Monday, September 15, 2014

Before Amen

Max Lucado Before Amen

Book info and review
About the book: 

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.

My thoughts:  BEFORE AMEN arrived in the mail and my preacher/husband snagged it. I told him, I have to review this. You can have it as soon as I finish! He's like, when will that be? I said, it's due tomorrow.  He was happy. Especially as his Wednesday night sermon topics are on prayer. 

Okay, people call me a "Prayer Warrior."  I do pray. All the time. Nonstop. I pray as I go about my day. I have the Lord's Prayer memorized (and no, that is not what I pray all day long.)  I wasn't real happy to see the prayer simplified. "God, you are good. I need help. They need help. Amen." Really? What kind of a relationship are you going to have with someone when you communicate like that?  This isn't a text-message prayer we need to learn. This is real time, people! 

Max Lucado treats the whole topic of prayer, in my opinion, with a very cavalier attitude. Yes, God doesn't expect thees and thous. He wants a relationship. And again. If you communicated with your best friend like that, your relationship will go downhill fast. "Hi, BFF. You are good. I need help. They need help." Uh uh.  Not good. 

I also  (and again, this is my opinion, my husband disagrees) don't condone approaching the God of the Universe with a "Hi, Daddy!"  He may be our Father in Heaven.  He may be approachable, through Jesus. But He's not my daddy. He is my God. My Saviour. My Lord. To me, the "Daddy" reference to God really downplays who and what God is. 

If you do need help praying, this is a simple, easy to read, nonfiction book by acclaimed author Max Lucado. And he probably knows a lot more about the topic than I do.  I was offered the book in exchange for my honest opinion.  

I have read other Max Lucado books and enjoyed them.  

PS  My husband ended up saying this is a very superficial book. He was disappointed with it. 

PSS  I also forgot to mention the study guides, leader guides, etc available in case you want to use it in a small group study. 

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.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: 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: websiteTwitter,Facebook

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Carole Jarvis said...

Wow, you and I really think alike, Laura! I didn't choose to review this book because of too many other commitments, and I do enjoy his writing, but I totally agree with your thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Laura.

Judy said...

Thanks for your review Laura. This is a book I'll pass on. I believe prayer is more than "God, you are good. I need help. They need help. Amen." I don't pray that way. My prayers are more specific!

I met a man while waiting in Walmart this morning to pick up a prescription. He was sitting on a bench and when the lady in front of me stepped up to the window, he said to me, I'm next in line maam, I'm just sitting down because I had knee surgery recently. I said, thank you for letting me know you were waiting too. We got to talking and I found out his surgery was only 3 weeks ago. He said, I feel this one isn't doing as well as the other knee I had done over a year ago. I said, I hope it gets to feeling better. He got his prescriptions and as he was leaving I said to him, I believe in the power of prayer, I'll be praying for you. He said, I do too, thank you.

I immediately started to pray for this man and I will continue to do so. Chances are, I will never see him again. That's o.k. My prayers were heard!

Judy B

Unknown said...

Thank you for your honest opinion, Laura! It's refreshing to read that a cavalier approach to prayer is not appreciated by all! ;)
Kelly Y