Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson)
Spiritual giants who pray without ceasing, pray without doubt and pray without fail in all circumstances don’t need to read this book. The rest of us do.
Max Lucado, the popular author and pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, candidly characterizes himself as a “prayer wimp” who gets distracted easily. For others who find themselves with the same problem—or other issues that hinder their prayer lives—he offers a helpful aid.
Based on the Model Prayer Jesus gave his disciples and other examples of prayer in the Bible, Lucado provides what he calls a “Pocket Prayer” anyone can remember and adopt as their own: “Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.” In nine brief chapters, he elaborates on each phrase in the Pocket Prayer, providing personal anecdotes that will resonate with most readers.
The final third of the book is labeled a “study guide,” but it’s really a “put-it-into-practice guide.” The guide offers interactive exercises designed to encourage application, built around the acronym P-R-A-Y: Personalize, Reflect, Abide and Yield. The guide is ideal for personal devotions, but it also could be used effectively in a small-group study.
Spend time reading Before Amen. Then, spend time in prayer.
Ken Camp, managing editor