I received product and compensation for my honest review of Before Amen. All opinions are my own!
I don’t know about you, but it’s one thing in my personal walk with Jesus that I struggle with. It can be downright intimidating for me, whether I am praying in a group or on my own. A lot of times, when I am trying to pray, thoughts of, “you’re not good enough to talk to God,” or, “you’re saying the wrong thing. Think before you speak, Vanessa, geeze!” tend to pop up. Deep down inside, I know that these insecurities are not something that God wants me to have, and according to scripture, I AM good enough to be in conversation with him– but it’s just hard for me sometimes. And that stinks.
This month, I started reading a new book by Max Lucado that has really helped me to see that prayer doesn’t have to be perfect. Before Amen by Max Lucado (one of my favorite Christian authors by the way) talks about how you don’t have to be formal when addressing God– all he wants is you to call out to him and tell him your needs. He wants you as you are. He wants you authentic, and He wants you to run into His arms and call Him, “Daddy!”
In my personal life I tend to beat myself up over conversations and situations, and prayer is no different. Even in earthly relationships, I sometimes think that what I have to say is not that important. Not good. On page 7 of Before Amen, Lucado says, “Jesus invites us to approach God in the way a child approaches his or her daddy.” Yes, God is our father because he created us, but he’s also our father because he cares for us and wants to have that close relationship with us. I have a lot of respect and fear for the Lord, and sometimes I forget that I can just run into his arms during my prayers with him. I sometimes keep a distance when I am talking with him because of that. Yes– He wants us to show him reverence, but He also wants us to be close to him and he wants us to cast our cares upon him– no matter how big or how small. I must remember this in my daily life!
Before Amen is Family Christian’s 2015 Book for very good reason– it’s an excellent, light read that really gets you thinking about your prayer life. Lucado reaffirms what the scripture says about prayer and how we are to cast all of our cares on God through those prayers with relatable stories in his own life.
His discussion of placing our faith in God and taking all of our worries to Him in prayer really stuck out to me as I was reading it. On page 37 he writes, “An unprayed-for problem is an embedded thorn… Best to go straight to the person who has the tweezers.” He is so right. God tells us in his word to cast all our cares upon Him (Phil 4:6-7). We may tell others this is what to do in a situation, but do we listen to our own advice? I know I don’t. I sometimes like to drag my problems through the dirt until the mud clumps up and makes my problems 100 times heavier. That cliche term, “Let go and Let God” really is sound advice. He wants to take the weight off our shoulders. He wants us to call out to him and say, “Daddy, help me!”
His ways are better than ours, his thoughts our higher than ours. Why not cry out and put faith in the Man who knows us 100%, created us with such intelligence and died on the cross so we could have eternal life? It’s free for the taking.
I charge you, go get the book! It’s really great and a great prayer confidence-booster. And I am not just saying that because I was given a copy to review. There are some GREAT points on prayer and how your prayer life with God can be powerful and simple, all at the same time.