I'm taking a Christy Project blog hiatus (in case you couldn't tell) to focus more on spending quality time with my family, my relationship with God, and my writing. Feel free to follow my writing blog--I will still be posting there a few times a month.
Two Mini-Reviews of books about prayer by Mark Batterson:
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
I picked up this book after my pastor shared how great it was, and I did find it interesting and learned a lot from it. I agree with Batterson that we should be praying harder for things, that we tend to give up just before God gives us the blessing.
I loved the legend of Honi that inspires the name of this book (check out Batterson's retelling of the Legend of Honi, The Circle Maker here) and found it very inspirational. There were several concepts and ideas in the book that touched me and changed my prayer life. There were stories of faith and answered prayer in the book that renewed my faith and my desire to pray more fervently.
However, I wish Batterson had gone into more detail about our prayers needing to align with God's, and when God says no, despite all our pleading. I've been praying for healing for my eldest son for a long time and haven't seen results. I'm not gonna stop praying for him, but maybe God knows He will receive more glory if my son isn't healed. Not something Batterson really admits to in this book, and so it can cause a lot of disappointment, thinking your prayers will get you all the desires of your heart. I'm not 100% sure everything Batterson says in this book is biblical.
I'd give this book 3 1/2 stars.
Praying Circles Around Your Children
I decided to give this book a try, since I had gotten out of the habit of praying daily for my children and would like to get back into the habit. The majority of my prayers for my children are for my eldest, who has special needs, and I continually pray for healing and developmental progress for him, and peace, patience and wisdom for myself in caring for him. The book has some excellent points, and some great ideas about how to pass on a praying legacy to your children, but I was disappointed.
I loved Batterson's idea of choosing Scripture to pray over your children and have them framed and in your childrens' rooms. I think I will do that. I also liked the idea he mentioned of going through a Bible a year for each child, underlining verses and promises for each child. Then, when the child graduates high school you can give him/her the Bible. Sounds cool to me!
Otherwise, I felt it was all a repeat of what was read in The Circle Maker, just from a parent's perspective, and I did not get what I wanted out of it.
Disclaimer: This is not a book review, which is what you normally see on this blog. No, this is me sharing what's on my heart and a new direction I may go with this blog, though I would love your feedback before I commit. I originally started this blog because I read a lot of Christian books and I wanted a place to review them. And I wanted to read Christy award winning and Christy nominated books to see what the best of the best Christian fiction was like. I had plans to write a Christian YA book.
Along the way, I found myself drawn to Christian non-fiction. God has been teaching me a lot about how Jesus died not just for our sins, but so that we would be free of all those things that hold us back: our insecurities, our guilt, our sin, our fears, our idols, etc. And I have ideas about how to incorporate all I've been learning into a Bible study and a devotional about experiencing the spiritual freedom and victory He wants us to have.
I dream of publishing something that will help people. I wrote a YA novel that although I think is pretty awesome, I don't think it would help a lot of people. I've considered adding a few Christian themes to it and try to get it published in a Christian market. But I also feel like this devotional and Bible study would help a lot of women and is something I would like to pursue.
Honestly, I'm overwhelmed with all the possibilities I can go with my writing and trying to discern which project(s) I should pursue. I've been praying about it, but I thought I'd seek out your opinions. What do you think of a Bible study and a devotion that covered these topics? Would you like to read them on this blog? What do you think of me changing my secular YA novel into a Christian YA book?
And would you like to read my devotions on this blog? Would you like me to post updates on my writing on this blog? Or do you prefer I keep the blog Christian book reviews?