By Paula Boire, writing as Sara L. Jameson
I’m studying The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson, a Christian pastor with a continent-sized faith to believe and pray into being, Holy Spirit-inspired modern-day miracles. Although the concepts Batterson presents in The Circle Maker exceed the limits of this blog, I’d like to touch on several of Batterson’s tenets: “dream big, pray hard, think long.” (p. 14 The Circle Maker) Think long . . . ah, a true ponderer.
Batterson believes in setting “God-ordained, God-inspired” goals that are quantifiable, specific, and discerned through a season of prayer and fasting. He likens our goals and dreams to the Israelites encircling the walls of
us to circle God’s Scriptural promises prompted in us by the Holy Spirit;
Scriptures that speak to those goals or challenges and to cover them in prayer
until we have our answer from the Lord. (Think
Daniel and the angel Gabriel detained because of spiritual warfare.) Jericho
We writers have our own Jerichos, walls that must crumble to see our dreams and goals realized. Perhaps it’s the dream of winning a literary award, signing with an agent or favor with an acquisitions editor or the publishing committee or mastery of an elusive craft technique or meeting a deadline.
Like those of us who are Type-A personalities, Batterson wanted his dreams fulfilled swiftly: “I didn’t want it to be the slow climb of an unknown writer out of obscurity. I wanted to write a New York Times bestseller. . . . I am genuinely grateful it took a dozen years and a half dozen unfinished manuscripts to finally publish my first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. If I had written it at twenty-five instead of thirty-five it would have been all theory and no substance.” (p. 141 The Circle Maker)
Obviously God has His own timetable for each of us as authors. For some, doors open at twenty-five; for others, perhaps at fifty or sixty or seventy.
For Batterson the non-specific dream of becoming a published writer yielded no results; his goal is to write twenty-five books, an NYT bestseller, and a work of fiction. The fruit of these projects form part of his spiritual goals of leading people to Christ and living off 10% of his income and giving 90% of the money to the Lord’s work. What are the prayer-divined goals God has given you?
Batterson’s motto: “Work as though it depends on you, pray as though it depends on God” and his admonition of the Scripture, “we have not because we ask not,” can encourage us as writers. (p. 177, The Circle Maker)
Where are your dreams today? Do you have specific God-given goals as a writer? Or are you wandering in the wilderness of indecision, plodding along on a “sometimes” manuscript, or uncertain of God’s direction in building your career as a writer? If so, may we circle you with prayer for a breakthrough?