All Bets Are Off

April 30, 2021


Mark Batterson Weekly Devo

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As I look over my shoulder, I’m grateful for the miracles God has done, and I’m keenly aware of the fact that every miracle has a genealogy. If you trace those miracles all the way back to their origin, you’ll find a prayer circle. Miracles are the by-product of prayers that were prayed by you or for you. And that should be all the motivation you need to pray.

God has determined that certain expressions of His power will only be exercised in response to prayer. Simply put, God won’t do it unless you pray for it. We have not because we ask not, or maybe I should say, we have not because we circle not. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.

Now here’s the good news: If you do pray, all bets are off. You can live with holy anticipation because you never know how or when or where God is going to answer, but I promise you this: He will answer. And His answers are not limited by your requests. We pray out of our ignorance, but God answers out of His omniscience. We pray out of our impotence, but God answers out of His omnipotence. God has the ability to answer the prayers we should have prayed but lacked the knowledge or ability to even ask.

During my prayer walk around Capitol Hill, I drew circles around things I didn’t even know how to ask for. Without even knowing it, I drew prayer circles around people who would one day come to faith in Jesus Christ at our coffeehouse on Capitol Hill that wasn’t even an idea yet.

Without even knowing it, I walked right by a piece of property at 8th Street and Virginia Avenue SE that we would purchase thirteen years later as a result of a $3 million gift that wasn’t even a prayer yet. Without even knowing it, I walked right under a theater marquee on Barracks Row, the main street of Capitol Hill, that we would renovate and reopen as our seventh location fifteen years later.

Those answers are a testament to the power of God and a reminder that if you draw prayer circles, God will answer those prayers somehow, someway, sometime. God has been answering that prayer for fifteen years, and He’ll keep answering it forever.  Your prayers have the potential to change the course of history. It’s time to start circling.

Excerpted from The Circle Maker published by Zondervan a division of Harper Collins.

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.


  1. Mary Lou Savovic on April 30, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    This is one of my most favoite books. I could read it 100 times and still be in awe of the power of prayer, circle prayer and I never tire of reading it.

  2. Melanie Watso on May 21, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I appreciate your words of faith & encouragement! Your teaching/explanations have enlightened me. Thanks, Melanie

  3. Tracey on May 28, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I agree that we have circled things in prayer not knowing when they will be answered. Glad to know he will, he shall answer according to his will. Thank for sharing it has given me a new perspective on what’s to come !

  4. Johnie Higgs, Sr. on May 29, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you so very much. I’m truly in agreement with “Not putting your circumstances before God, but putting God before your circumstances”. I’m currently reading one of your books, The Circle Maker.

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