Book Review: Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children

As a brand new father to my daughter, Ava, life is very different and full of different responsibilities that I am still adjusting to.

I have a new area that I need to learn and grow in quickly, PARENTING.

As a Kids’ Pastor I have dabbled in topics of parenting, but having a child has made this area in the forefront of my mind and heart.

I want to be the best father I can be and learn everything I can about parenting so I can give the best to my wife and to my daughter.

To help me learn about parenting and being a father I was given a gift at Christmas. It was Mark Batterson‘s book, Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children. I know a crazzyyy long title!

It was a great book to read when starting a family and adding children into your lives. It speaks to the foundation of what parenting is about and what parents should be instilling into the lives of their children. Batterson makes you realize the importance of your role as parents and the skills to set you in the right direction.

Quick Hitters

In this section of the book review, I will point out some sections of the book that I especially liked and will try to use in my own life, character, and/or ministry.

1. “As a parent you cannot practice the spiritual disciplines for your kids. You have to practice them with your kids.” 

As our children grow we have to involve them in spiritual disciplines. We cannot just model how to pray, but we have to give them the opportunity to pray. Batterson talks about your children being spiritually codependent. Parents primary role is to instill personal faith into the lives of their children. This is why so many teens and young adults leave the church and abandon their faith. Their parents have shown them how to have a relationship with Jesus, but have not cultivated a faith inside of their children.

2. “If you repeat them often enough, those truths will get integrated in your child’s way of thinking and way of life.”

Coming up with a prayer mantra is life changing. Praying a specific prayer of your child will help shape your child’s future. Your child is looking to you to help define who they are and help shape their character. As they hear the same prayer every day it will make a lasting impact on them. As we pray, I believe, that the Lord will bless us and take care of our children. Come up with a simple prayer that you pray over your child multiple times a day. Great times to pray are in the morning, at bedtime, in the car, and at the dinner table. God answers the prayers of the faithful.

3. “Your devotion to God will lay a foundation and set a standard for your children to build on.”

The next generation is better, faster, smarter, taller (fill in the blank) than the last generation. You have the choice as parents to help set your children up for success in their relationship with Jesus and in their prayer life. Your spiritual life will directly change the next generation and the next generation. What an important thought. The Bible talks about this concept in Judges 2:10, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” How you pray will dictate how your kids prayer and how your grandchildren pray and how your great-grandchildren will pray.

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1. “As a parent you cannot practice the spiritual disciplines for your kids. You have to practice them with your kids.” 

2. “If you repeat them often enough, those truths will get integrated in your child’s way of thinking and way of life.”

3. “Your devotion to God will lay a foundation and set a standard for your children to build on

Praying Circles Around the Lives of your Children is foundational to parenting and I recommend it to all parents out their. Its never too late to start a spiritual prayer revolution in your family and change your family tree.

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