Friday, June 24, 2016

A Lesson in Intercessory Prayer

Picture Book: How Do I Pray for Grandpa?
Author: Laura Alary
Illustrator: William Kimber
Summary:  Young Miriam learns that her grandpa has been rushed to the hospital. She prays fervently, but the next day she is confused because Grandpa is still sick. Her brother explains, “God is not like a bubble gum machine.” 
As she begins exploring the question of how to pray for Grandpa, Miriam experiences various methods of prayer. Her sister suggests they blow bubbles and fill them with good thoughts for Grandpa so that the wind (God’s breath) carries “our thoughts where they need to go.” 
Before bed she pictures her nightlight as God who fills the scary places with light for Grandpa. 
While watering flowers, she imagines God as water that Grandpa can “soak up into every part of him and grow strong again.” 
After snuggling with her mom, she imagines her grandpa in God’s arms “surrounded and held by love.” 
When her grandpa is better, Miriam asks her mom if her “prayers made Grandpa better.” Her mother reminds her that many people were praying for Grandpa and helps Miriam see that her prayers were for more than just healing. They were for him to not feel scared or alone. Her mother reassures Miriam that her prayers “made a difference to Grandpa and to all of us.” The book ends with Miriam experiencing God all around her and offering a simple, breath prayer of thanks.
Hanna’s Comments: This thoughtful and sensitive book about how to help children understand intercessory prayer offers fertile ground for rich conversation about God’s nature and prayer in particular. Laura Alary was the first author to do a PBT guest post. You’ll find the fabulous post hereLaura talked particularly about her journey toward writing picture books and what aspects of her faith inspired each book. Since that post Laura has written with Ann Boyajian Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter. Laura is a Canadian author so I’ve not been able to find her books in my library system. However, they are available on the internet. You might need to purchase a used one, but your children won’t mind and you will be pleased with the thoughtfulness of her stories and the ideas she explores.
Original Publisher & Date: Woodlake Publishing, 2014
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: …let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6); …if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to children in your faith family or family of origin when teaching about intercessory prayer.