"Prayer takes problems out of the domain of the devil
and into the presence of God."
Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer
I sat at the kitchen table this afternoon deep in thought as to what I would write for my book review of Max Lucado's Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer as my six year old son walked up to me.
"What is this book about mom? Before Amen? What does that mean? Like when you pray?" he asked.
"Yes son, this book helps tell people how to pray when they don't know how to start or what to say" I answered.
He picked the book up in his hands and thumbed through the pages with a curious look on his face. "Sure is a lot of stuff in here on prayer."
I sat there and thought how to him, this could sure look like a lot when actually it's only about 100 or so pages. Really it is one of the smallest books I have read in a while. The point of the book is to take prayer back to the basics. Lucado tears down the eloquence of long and unnecessary frills that we tend to put into prayer. Really, it's not that complicated as my son seemed to think the book implied. Max Lucado does a really good job of reiterating that throughout the theme of his book.
He starts with a simple "Pocket Prayer", as he calls it, that is easy to memorize:
you are good.
I need help. Heal me and Forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Then the chapters that follow break each line down into how it could apply to our individual prayer needs. Using examples, scripture and personal anecdotes to support his pocket prayer, Lucado, does a fabulous job of reminding us the power prayer holds despite it's length or bravado.
All prayer really is, is our communication vehicle between us and God. If we began to think of it more as a conversation than a "prayer", it wouldn't seem so intimidating. Having a relationship with God really is that simple. My six year old son seemed to think so too and Jesus asked that we become like these little children. With our raw, honest and open words and emotions poured out and sincere devotion mixed in, you have a recipe for a successful prayer life and a two way street for you to speak to God and Him to respond.
The chapter on "Heal Me", was my favorite. It gave healing, whether it be physical, emotional or mental, an entirely new perspective. Lucado explains we can get healed instantly, gradually or ultimately. When someone is healed ultimately, that is when they get promoted to heaven. What a joy this brought to my spirit when I thought about some recent deaths in the family and those of my friends that have happened over the last six months or so.
The book was short, but powerful. An easy read but a MUST-READ. Lighthearted but with much depth to the words on the pages. Even the end, David Drury adds a section entitled "Prayer Strengths" that I thought could have been a whole other book if expounded upon. I thought it was a great tool to discover what your personal prayer style was and how one might be able to not improve, but enhance their personal prayer life. I really don't want to give too much away...you must read it for yourself.
I do have to add though...the Study Guide at the back of the book was a bit too simplified for me. I believe it could be a powerful resource for a brand new Christian or to use in a youth group. But for your older Christian with a pretty established prayer life...it could insult your intelligence a bit.
That said, it doesn't stop me from recommending this book to everyone. It's a great reminder to stop and think about what you say when you pray.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.
I am also giving away a copy of Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer, please enter below!
Disclosure: This blog was posted in request for a book review. I received a free copy of Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer by Family Christian store. The opinions of this blog and review belong entirely to me and in no way reflect on Family Christian.