Book Review: Start With Amen

I really like Christian authors who challenge my way of thinking as a Believer. A fresh view on Scripture and Christian living is so refreshing.

When a friend suggested I join Beth Guckenberger’s Start With Amen Book Launch, I signed up blindly. I had never heard of Beth Guckenberger or her ministry. But I love book launch teams, so I was excited to participate! The publisher graciously sent me an advanced copy of Start With Amen in exchange for an honest review.

Once I looked up the premise of Beth’s book, Start With Amen, I was very intrigued. Her subtitle says, “How I learned to Surrender by Keeping the End in Mind”. As I read her book, I realized I’m a traditionalist; I end my prayers with “Amen”. I always have and I’ve never considered doing anything differently. Once I realized this; I knew Start With Amen would turn me upside down. I was right. It did.

Start With Amen challenged me right away. ┬áBeth starts her prayers with “Amen.” In Start With Amen, Beth says, “It starts with so be it. In the end, I surrender to him…The benefit of starting with amen is ultimately a release of control.” That got me. That was the moment where I finally understood what Beth was saying. So many times, I bring my problems to the Lord. My prayers wear me out with my pleas that I forget to surrender my problems to the Lord. Beth encourages her readers to start with Amen and as you pray, you surrender.

This is not to say that Start with Amen is dense; it’s not. It’s an easy conversational book ┬áthat flows seamlessly. Filled with deeply personal stories of Beth’s life and ministry and overflowing with Scripture; sometimes I felt like I was reading Beth’s journal. Her writing is vulnerable and it invites her readers to be vulnerable too. In between the stories, reflections and Scripture, Beth slips in those little nuggets that hit you hard. You know the ones where you have to set the book down and reflect and chew on those nuggets so they sink in and take root.

While the focus of Start With Amen is on “Amen”, what I kept gleaning from her book was that a relationship with God is about connection and not manipulation. This was the nugget I kept chewing on it. It was hard for me to consider that my prayers could be manipulative in nature, but since that was the theme I kept gleaning, the Lord was definitely working on my heart and changing me.

If you are looking for a book to challenge your prayer life, I highly recommend Start with Amen by Beth Guckenberger. It will challenge you, lead you to the Cross, and pull you in for a hug. Yes, Beth’s writing does all that. I cannot recommend Start With Amen enough. Grab your copy today! Be sure to check out Back 2 Back Ministries.

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