Sunday, April 21, 2013

The barber who wanted to pray

by R.C. Sproul
33 pages, Hardcover

R.C. Sproul has written a half dozen picture books to date, all of them great instructional tools, but all of them decidedly average stories. However, this time around Sproul is using a picture book to teach both children and their parents and packaged a great lesson on prayer and he's packaged it in a pretty good historical tale.

Barber Who Wanted to Pray is based on something that really happened. In 1535 Martin Luther was asked by his friend, Master Peter the barber, how to pray more effectively. Luther wrote a 20-page answer which became the booklet A Simple Way to Pray (... for Master Peter).

Artwork is first-rate – we feel like we’re right there in a 16th century German barbershop. And the lesson Luther and Sproul pass along here is sure to help readers of all ages with their prayers. To get a better account of what Luther was suggesting, please do find a copy of this book, or look up Luther’s booklet Simple Way to Pray online. But, in brief, what Luther suggested was that we memorize the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed and the Ten Commandments, and then, each time we pray, use a single line or clause from one of these as the focus of our prayer. So, for example, we might focus on the Apostle’s Creed’s first line: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth” and then in our prayer think on and recall some of the wonders God has made on the earth, and in the heavens above.

It’s a wonderful, very helpful lesson. I originally got Barber Who Wanted to Pray thinking it might be a good way to teach my three-year-old how to do more than 3 or 4 line repetitive prayers. But what was a bit much for her was still helpful for her daddy. The simple lesson Luther taught his barber 500 years ago is just as useful to young and old today.

You can pick up a copy at by clicking here.

Related reviews

The graphic novel Luther: Echoes of the Hammer
The 1953 film Martin Luther
The biography The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther
The children's picture book The Barber Who Wanted to Pray

No comments:

Post a Comment