I love to read – it is one of my favourite past-times. Sometimes I just like to read a good old fashioned fantasy or fiction novel, but other times I like to read deep spiritual or inspirational books that challenge my thinking, teach me new things, or help me grow.
One of my favourite topics of study is prayer, and I would daresay that I have well over a whole shelf dedicated to books on this topic.
This past week, I picked up Max Lucado’s latest book Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer. I was very much challenged and encouraged by this book, and wanted to share with you some of my favourite quotes from the book:
“We have our doubts about prayer. And we have our checkered history with prayer: unmet expectations, unanswered requests. We can barely genuflect for the scar tissue on our knees. God, to some, is the ultimate heartbreaker. Why keep tossing the coins of our longings into a silent pool?”
“Jesus ascended the mountain (of prayer) depleted. He reappeared invigorated… Do you think the disciples make the prayer-power connection? “Lord, teach us to pray like that. Teach us to find strength in prayer. To defy storms in prayer. To come off the mountain of prayer with the authority of a prince.”
“It seems to me that the prayers of the Bible can be distilled into one. The result is a simple, easy-to-remember, pocked-size prayer:
- you are good.
- I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
- They need help.
- Thank you.
- In Jesus’ name, amen.”
“Jesus waits on the porch. He stands on the threshold. He taps… and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is to open it. Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart. The willing pull. The happy welcome to Jesus: “Come in, O King. Come in.”
Jesus taught us to being our prayers by saying, “Our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). More specifically, our “Abba in heaven.” Abba is an intimate, tender, folksy, pedestrian term, the warmest of the Aramaic words for “father.” Formality stripped away. Proximity promised. Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy… Become as little children. Carefree. Joy filled. Playful. Curious. Excited… Come to God the way a child comes to Daddy.”
“Friend, it’s a stormy world out there. Every day brings turbulence. Moody economy. Aging bodies. Declining job market. Increasing street violence. The question during these troubling times is this: Do we have a good pilot? The resounding response of the Bible is yes!”
“Question: If your unresolved guilt manifested itself in tattoos, how marked up would you be? … Dig around in the basement of our souls, and what do we find? Wasted years. Perversions. Destructive diversions. Anger at parents or exes. Selfishness. Arrogance. Racial slurs. We’ve cheated on exams, cheated on friends. The consequences can be ugly.”
“We live in a guilt-laden world. But there is a population of people who have discovered the grace of God. They don’t drink their guilt away, work it away, or chase it away. They give it away. God wants you to be among them. The time has come for a clean start, a fresh slate.”
“This is intercessory prayer at its purest, a confluence of paucity and audacity. Father, you are good. They need help. I can’t, but you can… How much more will God do? He never sleeps. He’s never irritated. When you knock on his door, he responds quickly and fairly.”
“Nothing pleases Jesus as much as being audaciously trusted.”
- I encourage you to join Max Lucado on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer in this book Before Amen.