer. For forty days, I was able to not only read about the power of prayer, but understand the importance of prayer and know that every time I talk to God, it is a time for me to come before God knowing that there is nothing too big or too small for Him to handle. While reading this book, I chose to write daily notes so that I am able to review and meditate over them when I feel discouraged or when I need to seek God’s voice. “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge,” is a book that reminds me that God loves me regardless of my faults and He desires for me to pray continuously for the impossible. There is nothing that I should not be able to ask of Him because I have faith that God will lead me in the right direction. However, it is my decision to, like Patterson states, “Put feet to your faith”. I have to be unafraid to move, even when I am unsure of the outcome and continue to have persistence. The author discusses how one should have crazy faith. My prayers should be bold and I should not be afraid to think big dreams. In the book, prayer was compared to a seed. If I plant a seed it disappears for a season, however, it eventually bears fruit that will bless future generations. I cannot think that my prayers will go unanswered when I do not hear from God. Instead, I have to understand that my prayer has been planted and like any other seed, God is providing my prayer with nutrients that it needs in order for it to grow and thrive, even when I cannot see that He is taking care of my prayer. This book reminds me that faith is an important factor when it comes to knowing, trusting, and talking to God. The phrase, “Step out on faith,” is often used in spiritual circles, but this book made me realize that my fear cannot overcome my faith. In the book, Patterson states, “If you don’t get out of the boat, you will never walk on water”. That quote was so powerful to me because there are many things in my life I believe I cannot do, mainly because of fear, but this quote reminds me that if I allow fear to direct my choices, I will never experience the miracle God has waiting for me. This book also helped me to focus on the blessings that I do have and reminded me to continue to give praise. Having gratitude kills discouragement. Even if I do not have everything I want and I do not understand everything that is happening in my life, I have to be grateful for what I have and also for making it through the experiences I had to encounter. Overall, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge,” is a book that explains the significance of prayer. God rejoices when I take the smallest steps in the right direction, meaning the little things I do, is not overlooked by God. I have to continue to pray, believe, and stand on God’s word. I will not let the discouragement of what I am going through make me forget the benefits of belonging to the God who has been so good to me. He has saved me, blessed me, forgiven me, restored me, satisfied me, healed me, crowned me, and renewed me– Mark Patterson.