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Praying Circles Around Your Marriage

Dream big, pray hard, and think long — together.

It's time to learn the relational truths in the legend of Honi the Circle Maker — a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not leave it until God answered his impossible prayer. The commitment made in the sacred circle of marriage requires the same kind of boldness and resolve as the Circle Maker. Honi's prayer saved a generation, and your prayers can transform your relationship.

Praying Circles around Your Marriage draws from the life-changing principles Mark Batterson outlines in his New York Times bestseller The Circle Maker. Joined by Pastor Joel and Nina Schmidgall who serve with Mark at National Community Church, the authors draw from personal stories, Scripture, and practical insight. You'll discover seven key prayer circles for your marriage: Vision Circle, Romance Circle, War Circle, Dance Circle, Support Circle, Storm Circle, and Legacy Circle.

Through these circles you will:

  • Discover your shared vision and find a new combined purpose together.
  • Turn the tables on conflict and access the gift of being known.
  • Be a student of your spouse and ensure a connected and intimate relationship.
  • Build a foundation for your marriage that will help you weather the trials that are sure to come.
  • Learn to draw a larger circle around your marriage so that your unified purpose can be a blessing to others.

The truth is this: what your marriage will become is determined by how you pray. Bold prayers honor God. God honors bold prayers. Praying Circles around Your Marriage will empower you and your spouse to identify your greatest dreams for the most important relationship in your life, and pray the kind of audacious prayers in which God finds delight. Foreword by Mark and Lora Batterson.



Reggie and Debbie Joiner

founder and CEO of Orange

"As they tell the story of their family’s journey, Joel and Nina Schmidgall give an insider’s view into the way they’ve drawn circles of prayer for their personal hopes and more. In the best times, those prayers have pushed them forward as a couple and as leaders. In the more difficult times, those prayers have been a backstop for a time of pause and reassessment. I’ve known them both for a very long time, and I know their commitment isn’t limited to a prayer closet but compels them to the corridors of power and the streets of desperation.
This book explains how."

Joshua and Michelle DuBois

executive director of the White House Faith-based Initiative under President Obama, CNN Commentator, and CEO of Values Partnerships

“Michelle and I are so excited for Praying Circles around Your Marriage, and we can’t wait for other couples to read this remarkable book. Pastor Joel and Nina Schmidgall have outlined how to create a joyful, prayerful fortress around your most important earthly relationship, keeping in and cultivating what is good and keeping out the things that harm. Their book will bless and inspire married couples, singles contemplating marriage, and pastors and leaders who work with couples. You don’t want to miss this very special book!”

Carey and Toni Nieuwhof

founding pastor of Connexus Church and author of Didn’t See It Coming

“Okay, true confession: I have a bias against marriage books because I think they make you feel guilty about yours. Good news: this is not that book. I am so glad Joel and Nina Schmidgall wrote this together. It’s honest, real, challenging, practical, and vulnerable. It also points you to a surprising solution far too many people ignore—prayer. You’ll love this book, and you’ll love Joel and Nina.”

Joseph R. Pitts

Former Congressman, Pennsylvania

"Your marriage will not only be strengthened, but you will experience great blessing if you practice daily prayer and Bible reading with your spouse."

Dick and Ruth Foth

coauthors of Known: Finding Deep Friendships in a Shallow World

“Joel and Nina Schmidgall have given us a profound gift—a handbook on prayer as the wellspring of biblical marriage. Engaged couples, newlyweds, and those, like us, who have passed the fifty-years- married mark need to read this book!”

Geoff and Sherry Surratt

authors of Together: A Guide for Couples in Ministry

“Joel and Nina Schmidgall are two of our heroes in ministry and in marriage. Their commitment to their family and their calling is unmistakable, and they approach both with a sense of responsibility and a sense of humor. This book opens the curtain for the rest of us to learn how prayer is the bedrock of that commitment. We’re excited to be able to read and apply these insights to our own marriage.”


Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson is The New York Times bestselling author of fifteen books, including The Circle Maker, All In, and Draw the Circle.

He is the lead pastor of National Community Church, one of the most innovative and influential churches in America. One church with seven campuses, 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. He and his wife Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.

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Joel Schmidgall

Joel Schmidgall is Executive Pastor of National Community Church (NCC) in
Washington DC.

He oversees the pastoral staff for NCC’s seven locations and pastors the Capitol Hill location. Joel founded and now serves as President of the board of the DC Dream Center, a community center committed to inspiring and equipping youth and adults to reach their God-given potential.

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Nina Schmidgall

Nina Schmidgall serves as Director of Family Ministry at National Community Church (NCC) in Washington DC.

Nina first moved to the nation’s capital to work for the United States Congress. Writing and directing education and family policy, Nina realized her deep passion for strengthening the family and the home. She oversees the family ministry department across all of NCC’s marketplace locations. Nina and Joel live on Capitol Hill with their three kids: Eloise, Ezekiel, and Lorenza.

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