Monday, 6 October 2014
Book Review: Before Amen by Max Lucado
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: Like all Lucado books, I found this to be a quick, yet thought provoking read. Somehow Lucado is able to hit home with solid truth, without coming across as a heavy book on theology (not that those don't have their place!). This is a book written to a large audience, to anyone who simply wants to talk to God as a child does with his dad, because that's what prayer is. Nothing in this book is revolutionary, or even anything new, but it's a simple reminder of things we know but have maybe forgotten.
Lucado sums up, and then unpacks, the Lord's prayer into short, pocket-sized prayers. Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.
Some of my favourite quotes from the book....
If prayer depends on how I pray, I'm sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, and if the One who hears the prayer is my Daddy, then I have hope.
The storm was bad, but the pilot was good....everything changes when you know the pilot.
The moment you sense a problem, however large or small, take it to Christ.
Jesus will heal us all ultimately. Wheelchairs, ointments, treatments, and bandages are confiscated at the gateway to heaven.
Confession is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.
More than a hundred times, either by imperative or example, the Bible commands us to be thankful. If quantity implies gravity, God takes thanksgiving seriously.
Prayer changes things because prayer appeals to the top power in the universe.....The phrase "In Jesus' name" is not an empty motto or talisman. It is a declaration of truth: My cancer is not in charge; Jesus is.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy