Friday, October 16, 2015

{Book Review} "Before Amen" by Max Lucado

In Before Amen, Max Lucado explores the power of prayer. He begins by reminding readers that God is our Father who desires continuous conversation with all of His children, not just those who feel confident about their praying ability. Lucado believes that remembering this fact alone can transform one's prayer life. Lucado structures Before Amen around a simple “pocket prayer.” Lucado encourages readers to utter this prayer in times of trouble and times of joy; it is a prayer for any and every occasion.
Throughout the book, Lucado reminds readers that there is no wrong way to pray: “Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, a sincere heart cannot mis-pray” (p. 18). By simply praying, Christians can move from being “prayer wimps” who are afraid to pray or fear they are doing something wrong to “prayer giants” who are in constant, sincere communication with their Father. Lucado asserts that the “pocket prayer” eliminates the need for perfection and encourages readers to be in constant communication with God.
Lucado's conversational writing style makes this book an enjoyable read. While writing on the serious subject of prayer, he manages to insert humor through the telling of personal stories. Each story illustrates a point and resonates with readers. The last third of the book consists of a study guide written by Jenna Lucado Bishop, with sections corresponding to each chapter of the book and containing Bible verses for further study, personal application questions, and activity suggestions (e.g., writing down prayer requests, verses to memorize, etc.). Before Amen is a worthwhile read because it reminds readers of God's presence. Of course, Christians know that God cares, but this short book serves as a crash course in just how much God desires to be a great presence in His children's lives. This is a book every Christian should read–“prayer wimps” will be blessed by its simple explanation of prayer and the reassurance that one cannot pray incorrectly, and "prayer giants" will be encouraged to keep growing in their prayer lives.

I received a complimentary copy of Before Amen from Thomas Nelson for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. This review was originally published in the Christian Library Journal at

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