A Children’s Book for Praying Parents (Book Review)

Turner, Matthew Paul. When I Pray For You. WaterBrook, Colorado Springs, CO. 2019. 48 pages.

I’ve recently seen my social media flooded with friends expecting a child, giving birth to a child, or celebrating a child’s birthday. In each post, the parents share the joy that swells their heart with the gift God has given them. Their love for their boy or girl is on clear display for all to see. But how can these parents put their love on display for their children to see? This is where Matthew Paul Turner’s new book When I Pray For You sets the stage.

Praying for Their Children

As the third book in a collection featuring When God Made You and When God Made Light, this book on prayer illustrated by Kimberley Barnes takes the blessings and concerns parents face in bringing a child home and beginning to see them grow into young men and women. The book gives parents the words to relay to their sons and daughters in how they are praying for them. The rhyming featured in this book makes it an enjoyable read and the colorful pictures aim to capture the child’s attention as their parent reads it along to them.

Content and Critiques

The book does an outstanding job equipping parents to pray for their children in various areas and seasons of life. Yet, for all it does in equipping parents in the content of such prayers, there are a couple of missing links. The first missing link is there is no mention of Jesus Christ throughout the book. To be sure God is used multiple times and Heaven is referenced too. However, in sharing with children about prayer, naming Jesus Christ seems of the utmost importance (see Hebrews 4:14-16). As well, the book does not appear to contain one explicit prayer for a child’s salvation. A couple of pages in the book may allude to it (one being parents praying for their children that “you’ll find purpose and meaning and a role in God’s plan”) but no clear prayer for their salvation is shared.

A Book for Praying Parents

These two critiques do not discount the encouraging nature of the book, and parents can still find value in reading this book to their children and sharing how they are praying for them. If you are a parent wanting to know how you can show your child the blessing they are to you and how you care for them, let them hear and see you pray for them and read with them When I Pray For You by Matthew Paul Turner.

I received this book for free from WalterBrook & Multnomah as a member of their team program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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