This is a review of a re-read. Every so many months, I check it out from my church library and give it a re-read as a check up on my prayer life. Yes, I have bought the book, more than one copy as a matter of fact, but I always end up giving my copy away to someone who needs it just as much as I do.
This week I re-read the simply structured book, saying “Um hum, ok” and “Hmm, not so good”… as I read. The model prayer, the pocket prayer, as the author calls it because it can fit in your pocket, is simple:
you are good.
I need help.
They need help.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
That’s it. All you need to effectively pray are in those lines. Each succeeding chapter is a meditation or musing upon each line in the Pocket Prayer. It begins with “Father” and thinks about what it means to have accessibility to God because He is our Loving Father. It is a first chapter rich with nuances and thought-provoking concepts.
My favorite chapter, perhaps because I am so big on, “Give me applications, so I can USE this…”is the one that presents the line, “They need help.” Lucado points out that when we see a Mom struggling with a screaming toddler, yanking her by the arm, we need to pray that line, “She needs help,” not be judgmental or condemning. Every morning when I go out to pick up my morning paper and maybe put mail in the box for the postman to pick up, I stand at the end of the sidewalk, paper in hand and look at each house on the cut de sac, praying that particular line, “They need help.” I look at and linger over each house, those families I know well and have known for a long time, and those I just wave at when I see them drive by. I pray specifically for needs I know about: illnesses in the extended families, broken or shaky relationships, small and demanding children and/or adolescents, whatever needs I know about. I give a generally “Bless them in whatever way they need at this time” request for houses whose occupants I don’t know by name or know anything about them, but see them often–going to work, taking the kids to school or getting their mail or papers in.
Every line has ways you can put that line to work in your prayer life, applications you can make and start doing that makes you feel a part of the Lord’s work.
Max Ludcado is my favorite inspirational author, and this practical, convicting, applicable book is one of his best.