Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review - Before Amen by Max Lucado


We all pray . . . some.

We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.

But wouldn't we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?

Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.

We aren't the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.

And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn't we use the same?

In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online: website, Twitter, Facebook
This was a book that I just could not put down! I finished it in two sittings and just devoured it! 
This is one of the best books on prayer that I have read in a long time. It has no lofty wording that makes you afraid to pray or makes it feel like it's too daunting. It's practical and Biblical and definitely will help you pray, if you're struggling, or make your prayers even better if you're not. 
Mr Lucado introduces us to "The Pocket Prayer". It's a simple prayer but a great basis for praying to God as Jesus taught us. With this simple prayer, we can build our prayers and thanksgiving to God to pray for others as well as for ourselves. 
There was so much wonderful information in this book - I used the highlighter liberally as I read the book. One of the sections of the book is called "Heal Me". This really caught my attention because of my own health issues and there was one section where he speaks about when Jesus is going out of Jericho to go to Jerusalem for the Passover, he has a huge crowd with him celebrating. They are basically a parade! These two blind men cry out to Jesus for healing and, while the crowd wants them to be quiet, Jesus hears their cries and heals them. Here's the section that made me feel like Mr. Lucado was inside my mind: "This was a victory march, a day of triumph. Jesus was on an important mission. The people would have left the blind men on the side of the road. Sound familiar? Afflictions can sideline the sufferer. Everyone else has a place in the parade. You would join them if only...." This is exactly how I feel a lot of times. The entire book is like this - touching your heart and mind and helping you to know what and how to pray. 

This is a book I'm starting to read again. It's that good and that full of biblical wisdom on prayer. I highly, highly recommend this book for anyone who wants their prayer life to be better! It's also so full of encouragement and insight, you'll be blessed throughout the whole thing. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group
Pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29 and receive a FREE ebook copy of Max's best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.
Blessings - Julie

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