Genre: Christian non-fiction, prayer.
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.
Litfuse Publicity Group Blog Tour: Before Amen.
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.
Praying when there is a problem or an emergency is the most common time people pray. The busy life we live pushes free moments away when we could talk to God as we would talk to a friend. Prayer can make us feel clumsy, feeling as if we're using the wrong words. We don't know if we should be formal or relaxed. If we're too relaxed does this mean a disrespectful attitude to God.
Max Lucado reminded me that "the first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested."
In patience, clarity, and transparency, Max teaches us how to pray. He uses a formula that is easy to remember and follow.
The first step is "Father." Calling on the name of our heavenly Father.
"Prayer is conversation with God." Page 10.
Max Lucado is a teacher, writer, pastor, who any type of learner can understand. He speaks "plain" as my dad used to say.
I appreciate Max expressing his own frustration at praying. He stated he has a tendency to fall asleep while praying. I'm reminded that once upon a time, my prayer time was right before I fell asleep at night, and most of the time I fell asleep before ending the prayer.
In chapter one Lucado reminds me that God waits for me.
"Jesus waits on the porch. He stands on the threshold. He taps...and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is to open it. Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart." Page 11.Lucado reminds me at several points in the book to go to God first, not after a disaster.
My favorite chapter is on intercessory prayer. Lucado declares, we "actually have a 'seat with [Christ] in the heavens (Ephesians 2:6).'"
Before Amen, is not a theologically deep book on prayer, and I don't believe it's meant to be, the book is written for a large audience of readers who need help in prayer.
The book has a study guide included for small group or individual study. My advanced reader copy does not show this feature.
If you are looking for a basic book on prayer fundamentals Before Amen is a great choice. If you are wanting a deeper look in to prayer, I recommend With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray. Another wonderful book is by E.M. Bounds simply titled Prayer.