Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Review: Praying Scripture for Your Teenagers

Author: Jodie Berndt 
Title: Praying Scripture for Your Teenagers
Description (source): It's never been tougher to be a teenager---or the parent of one. Thankfully, from your teen's first date to the next time he or she borrows the car keys, you can take your concerns to God through prayer. Drawing on God's Word, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager offers palpable help to pray about the stormy issues your teen faces: Relationships, Depression, Rejection, Sexuality, Eating disorders, and much more. This book also guides you in praying about everything from your teen's character and safety to the purposes and plans that God has for his or her life. Filled with historical, biblical, and contemporary illustrations, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager shows how to make the Bible your source for prayers that can powerfully influence your teen's life. With humor and a warm, personal style, author Jodie Berndt encourages you that, in this sometimes daunting new world, 'when you pray the Scriptures, you tap into the same power that has kept teenagers safe for generations.’ (book marketing info)
Writing style:  Berndt is the author of Praying the Scriptures for Your Children (which I haven’t read); six years later, she followed it up with this title on praying for your teenagers (probably even more needed than the previous book!) I was given this book at a youth event at our former church. It’s comprised of short (5-7 page) chapters that detail a specific problem or issue that teenagers face, give an example, and then list prayers (with Scripture references) that Berndt suggests.
Audience: Christian parents of teenagers—that would be me.
Major ideas: Because of the timing of its publication (six years after her earlier book on praying for your children), I’m guessing that Berndt has experienced issues or worries about many of the topics in this book, and has prayed through many of these scriptures herself. I thought the scriptures she chose were appropriate, and appreciated having the suggestions of the many ways to pray—sometimes we can all get in a rut.
Wrap-up: I only have one criticism about this book, and it’s not significant. Every chapter has at least one example of a teen who has had difficulty with the issue addressed in the chapter; these are always friends’ children (who I’m sure have been given pseudonyms). Now, I can understand how the author’s teenagers would be horribly embarrassed if Mom ever revealed their own sufferings or shortcomings in her books, and she doesn’t. She does, however, include plenty of their triumphs. The result that the author’s family looks like the only ideal family amid a sea of friends who have teenagers beset by every possible problem, while her teens have sailed through these difficult years unscathed. I would have preferred that she not refer to her own family at all, rather than causing them to appear to be misleadingly perfect. Overall, though, I recommend the book—our teenagers need all the prayer we can spare! 4/5*

I'm claiming this book for two reading challenges: the new author challenge (6/15) and the unread books challenge.

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