Before Amen by Max Lucado Review

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I grew up in church, I never missed a Sunday or Wednesday. I was always there when the doors were open.  I listened to the teachings, sang in the choir, and did everything I needed to do to have a relationship with Jesus, but one thing was missing, prayer.

Prayer has always been a little confusing to me.  I always thought I was praying wrong, or not long enough, or too long and not being sincere.

What is prayer? I know we need prayer to communicate with Jesus, but what is it really? A conversation, a song, cry, or a plea?

I have always thought that my prayers had to be long  or God wouldn’t hear them, that somehow he would punish me if I didn’t pray just right. I never felt like my prayers were good enough. I just wasn’t enough.

To be honest I am struggling to write this post. I compare myself to others, and care a little too much at times about what people think. I have the same problem with my prayer life. I find myself comparing my prayers to those of others. They articulate so well, they don’t even have to think about what they are praying, it flows so freely.   Here I sit, face flushed, heart rate up, and trying to think my whole prayer out in my head so I don’t mess up. Sound familiar?  I was a mess.

Max Lucado’s book “Before Amen” has taught me that I am enough. My Daddy Jesus loves me even though I am a mess, he is there anytime I need him.  I am His and no one can change this. He doesn’t care what I sound, or look like.

He loves my mess.

Max Lucado introduces himself as a recovering prayer wimp in his book “Before Amen“, I can relate. I can be a wimp and use that as an excuse to not try.

He shared the pocket prayer, which is simple yet so powerful.  Father, you are good. I need your help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.  Even though this prayer is small, God listens to every word .  I no longer need to feel like my prayers are not good enough. God will teach me how to pray, I just need to start praying, even if it is small. He just wants to hear from me, and have communication.

The word small reminds me that I am His child. He is my Daddy, my Father. He’s not someone who looks down on me. He has his arms wide open ready to catch me when I mess up. I always tell my children “there is nothing that you can do to change my love for you”.  God sees us the same way. He is there to cheer us on, hold us when we cry, and He hears every prayer lifted up.

I love this quote from “Before Amen”: ” 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 my prayer is my Daddy, then I have hope.”   I finally understood, He wants me, He wants to hear my heartache, He wants to hear my thoughts no matter how silly I think they are.

I am enough for him.

I needed to know this

I climbed in my bed and began to cry one morning, and told him how I felt. I finally connected with my Daddy Jesus, I felt like his little girl and He loved me. It was transforming and I will never forget it. He is good.

God is fast to remind me that what seems big to me, is simple and easy for him to fix.  If I come to Him first with everything in prayer I can face the world.  Nothing is too big nor too little for him. From helping my children to get along, to healing my husband from cancer.

When we go to Him first with our heart in prayer we allow God to step in and perform His miracles in our life. “Take your problem to Jesus”.   God keeps his promises to us, we just need to ask for them.  We need to hand our struggles over to Him, and  have the faith that His words are true. He will take care of us. Our Daddy Jesus never lies to us.

My prayer is that God becomes real to you, and you find that you are enough through praying to Him. Amen.

After I read “Before Amen” I closed the book, and got really excited.  I understood why Family Christian made this their book of the year.  It transforms your prayer life, you will never pray the same again. I am starting to read this book together with my family as a devotion, I want to share with them the power of prayer.

There is a study in the back of the book that goes along with each chapter by Jenna Lucado Bishop that helps you to look inward, and transform your prayer life.  If I could recommend one book this year to read it would be “Before Amen”.  Max Lucado has a way with words that connects his readers to God in a way that makes God so approachable, and for this I am thankful for his talent. I needed to remember this, my God is approachable. Thank you Family Christian for the opportunity to review Before Amen by Max Lucado.

Before Amen” by Max Lucado is available for purchase from Family Christian.  There is also a DVD study for small groups.  I encourage you to pick it up, read it, and come back here to share what you have learned about prayer, I would love to know how your prayer life was transformed.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

    • says

      Dede I totally understand about not feeling like I don’t teach my children enough. I remember though that they see our struggles and how we handle them, we are the biggest example to them. I have shared with my children my own struggle with prayer. I think just being real with them is the best thing we can do. God bless!

  1. says

    I feel the exact same way! I always felt like I was not doing it right. I also feel like my prayers will come across as insincere. And the funny thing is, after reading this, I think our biggest critic is not who we are praying to, but ourselves. Thanks for being brave enough to post about this! I feel so much better already about praying. =)
    Jessica recently posted…30 Day Neat & Tidy ChallengeMy Profile

  2. says

    Beautiful post, I too was raised in Church however I was different from you in That I felt very comfortable with prayer but soo out of place in the church. I never felt I fit in. But with prayer for me it was like I was talking to my best friend, a person that knew me better than I knew myself. That relationship and conversations I had with God is what gave me strength to know that I did matter and I was enough. I (as all of you) are created in “his” image….that’s why we are more than enough :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    Kelly recently posted…“Amazing Grace”My Profile

  3. says

    I believe what can be inferred before Amen is “Father” or “Daddy” - I believe God knows what’s on our heart but long for us to be transparent with him even in the messes and the fouls and the things we try our hardest to hide. A parent knows-as our father knows and he will not shun us because of such confessions.
    Kimberly Bolden recently posted…He Writes My Story – A TestimonyMy Profile

    • says

      This was one of the first posts that I have had to sit on and take a few days to know how to convey what was on my heart. I am blessed by Family Christian to have these opportunities and I am thankful. :)

  4. says

    It’s actually nice to read that I am not alone in being curious about prayer - of what it is exactly at times. I feel the same way…where you said, “What is prayer? I know we need prayer to communicate with Jesus, but what is it really? A conversation, a song, cry, or a plea?”
    Sometimes I just think…”Am I doing enough, am I doing it the right way?” So it’s a little more comforting hearing that others (like you and Max) even question some things. :)
    It was great reading this post Alana! I always love your blog. :)

  5. Vicki F says

    Thank you so much for such a thought provoking review. This one is definitely on my ‘must read’ list. What wonderful encouragement about our prayer life.

  6. says

    great review of an incredible book. Questioning is something I do every single time I pray. Did I say it right, were my words enough, were they right, ??????
    After reading this book, I was made so aware, that it doesn’t matter the words I use, as long as I know I’m talking to God, and then believe that what I have said, is what He heard and will answer.
    You speak He listens, He speaks You listen.
    Loved this book so much Thank you for your blog. I am enjoying reading it Headed to go read your 40 days series. It was intriguing when I first saw it!
    Visiting from #FCBlogger
    Laura Hix recently posted…The Advocate – Randy Singer and a GiveawayMy Profile

  7. says

    I’m reminded from you that prayer requires humility, in that it’s not our show. It’s all about God as the listener and how wonderful it is that we have Him to go to. I used to be a part of church where prayer was very loud and showy and nerve wracking. Some were so “gifted” in belting out prayers and I would cower and worry that I wouldn’t get it right. I want to get back to a very simple prayer life. My husband and i will pray together but not as often as we could. I’m thinking I might get this for my husband for Valentine’s day as a start and reminder for us to be in agreement.
    [email protected] recently posted…The Vine, A Wine Bar and Restaurant in East NashvilleMy Profile

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