Book Recommendation:

The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, R.C. Sproul (Crossway, 2011) I so enjoyed reading this book with my son that I wanted to recommend it on my blog. It is as good of a read for the parent as it is for the child! The story begins with the setting of family devotion time. Mr. McFarland’s little girl, Delaney, asks her dad how he can pray such beautiful prayers. She feels embarrassed by her own. That’s when Mr. McFarland tells the 500 year old story about Martin Luther and his barber. At the time, Martin Luther was an outlaw (which really peaked my son’s interest), wanted dead or alive. Since he was so outspoken for gospel truth and reform, the emperor had put out a reward for his capture. While the barber knew this, he would never turn in his hero of the faith. Instead, he begins his shave and asks him a very important question. Just like Delaney, this barber felt like his prayers were inadequate. He asked Martin Luther how he could improve his prayer life.  Luther was encouraged by his desire to grow in the Lord, and told him that he would like to write down some helpful ideas on this matter. The result was a small book called A Simple Way to Pray. His barber received the first copy. Luther recommends memorizing the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed, and using them to meditate on in prayer. So Haydn and I started with the first line of the Lord’s Prayer last night, “Our Father who art in heaven.” That’s all we needed for a wonderfully rich prayer focused on adoration of our God. We prayed about how the God of the universe is our Father—how amazing is that? We prayed about the privilege of being adopted in Christ as his children. We thanked our Lord for such a great love that spared not his own Son to bring us into the most intimate relationship with Him. And then we prayed about our Father being in heaven, a much more glorious place than the sinful world we inhabit. We prayed about our future hope to dwell in a holy place with Him, the new heavens and the new earth. We thanked Him for Jesus Christ who is sitting at his right hand, interceding for us as our High Priest. I am so thankful that this children’s book has enriched my own prayer life! Tonight we will meditate on "hallowed be thy name." This book wonderfully connects a historical person with a practical matter. It is a great way to help our children see the value of church history. Haydn and I were led to many other conversations as we took our time (about a week) with this book. Haydn did all the reading, and much of the reflecting. I also wanted to quickly add that the illustrations done by T. Lively Fluharty are fantastic. What a quality book this is! If you have children, pick it up, and if you don’t, be sure to put this book into some little hands. And pass it on!