Draw A Circle! Catalyst 2011 Mark Batterson.

Amazing session of teaching at #cat11 (labs)

Mark Batterson

National Community Church – Washington.

Your leadership cannot go beyond your prayer life. 

The Book Of Legends (Talmud). In the first century there was a drought that was killing off the nation. Honi the Circlemaker. Drew a circle in teh sand and prayed, Sovereign Lord I will not leave this circle until you have mercy on your people. He carried on praying for more rain until the rain was the size of eggs. Then he prayed again for the rain of God’s blessing.

The prayer saved a generation.

Bold prayer honours God, and God honours bold prayer. When you pray what you can’t do.

Joshua 6

1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

(God had already done it – but they had to do something).

If your dream is of the Lord, he has already delivered it!

What did they have to do? 

3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” 7 And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD.”

A General who goes to his church told them recently about how a perfect plan never survives contact with the enemy. And this is the first battle of the promised land. How about a better plan?

Battering rams? catapults? That makes sense!

What’s this about?

A new way of praying?

Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God, and God fighting for you.

Pray like it depends on God – and he will begin to fight for you! He will make things happen that there’s no way you could have done it.

So they go round in circles…


Marking their territory? 

cf your dog! Staking claim to something. How do we do that? By prayer. Jericho was a 12 acre city, 50 foot walls, 10 feet thick. Intimidating place! First lap they’d feel foolish. 400 years in slavery. 40 more in exile. Then the second lap is a bit faster. Walk and pray – helps you not be distracted. Holy confidence grows as they step out. By the seventh day, they are ready for a holy roar. ‘This place belongs to the Lord.’

They marked out not their territory, but GOD’S territory.

When you don’t know what you’re doing – you have to pray!

And all the promises of God are for you! They are YES and AMEN. Our problem is not over-claiming.

We are not meant to just read the Bible, but to pray through it. When you come to a Promise – CIRCLE it and pray it! Claim it as a promise.

The enemy has taken so much of our property and the Lord wants it back. Mark our territory. Circle it. Matt 18:18. What you bind and loose on earth is bound and loosed in heaven. Put spiritual contracts in place. Pray and pray through.

The most important thing to do this year? Work out how to pray more. Not laying your agenda before God. Discover God’s agenda for YOU.

Doing Reconnaissance. 

Gathering information and intelligence. Prayer is how we do this. The Reticular Activation System in your brain determines what you pay attention to and notice. cf Set Life Goals. You probably won’t achieve goals you never set. When you pray you start noticing things – everything. Col 4 – pray, be watchful and thankful…

When you pray you’ll se first and further. Do Recon.

Reading is a form or recon. Conferences is recon. But the best way? Prayer. the still small voice – where you perceive the imperceptible. I’d rather than 1 God idea than a 1000 good ideas. Where do you get them? Pressing into God.

Keep Going.

What if they gave up on circle 5? Some of you have been circling so long. The dream hasn’t been fulfilled. How to write a book? Do a 40 day fast of entertainment. Pray and write till the book was written. Have a deadline. that’s a lifeline for your goals. I’m not coming out of this circle till you do it.

He was once asked, ‘If you had to describe yourself in one word what would it be?’ He said at 22, ‘Driven.’ Thought it was a good answer.

But he was taught how to kneel by his father-in-law, who always had to have new patches in his trousers and kept on keeping on.

We want to take just one trip around Jericho and wondered why they never got the miracle.

Mother Dabney – talked about, coined phrase-  ‘Praying through.’ keep praying!

Until recently, he always added (unconsciously) ASAP on his prayers. ‘God would you do this, ASAP.’ I want God to do it yesterday.

Now he has a new acronym for prayer.


As Long As It Takes.

In fact, let it be long enough and hard enough that I’m not at all tempted to take any credit for it for myself.

Are you willing to pay the price?

Acts 2:41 – 3000 people baptised in one place, That’s a goal. One day, as long as it takes.

100 years ago, Gypsy Smith. Never went to school, yet lectured at Harvard. Went to the White House, preached to more than a million people. Powerfully used of God. They asked him, ‘How?’

How does revival come?

He said, ‘Go home, lock yourself in your bedroom, lock yourself in, draw a circle around yourself – fervently and brokenly for God to send a revival to everything in that circle.’

That’s our job.