Ever start praying only to discover you’re making your grocery list or adding to your to-do’s list??? Distractions-a-plenty bust up a prayer faster than you can yell, “Help!!!”
Satan’s M.O. is distractions. He specializes in keeping you from prayer because prayer makes him run. You’d think we’d be more mindful of that little fact. (As I’m typing on my laptop, incoming emails pop up in the corner of my screen, just as a petite irritating example!)
I have a new little prayer journal that’s so portable I throw it in my purse or my Bible study bag. But….it gets buried and forgotten because of so many other things. Frustrates the tar outta me. Can you relate?
If you can relate, seems you and I are in good company with none other than well-known author, speaker, and preacher Max Lucado. He begins his book Before Amen—The Power of a Simple Prayer with:
“Hello, my name is Max. I’m a recovering prayer wimp…distractions swarm like gnats on a summer night…When I pray, I think of a thousand things I need to do. I forget the one thing I set out to do: pray.”
Confession: Before I buy a book, I look for several things. Right or wrong, I judge a book by its’ cover. (!!!) See above how pretty this one is???
Secondly, of course, I consider the author. No challenge there. Think I’ve read every book Max has ever written.
Thirdly, I look at the endorsements. Never mind Max has seven pages of twenty-two stellar endorsements ranging from George Strait to Christine Caine. Can you say, “Variety”???
Kathie Lee Gifford, another of the endorsers, cracks me up. She says, “A new book by Max is like going back to your favorite restaurant. You know it’s going to be delicious because it never disappoints…” You go, Kathie Lee. I’m in your camp. (For proof, checkout another post on another one of Max’ books: Grace—More than We Deserve, Greater than We Imagine)
One of Max’ many gifts is writing so readers of any age can understand. He reminds us of the Disciples’ request to Jesus, “Lord, teach us how to pray!” Doesn’t that make you feel better, that the Disciples, who spent the most time with Jesus himself, asked Him how to pray?
Jesus’ life exuded prayer. He went away by himself many times to pray, sometimes spending all night long in prayer. (Mark 1:35, 6:46; Luke 6:12)
Max reminds us:
“Jesus prayed before he ate.
He prayed for children.
He prayed for the sick.
He prayed with thanks.
He prayed with tears…”
Jesus answered the disciples with what we know as the Lord’s Prayer. (Luke 11:1-4) Here’s a formula we all can remember:
Max dubs this “the pocket prayer”:
What’s so cool about this short-n-sweet prayer is Max parallels it to the Lord’s Prayer. In each of the nine chapters, he takes the prayer apart, phrase-by-phrase, showing us how to apply it to our everyday lives. More importantly, it’s something we can all remember!
Bonus: There’s a Study Guide at the end of the book for Bible study groups or Small Groups that’s excellent. It further expounds on each chapter with Scriptures to look-up in four sections spelling out the word “prayer”:
“Personalize, Reflect, Abide and Yield.”
Please join us Monday, April 25th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church for our last Book Club Meeting of the season. I’ll be sharing sweet tidbits from Before Amen before we dive into discussion.
In addition to the discussion, we’ll be having all kinds of FUN:
Potluck Supper – Please bring a dish if time allows.
Extra Special Door Prize valued at over $50.00!!! If you bring a friend, you and your friend will be entered in the drawing!
Bring any books you may have you’re no longer wanting for a Book Exchange! Take home a new book for summer reading! (Books not taken will go to the church’s annual Book Drive for Veterans.)
Finally, the BIG REVEAL for next Fall and Spring’s selections will take place with a couple of HUGE announcements, special guests, etc.!!! You do NOT want to miss this!
I’m excited to see you on Monday, April 25th! Pick up your phone RIGHT NOW and call a friend to come with you!!!
‘Til next time!
(Not to worry, we’ll return to our Spring Cleaning series soon!)