Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Lion Book of Prayers to Read and Know

The Lion Book of Prayers to Read and Know is a brightly illustrated volume of simple prayers for various occasions. The book includes prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and forgiveness, as well as sections on "choosing the right way," "praying for one another," "praying for the world," "praying as Jesus taught," and "blessings." The prayers are a mix of biblical paraphrases, original prayers by the author, Sophie Piper, and traditional prayers (primarily Anglican).

Each section of the book is introduced by a two-page spread offering tips and wisdom about the topic. For example, in the "Forgiving and forgiven" section, we read, "Not hitting back can end a fight," "To forgive is to begin to put things right," "Gentle words can end a quarrel," and "People who are kind and friendly make the world more fun." Each statement appears next to a text-specific illustration, featuring modern children enacting the theme of the statement.

Each section is an inclusive blend of original prayers, prayers based on biblical passages, and simplified traditional prayers. The illustrations are bright, multicultural, and engaging. Children from all over the world are shown in many aspects of daily life. (For example, walking the dog, fishing, at a picnic, in bed, etc. . . .) Children with disabilities are also included.

What I Like: I love the illustrations. They immediately caught my eye, and interested both my two-year-old and my six-year-old. They are colorful, and do a good job of illustrating the prayers. This makes it easier for younger children to grasp the place prayer has in our lives.

I also like the way the biblical passages are paraphrased. A thanksgiving prayer based on Job says,
"Dear God,
When everything is going wrong, I sometimes wonder why you let bad things happen.
But then you open my eyes to the majesty of your world, and I know once more that you are far greater than I can imagine, and I believe once more that your love and goodness will not be overcome."

I especially appreciate the theology in this book. The sections on "forgiving and being forgiven" and "choosing the right way" explain the way Jesus works in our lives is such a simple manner, but the truths Piper explains are profound. I was touched by these prayers, even though children will easily be able to apply the prayers to their own situations. Also, the prayers for others include meaningful prayers "for those who are sad and . . . grieving." The section on praying for the world gently teaches children how to pray about injustice, poverty, war and violence.

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: Publisher lists 5-7, but all of my children like it (ages 2-9)

Publisher Info: Lion Children's, 2010; ISBN:978-0-8254-7898-7 ; Hardcover, $12.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $11.04.

Special Info: Jesus is pictured a couple of times, with a white robe and blue sash, looking mostly Caucasian.

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