Book Review: What Every Child Should Know About Prayer By Nancy Guthrie, Illustrated By Jenny Brake

Reviewed Dr Annetta Tsang


From Luke’s Journal 2021 | Children of God | Vol.26 No.3

What Every Child Should Know About Prayer – Published by 10Publishing in 2018

Prayer…the words we pray. Praying… a channel of instant communication, a gift from God, a weapon against the devil.

As Christians we assume everyone knows about prayers and praying. Actually, the “what”, “why”, “where”, “when”, and “how” of praying needs to be explained and demystified. Praying is not an innate reflex. Praying is a deliberate voluntary act. 

We need to teach children about prayers and how to pray. More importantly, we need to make sure our children know why we pray, who we are praying to, and when to pray:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6)

As adults, we often forget what a privilege it is that we can pray to our God, directly, anytime, anywhere, about anything. It is good to be reminded.

In What Every Child Should Know About Prayer, Nancy Guthrie unpacks the concept of praying comprehensively in 142 pages. The topics are introduced in a well thought out sequence and central Biblical ideas are unpacked in an easy to understand, engaging, and applicable way. The beautiful illustrations throughout the book work well as prompts for discussions and conversations with children.

Each page teaches something different about prayer and praying, followed by a supporting Bible verse and a prayer suggestion.

The book covers topics such as “God wants us to talk to Him”, “Prayer is more than asking God for things”, “Jesus loves to pray”, Jesus teaches us to pray”, “The Holy Spirit helps us pray”, “The Psalms give us words to pray”, “Examples from the Bible of God’s people praying”, and “Let’s pray to God and pray for others”.

I first read this book in 2018 when I was looking for ideas on how best to explain prayers and praying in Sunday School because one of the children asked during a lesson, “Why do we pray to God and not just talk to God?” At that time, I thought, “What good reminders.” and subconsciously filed the book into the “good resource list” in my head.

This year, we used this book at our Kids Church to teach children aged 3-12yrs about prayers and praying over 8 weeks. Each child was given a copy to take home. They were encouraged to read it with their parents so that the learning could be reinforced at home. Some families even used the book for their family devotions. As the children gained a better understanding of prayers and praying, they also prayed with greater confidence.

This book reaffirmed the importance of praying and prayers. Even though I am not a child, I have enjoyed reading it. This book encouraged me and brought me closer to God in prayer. Maybe it will encourage you or someone you know too?

Dr Annetta Tsang
Dr Annetta Tsang is a member of the Luke’s Journal editorial team. She works as a paediatric dentist and an academic editor. Annetta is also a sessional staff member at Bond University. Annetta is involved in children’s ministry at her church and loves spending time with her family. Art, books, desserts and coffee are some of her favourite things.

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