Tag Archives: Mark Batterson

Some Favorite Quotes – Draw The Circles

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Draw the Circle, the 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. Hopefully these quotes will inspire you to get the book and do your own challenge.

I love this book as it is so positive, uplifting and filled with hope. While it reinforces that God is for us, Mark also states that God is not a machine where you input a prayer request and out comes your answer.

So if you are looking to increase your joy, hope, peace and overall reassurance that God has your back – then get this book.

Our biggest problem is our small view of God. 

pg 56

And this is precisely what happens when we pray. We see things no one else sees. 

pg 67 

Christianity was always intended to be a verb-more specifically, an action verb. 

pg 157

God can accomplish more in one day than you can accomplish in a lifetime. 

pg 83


Are You Ready For Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is 1 week from today. That means you have 1 week to get your copy of Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge so you can join me and others as we read and pray through this challenge for lent.

I am praying through this challenge right now and it is inspiring me to pray as if I were 6 years old again. It was at that age I learned the power of prayer.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

Actually, I do not know if it was dark and stormy out the night Mom and Dad woke me. All I know is that it was dark in my bedroom. They were headed to the hospital as Grandma Q. was very sick and I needed to pray for her. I prayed the following prayer will a whole lot of intensity:

“God, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die. God, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die.”

I prayed that prayer over and over and over and over and over again until I finally fell back asleep. It was prayed with the intensity, sincerity and boldness of a 6 year old who loved her grandma and did not want to lose her.

God answered my prayer that night as Grandma did not move to heaven for about another 20 years.

Changes So Far

This challenge is rekindling the intensity I had when I prayed that prayer. It is also teaching me to claim and circle the promises in the Bible.

Joshua 1:3 is the verse I have claimed and circled in regards to being able to keep my house.

 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

Since God gave the Israelites everywhere they set their foot, surely He will help me keep everywhere I’ve set my foot in this house and backyard over the years. Yes, I know He will only do so, if it is His will.

Take Up, Don’t Give Up

So purchase a copy of Mark Batterson’s book and see how God will work in your life during lent. Taking up this challenge is better than giving something up for lent.


40 Days of Drawing Circles – A Lenten Challenge

I am a believer in taking up something for Lent, instead of giving something up. Giving up chocolate, candy, coffee or anything else is only going to make you tired and cranky. The rest of the world will be miserable because you are miserable.

That is not how you

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Mark 12:31


Instead attend a Bible Study, go volunteer at a non-profit close to your heart, or start an fitness program. (The next round of Faithful Finish Lines starts 2/28.)

Another Option

Now if none of those appeal to you, I triple dog dare you to try Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle; The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.  The book has 40 daily devotions that encourage you to pray big, bold, audacious prayers.

Some of Mark’s lessons are about:

  • our prayers not being bold enough
  • not talking to the mountains about God
  • not praying long enough (think what would have happened at Jericho if the Israelites had stopped circling the city on day 5 or day 6.)

The Challenge

I challenge everyone of my readers to purchase a copy of Mark’s book (non-affiliate link) and participate in the challenge with me starting on February 10th (Ash Wednesday) and ending on Easter. (Sunday’s in Lent do not count – but once you start this challenge you will not want to stop.)


Besides the book you will need a pen, hiliter, and journal or notepad. You will want to write your prayers and circle them. It will be helpful if you have your Bible so you can look up specific verses and read the entire passage, if you so desire.

You will also need to set aside some time everyday to read the devotion and then pray about your requests. Do not be afraid to write down the verses that speak to you, claim them as promises, and circle them. Yes, writing in your Bible is also perfectly acceptable.

God’s Obligation To This Challenge

Oh and by the way – God is under no obligation to answer your prayer requests. However after you are done with this challenge, and quite possibly before, you will see God working in your life – somehow, someway if you just open your eyes.

My Why? 

Why did I pick this to do during lent? It’s simple. I am currently on Day 23 of the challenge and God is working on my bigger, bolder prayers.

You should have heard the lecture I gave my mountains (career, expenses) about God and how He will level them with just a blink of His eye.

I will update you on what is happening in my life during the challenge. This might not be until after 2/19 as I am involved in a project the first part of February that will be time consuming and keep me on my toes. Time to write might be very limited for a little while.

Are You Ready To Draw Circles? 

This challenge is open to all my readers no matter what religion. All you need is a willingness to boldly go where you have not gone before.

Please email me at Michele dot Kearns at JoyReturns dot com as I want to hear how God is working in your life this lenten season.

Today is 1/25 and Lent starts on 2/10 so you have a little over 2 weeks to get the book and your supplies.

Go. Set. Ready.



{ Day 26 } 31 Tricks to Scare Away the Grief Monster – DREAM!

Welcome and Happy Monday! We are in the homestretch of 31 Tricks to Scare Away the Grief Monster. T -5 days and counting.

Scripture Meditation

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

Today’s word is


There will come a time in your grief when you need to figure out what your life is now going to be about. When the time comes go ahead and dream.

But don’t just dream – DREAM BIG!

I am currently attending a women’s Bible study and we are viewing The Circle Maker video’s. Oh my dear widowed friend, get this book, video and study guide by Mark Batterson. In the videos he discusses dreaming big and boldly. God is the God of big dreams, of bold dreams. No dream is too big or too bold for God.

Once you figure out what you want your life to look like, make a list and draw a circle around the entire list or one particular item. Then set aside time every day and pray about your dream. Do this for 21 days and see what happens. At best it comes true, at worst you have a greater sense of peace because you have established a prayer commitment.

My Dream

My dream is:

  • keep this house
  • remodel this house
  • have a job where I make what Joe was making or better
  • become Mom to another golden retriever daughter (or son)
  • have the resources (hardware, software, design etc…) to take this blog to the next level
  • keep my good health
  • have the strength to keep pursuing my dreams
  • have friends who will help lift me up to the next level and to gather around the table with

All these small dreams and more make up the big, bold dream I call “My Life.”

My dream has not come true in the 12 days I’ve been doing this, but I feel a greater sense of peace in my life and that is an answer to a prayer. A prayer revolving around Psalm 27:3

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. 

So do not fear praying to God for your big, bold dream. He loves you and wants to hear not only what your needs are but He also wants to know what dreams are on your heart.

boldly dream

Quote Meditation

Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t 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.

Mark Batterson

The Circle Maker


Links: – MarkBatterson.com

 The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Greatest Dreams and Biggest Fears

10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of photography at OgleOhio.com, where she is running the series 31 Days of Autumn in Ohio – because running a 31 Day series on one blog is not enough insanity.