Saturday, August 30, 2014

Before Amen by Max Lucado

Before Amen by Max Lucado, author of You'll Get through This and many other books is among the most uplifting and practical books on prayer that I have  read. Max Lucado books will never disappoint when you are expecting encouragement in times of severe distress or looking for motivation. This book specifically helps those who are enduring really difficult times, to endure and persevere. This book is for those who need to be convinced on the effectiveness and importance of prayer. Max Lucado address real issues- job loss, terminal illness, grief and loss. This book is designed to help those who are suffering from extreme circumstances as well as every day circumstances.   If you are bellyaching because you burned your husband's dinner, or the grass stain won't come out of the soccer uniform, or if missed an appointment for your pedicure, or your favorite coach bag sold out before you reached the mall, then this book isn't for you.  What you need is a fluffy, superficial, condescending, feel- good, women's devotional book with an image of a $6 cappuccino or a photo of a quaint Martha Stuartesque vase of garden blooms.  But, if you truly suffer from life's heartaches, if you truly need to depend on prayer as if it is your lifeline, then this book  will offer the comfort and help you need.

The cover is peaceful, serene and typical of devotional and Christian self- help books.  But don't let the mainstream cover decieve you.  This book preaches faith and the practical and miraculous power of prayer. Even the most apathetic of reader will be moved to prayer and with great faith to boot.

In true Lucado fashion, Max writes in an animated, easy to understand style that communicates biblical truths to the reader. His books bring bible stories and biblical truth to life in an inspirational way that speaks out to the reader.  He talks about real personalities and heroes from the bible and applies them to the modern day.

Lucado speaks truth to those in desperate need using poignant yet practical advice -which addresses the distress can drain our emotional, physical and spiritual resources.  Even the most discouraged and distraught reader will respond! He breaks down prayer, simplifies it and dissects it, without taking away its truth and meaning.  Lucado has an amazing way of taking something and redefining it for the modern reader without detracting from truth.  This book dissects line by line a simple prayer, "the pocket prayer", dedicating one chapter to each line starting with "Father..." and ending with "Amen".  He breathes new life into overused words that may have become devoid of meaning.

His animated language is known to draw in the reader who needs a quick burst of thought.  From other works- "Catch God in a bad mood? Won't happen. Fear exhausting his grace? A sardine will swallow the Atlantic first. Think he's given up on you?" ..... Lucado's use of colorful language in this book and his conversational tone, make it so that biblical truths are memorable and meaningful to the average modern reader. This inspirational book will be certain to leave the reader with a lasting impression. In today's self centered society, without offense Max Lucado illustrates the importance of living life based on biblical principles. After reading this book, and really meditating on the biblical truths communicated via Max Lucado, one can feel a renewed sense of empowerment to live a selfless life style. Max makes use of personal anecdotes as well as bible stories to illustrate the importance of depending on God rather than on the material things of this world .He talks about divorce, stillbirth, incarceration, cancer, job loss and any other tragedy you might experience.  I am sure any reader can relate to at least one of the anecdotes of dire straits that Lucado shares.  If you are  looking for an apologetic defense on the purpose of defending God in the face of general evil then this book isn't for you. But, if on the other hand you are looking for bible based motivation and a relief while enduring extreme dire circumstances in a heartless world that centers in  materialism, selfish ambition and competition, then this book is perfect.

This book is the perfect spiritual salve for those experiencing intense pain and grief!!!  This is a book to read and return to- it won't collect dust on a book shelf. The ending includes guided questions for reflection for greater interaction and study.   As a blogger for Litfuse publicity I received this book, an ARC, from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for writing an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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