Excellent children’s stories need more than action-based plots on subjects young people want to know about, in kid-friendly, up-to-date language. Incorporating Christian worldview in these stories takes even more skill. Our message, whether explicit or implied, has eternal significance. Yet heavy-handed preaching or unrealistically trouble-free situations turn off most young readers. So how do we prepare ourselves for this essential, challenging task?
We read extensively in genres we want to write, to familiarize ourselves with effective subjects, styles, and techniques for that target audience. Similarly, immersing ourselves in God’s Word fills our mind and heart not only with knowledge and principles, but with God’s presence and character.
A new book by Lori Hatcher adds clarity and encouragement to the process of interacting with God through His Word. Refresh Your Prayers: Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise (Our Daily Bread, 2022) helps readers take a fresh look at prayer as much more than routine, requests, or repetition.
“I’ve never been a starving, neglected child, but some days I pray like one.” Hatcher draws not only on Scripture and personal experiences, but also insights from sources like missionary Frank Laubach: “The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that he says ‘Amen’ and runs away before God has a chance to reply. Listening to God is far more important than giving Him your ideas.”
From prayer basics like definitions, God’s role, purposes for prayer, topics, and types of prayer to favorite Bible prayers, Refresh Your Prayers explores questions and issues most Christians and seekers experience:
- Why pray?
- Why do we often feel . . . prayer is a one-sided conversation?
- Should we ever stop praying?
- Is your group prayer time barren or blessed?
- Can I claim every promise in the Bible?
- What should I do when I don’t know what to pray?
These and many more topics illustrate a wide variety of prayers and requests, showing how God has designed prayer not merely for communication, but fellowship, growth, and ministry to both the one(s) praying and persons and needs prayed about.
Children and young adults wonder about prayer, too. Our stories may mention fictional characters who pray, describe real people’s prayers, or treat nonfiction subjects in which prayer doesn’t normally come up. In any genre, for any age group, what we believe and practice in prayer will inform underlying values and attitudes that emerge in our writing.
A resource for both new Christians and seasoned believers of any age, Refresh Your Prayers highlights personal experiences and examples of prayers in the Bible. These accounts give varied perspectives, from a new believer’s prayer for a pet or financial need, a young couple’s or parent’s prayer for provision or wisdom, to a seasoned Christian’s powerful intercession.
Themes that jump out in these devotions include these characteristics of God: His presence and power, heart, voice, promises, prompting, and blessings in the context of prayer.
Relational, relevant, and real: Refresh Your Prayers devotions will speak differently to each reader, offering both practical tips and treasured insights to be reread, savored, and breathed into our meetings with God and our writing.
Lori Hatcher is the author of Hungry for God, Starving for Time: 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women, Joy in the Journey, Refresh Your Faith, and Refresh Your Prayers*. Her ministry includes speaking and encouraging, as well as presenting workshops on writing and editing at writers’ conferences like Write2Ignite, Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference, and Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
A pastor’s wife, former magazine editor, and career dental hygienist, Lori homeschooled her two daughters and now enjoys her role as Gigi to four grandchildren. A native of Rhode Island, she resides in Lexington, South Carolina.
*available from Our Daily Bread, christianbook.com, and Amazon.
Want to read a sample devotional? We published Pray Like a Cheetah a month ago.
DOOR PRIZE ALERT!
Lori is giving away a copy of Refresh Your Prayers to one of our Master Class participants! You have to be present to win. Click here for registration information.