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Book Review: Prayers and Promises for My Little Grandchild by Jerry Cook

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There are piles of religious books that promise to lead sensitive consumers in specialized prayers aimed at focused areas. Jerry Cook has added to the stack in his recently published, 48-page hardback titled Prayers and Promises for My Little Grandchild. The audience is fairly obvious from the title, grandparents and their grandchildren.

Each little section of Prayers and Promises for My Little Grandchild normally encompasses three to four pages, enhanced with artwork done by Laurie Snow Hein. The format typically has a one-page devotion reflecting on God, or God’s goodness, followed by a prayer, and then a short quip from either “The Holy Bible, New International Version (2011)” or “Holy Bible, New Living Translation.”

Most of the work is set up to be read by a grandparent to their grandchild. Each part is simply put and simply said, usually with a very short story from the author’s life. The prayers that come after appear to be written by the author as well and reflect on the point of the story. The artwork nicely graces most pages with color and emotion.

While the book is quite pleasing to the eye, the content struggles by focusing on the author’s life, which is bound to grandfatherly memories, instead of to the timeless points of Scripture. None of the verses seem to have anything to do with Cook’s stories and leave the reader with the feeling that he threw them in as an afterthought. The subject of the book also limps along because it attempts to paint a picture of God that is sentimental, rather than biblical. For example, the section labeled “The Smiling God” posits a notion of God that is at odds with God’s own self-descriptions in Hebrews 12:3-11 and Revelation 3:19, where the Father is the disciplining father in the first passage, and Jesus declares he disciplines those he loves in the latter verse.

All in all, Prayers and Promises for My Little Grandchild by Jerry Cook is a simply stated book, with a simple message. As a grandfather myself who dearly loves his grandchildren, I am always looking for Christian books that I can enjoy reading with my little grandchildren, to share with them my faith. I was unable to use this one.

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About Rev. Dr. Michael Philliber