LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails has received a number of e-mails in the last few days (see two of them below) regarding the issue of Anne Graham Lotz promoting circle making recently. This is taken from emerging church leader Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker. Please read 2 articles we have on circle making: The Circle Makers by Cedric Fisher and The Native Spirituality “Medicine Wheel” and The Circle Maker by Cree author Nanci Des Gerlaise. Also, in an article Lighthouse Trails wrote in 2008, we stated:
Billy Graham, and his son Franklin, will be speaking at the upcoming Catalyst Conference on October 8-9 . Possibly, the father/son Grahams are not aware of the teachings and the spirituality that the Catalyst Conference represents. Unfortunately, Catalyst will gain respect and audience by many trusting and unaware admirers of the Grahams for including them on their list of speakers.
One of this year’s speakers is Mark Batterson [author of The Circle Maker], lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC. Batterson . . . points readers on his website to Eckhart Tolle, a New Age guru who is currently being heralded by Oprah Winfrey. Batterson says that Tolle’s book, Practicing the Power of Now, is “instrumental in the way I think about life.” His public recommended reading list also includes several other New Agers and mystics: Jack Canfield, New Age mystic Daniel Goleman (The Meditative Mind), mantra-meditation promoter Gary Thomas (Sacred Marriage, Sacred Pathways), Leonard Sweet, Tony Jones, Brian McLaren, and several others who fall in the New Age and/or emerging/contemplative camp.
We hope those readers who turn to Anne Graham Lotz for spiritual teaching will contact her ministry and tell her about the problems with her promoting this emergent/New Age technique of “circle making.” In 2011, Lighthouse Trails contacted her ministry and sent her some materials regarding contemplative spirituality and the emerging church after learning that she and Kay Arthur would be sharing a platform with emergent leader Tony Campolo. We received a letter of thanks from her ministry for the materials but never heard whether she read them or not.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I had heard that Ann Graham Lotz would be putting forth a prayer for America for 2016. I just googled it and was literally appalled and sickened! What is going on?? WHERE is the discernment, even of those who have walked with the Lord for years? Or maybe I’m wrong. Below are the first few paragraphs of her prayer — you can google the rest if you wish and come to your own conclusions. However, Lighthouse Trails even has a few articles on this very subject. (And who is “Honi”??)
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I was very shocked when I read [Ann Graham Lotz’s] letter that she has sent out to her newsletter list. It includes some very strange and disturbing material from the book, “The Circle Maker.” I read the description of this book on Amazon when it was released and dismissed it as more New Age drivel and did not consider it Christian or biblically based material.
When I read that Ann is promoting this book and its story of a Jewish sage drawing a circle and asking God to bring rain, my radar went up. With a quick google look up on “prayer circles,” I confirmed that this is indeed an occultic practice and used in witchcraft. After then watching a video of the author explain his teaching, which I found on youtube, I was pretty shocked by what I heard. It is pretty obviously not biblical. Why do we need to invite God into a circle we draw when God is everywhere?? It was very easy to find this information out, and it is so strange to me why she would be promoting this formula, which is basically a spell.
EXCERPT FROM ANN GRAHAM LOTZ:
Pray with me today for one hour… as together we fast and Preprayer for the NEW YEAR.
* Please click here to listen to Anne pray this prayer.
The unmistakable sound of the Shofar could be heard coming from the wall surrounding Jerusalem, echoing across the sun-scorched valley. The blowing of the trumpet heralded great public distress and was used to summon the people. It was the first century B.C. and a severe drought was threatening the very existence of the city. So the city elders called for the people to gather outside the city walls. Then they sent for Honi.
Honi was an old man who, after this day, became known as the Circle-Drawer. Because when he was summoned, the elders asked him, “Pray that rain may fall.” Honi prayed, but nothing happened. So he drew a circle around himself in the dust of the ground, and prayed again, “O Lord of the world, Your children have turned their faces to me… I swear by Your great name that I will not stir from here until You have pity on Your children.”
The rain began to fall, one large drop at a time. But Honi protested, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns.”
In answer to his prayer, the heavens opened and the waters descended in a violent gully-washer that threatened to flood the city. So once again, Honi pleaded, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing and graciousness.” It is said, and recorded by the Jewish historian, Josephus, that in response to Honi’s third prayer, a long, soaking rain began to fall that ended the three-year drought.  Honi had prevailed in prayer.
As I look ahead into 2016, I feel compelled to draw a circle around this city, this state, this nation…and pray! Until God answers. Do the same. Please. On this first day of the New Year, draw your own circle. Then pray for everything that’s inside of it.