Parents desiring to raise their children in the Faith know that their children need to embrace the Faith for themselves. These parents must help their children begin to nurture their very own relationship with Christ and His Church. One of the most powerful ways a parent can do this is by leading their child(ren) into a life of prayer. Angela Isaacs’ new board book, “I Pray Today,” clearly models what it means to live a life of prayer. This book will help parents to help their children begin to live a life of prayer. It begins thus:
Good morning, God. The day is new.
I say my first small prayer to You.
Lord, have mercy.
“I Pray Today” takes its readers by the hand and guides them through a day in the life of a young girl. Throughout her day, she wakes, eats, misses a sick friend, plays, gets hurt, and eventually unwinds and goes to bed, just like we all do. But at every turn, she prays, “Lord, have mercy.” (Well, one time she forgets, oops! But Daddy helps her to remember!)
Angela Isaacs has beautifully worded this book. Throughout her day, the little girl’s activities are conveyed in rollicking verses that are fun to read and delightful to hear. The clever rhymes are likely to be memorized in a short time, after a few re-readings. And at each moment, there’s a “Lord, have mercy!” as she turns to Christ in prayer throughout her day. Children will be drawn to the verses, and want to read the book again and again.
The illustrations in this book are simple and charming. Amandine Wanert uses child-level perspective (with an occasional “birds eye” for variety) to help children feel that they are right there in the young girl’s day. Readers will be drawn into the girl’s world and will recognize there elements of their own life. There are just enough details in each illustration to make it believable, without overwhelming the eye. Orthodox children will also find details like crosses and icons in her world which they recognize from their own world. Children will absorb these details and be comforted by their simplicity.
“I Pray Today” gently teaches its readers the value of prayer while also modeling what it looks like to pray throughout the day. Readers of all ages will enjoy this book. Children will like the lyrical wording and lovely illustrations, and adults will treasure its message. This book is a must for a Christian family’s library.
You can find “I Pray Today” here: http://store.ancientfaith.com/i-pray-today-board-book/
Here are a few related links and ideas that can help you as you share “I Pray Today” with the children in your life:
“I Pray Today” author Angela Isaacs recently went on a blog tour, wherein she was a guest blogger on other blogs. On this tour, she wrote blogs related to her book. Find the first one here (and links to the others at the bottom of the page): https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/raisingsaints/guest-post-from-angela-isaacs-what-parenting-taught-me-about-a-life-of-prayer/
Even children older than toddlers will benefit from hearing/reading “I Pray Today.” Families with children of varied ages can read the book as part of a family discussion on prayer. After reading it, talk together about how to make God an important part of every part of each day. When is a good time to pray? Talk together about times in the day when your family prays. Invite ideas of additional times you could pray. If your children like to draw and/or write, you may wish to use this printable to help them commit to praying at one of those times.
If “I Pray Today” strikes a chord with your family and you decide together to pursue a more fervent prayer life, you may find this blog helpful: https://orthodoxchristianparenting.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/on-practical-reminders-to-pray/
Parents and older children may want to ponder this quote from St. Ambrose of Optina: “Pray for yourself and seek only the mercy and will of God; whether you are in church or outside of church walking, sitting or lying down, pray, ‘Lord have mercy, however you think best, however you will.’”
Parents desiring to boost their own personal prayer times may want to read this blog (and the book which it features): https://orthodoxchristianparenting.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/gleanings-from-a-book-when-you-pray-a-practical-guide-to-an-orthodox-life-of-prayer-by-l-joseph-letendre/