The Psalmist calls upon parents and grandparents to “tell to the coming generations the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done…that they should set their hope in God…” (Psa. 78:1-7). This means that adults who have a spiritual influence on children need to know and share the wonders that God has done (Psa. 78:4), to stun and amaze their kids with who he is.
That’s what a wonder does. It’s a word or a deed that inspires awe and wonder. It is wonder-full. And that’s what our children need. They need to see that the Christian faith is not merely a list of rules or a creed to confess or an institution to join. It is so much more. It is a knowledge of, and an experience with, the ever-living and true God that is enriched and punctuated with frequent spasms of wonder.
Psalm 78 reminds us that part of our task as Christian adults is, as someone has put it, to dazzle our children with God. This is the only way that our children will grow up to “set their hope in God”. If our children (or we) are bored with God, and seldom if ever say “Wow!” when thinking and hearing about him, then they (we) will stop hoping in him, and will move on to other things. Only a God who amazes, who is wonderful, who is awesome—both in his being and in his doing—will satisfy the heart-cries of those both young and old.
This is why I have written my soon-to-be released An ABC Prayer to Jesus: Praise for Hearts Both Young and Old, and asked my friend Dan Lee to illustrate it. An ABC Prayer is more than just another children’s book. It is an offering of worship to our Savior, and a Jesus-centered meditation for children (and the adults in their lives). Through alliteration, rhyme, singability (the text may be sung to the tune of the Doxology), simple theologically rich words, biblical figures of speech, and quality illustrations, An ABC Prayer portrays big truths for every heart. Simple and accessible poetry is joined to a familiar melody and beautiful illustrations to express truth in a memorable way; all coming to you with the prayer that it will make you and your kids say “Wow!”
To be clear: An ABC Prayer is about Jesus. It is a celebration of the person and work of our Savior. Jesus-focused theology is offered with a simplicity that makes the book both accessible for children and enriching to adults.
Here’s how songwriter and worship leader, Bob Kauflin, responded to An ABC Prayer:
“[It is] a beautiful, biblically rooted, creative book for kids (and their parents!). Theologically sound and engaging, these twenty-six brief four-line verses explode with gospel meaning. It’s impossible to say how many fruitful conversations will happen as moms and dads unpack these truths with their young ones. I plan to read it to my grandkids!”
Dads and Moms (and grand-parents) will want to do more than just read the text. An ABC Prayer will make a good bed-time prayer and/or song with children. Parents will also be able to read to their children the Scripture references that are included at the end of the book, which are the passages from which the images in An ABC Prayer are drawn.
Finally, eyes both young and old will enjoy the fine large-spread black and white illustrations that are full of “hidden” objects and animals to seek and find. Through all these features this book can become a fun, educational, and worshipful experience, all in one.
Above all else, I believe An ABC Prayer will help our children—and just maybe us—be a bit more dazzled with God than ever before. Which is, after all, just as it ought to be.