Two Books on Prayer

Fresh book reviews each week at sarahgeringer.com.

 

I’m writing about The Power of Prayer this month, and these two books fit right into that theme.

Start with Amen: How I Learned to Surrender by Keeping the End in Mind

Beth Guckenberger suggests starting with the end–Amen, So be it, Lord–to form the best prayer stance with God. She tells many colorful stories in a somewhat lyrical style to show how both starting with amen and not starting with amen produce different results.

About starting with amen, Beth writes:

If I could pray no other word ever again, I would be okay. Amen speaks affirmation and commitment. It says yes to a lifestyle where he is to be trusted and I can rest in him. When I talk to God, I start with amen, and, with it, we communicate intimacy and a sense of knowing.

She notes how Jesus often began his comments with the Hebrew word amenwhich appears in the Gospels almost seventy times. He had confidence in the Father, and he modeled confidence in prayer for us.

I enjoyed Beth’s balance of Bible stories with enhancements from the original contexts, and her personal stories as a missionary and foster parent. Her illustrations are rich, complex, and profound. This book is best sipped slowly and savored one chapter at a time so you are able to appreciate the deep meanings.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • Each time I say amen, it’s like lifting a huge barbell with my faith muscle. It simply makes me stronger.
  • He has treasures for me, hidden wealth in secret places, and I want to go there and hear him call me by name.
  • Every single time we put to death our natural selves and tap into our spiritual selves, we put God on display.
  • A prayer that starts with amen lets go. It pivots and feels conviction and makes course corrections. It’s an eager student and doesn’t care who gets credit.

Some of Beth’s insights have already made a significant impact on my prayer life. I am realizing that when I keep the end in mind, I have greater peace and hope. If you are looking for a contemplative book with rich stories to inspire your prayer lifeStart with Amen is for you.

 

A Journey to Victorious Praying: Finding Discipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life

This book is a practical resource covering every possible angle on prayer. Bill Thrasher writes as a teacher, and I appreciate his thorough approach, humble attitude, and worshipful standpoint.

Featuring 30 brief chapters perfect for daily reflection, this book could be used as a one-month prayer life restart manual. The book is written with sound theology and strong Bible emphasis, and it is enlivened with many stories from Bill’s life, the lives of his friends, and stories of great Christians in history.

These are my top ten favorite practical takeaways from the book:

  1. I can give God the first hour of the day, the first day of the week, and the first few days of every year in prayer, and he will completely transform my life. (Chapter 1)
  2. Prayer is helplessness plus faith. (Chapter 1)
  3. I need to see my temptations as a prompt for prayer. (Chapter 4)
  4. I can learn how to pray without criticizing. (Chapter 5)
  5. Our society is addicted to noise, and a fruitful prayer life requires a quiet space. (Chapter 7)
  6. I can gain comfort by knowing Jesus better in prayer. (Chapter 10)
  7. Daily prayer can lead to “soul happiness.” (Chapter 11)
  8. Scripture meditation can enhance my prayer life. (Chapter 11)
  9. The Bible shows me how to pray lovingly for unsaved people. (Chapter 11)
  10. Every temptation toward anxiety is a call to pray. (Chapter 25)

I need to read this book again to gain all the components I need for a revolutionized prayer life. Since it’s a compact, easy read, I plan to go through it one chapter at a time for the next 30 days and record one action step per chapter.

A Journey to Victorious Praying is leading me closer to God, giving me greater peace, and helping me love other people through a renewed prayer life.

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  • I’m always wanting to learn to pray more and I especially love the idea of starting with Amen. Thank you for these recommendations. I’ll be trying them out.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Debbie, I hope you will find them as thought-provoking as I did.

  • These both sound like good, practical helps for prayer, something we always need help with. My favorite: “Prayer is helplessness plus faith.”

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Barbara, thanks for your visit!

  • Wonderful suggestions. Great post. I would like to invite you to share it
    at the Fabulous party. These need to be shared. The party is over here:
    http://ourholidayjourney.blogspot.com/

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you for the suggestion! I went ahead and linked up today.

  • Karen Del Tatto

    I just recently discovered what Amen truly means and oh what encouragement there is in that important small word. Everything in Jesus is yes and Amen.

    I love books like that. Ones that we desire to read over and over again.

    Thanks so much for sharing these book reviews. 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Karen, I’m glad you liked these reviews! Blessings to you!

  • Susan

    “Start with AMEN” – funny I always say “Never say AMEN!!!”

    • Sarah Geringer

      Ha ha–you must not like endings very much. But I’m assuming you like continuous prayers!

  • I loved you book reviews on prayer. I think I will give them a read. I love the thought of starting with Amen. It makes a great deal of sense. Sharing on my prayer board. Thank you.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Maree, thanks for sharing this! Both books are treasure troves. Blessings to you!

  • I’m always happy to learn about new-to-me books. I love that idea of starting a prayer with “amen.” And your list of takeaways from the second book is awesome. First hour, first day…such a great principle! Tweeting and pinning!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Betsy, thanks for tweeting and pinning! I have some things to learn from you as you are a Pinterest queen!

  • These both sound like great books, but I decided that “A Journey to Victorious Praying” may be just what I need right now. I ordered it through your link and will share on social media. No one every feels like their prayer life is what it should be.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Donna, thank you very much for ordering it! It’s a great, humble teaching book and I hope it blesses you richly.

  • I never thought about starting my prayers with “Amen”! Thank you for sharing these great resources.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Barbie, I never thought about starting with Amen either, but it’s helping me grow in new ways. Blessings to you!

  • Wow! They both sounds like great books! I am especially intrigued by the thought of starting prayers with ‘amen!’

    • Sarah Geringer

      I have been using the phrase, “So be it, Lord,” often since I read the book. A great way to add God’s peace into your day.