Book Review by Ann Jonas, Tradebook Buyer - CSB/SJU Bookstores
this review was published in the St. Cloud Visitor
Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters: Placing Them in the Heart of God by John and Therese Boucher; Word Among Us Press; October 2012; 180 pp.
When our children are small, we do what we can to protect them and guide them, worrying and praying for them daily. As our children become adults, our worries and concerns don't end-they merely change. John and Therese Boucher's new book Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters gives parents a guide to help them in the art of praying for their adult children.
In the book's introduction, the authors state that praying for adult children calls for a method that is different from when they were little. The Bouchers believe that the most important thing we can do is "to lift up our adult children in prayer and place them in the heart of God." Asking for the Holy Spirit's guidance will bring blessings, as well as peace, wisdom, patience, forgiveness, and joy, according to the Bouchers.
Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters contains ten chapters; the first five examine the challenges of letting go and offer guidance for parents in praying for God's love, wisdom, hopeful acceptance, forgiveness, and trust. The next four chapters consider prayers for the needs of our adult children: for a good spiritual life, for a sense of vocation, for support in times of danger, and for their eternal happiness. The final chapter gives the reader ways to support and pray for each other's sons and daughters.
Each of the chapters offers personal anecdotes and the Boucher's insights from praying for their own five adult children. A series of questions for reflection and instructions for a "prayer skill" related to the chapter's topic are included at the end of each chapter.
Asking the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom-for our children and for us-- is strongly recommended in Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters. The Bouchers state that prayer without the Holy Spirit is like getting locked out of your car without a spare key. The book offers many different prayer suggestions to aid in our prayer requests to the Holy Spirit.
The book also encourages praying to the saints, including the patron saints of our children, saints who were parents, and saints who are spiritually connected with our children based on their dates of birth. A short litany to the saints is one of the numerous examples of prayers given in the book. Prayer methods, such as journaling, praying the Creed and inserting your child's name in the blank spaces provided, and meditating with a photo of your grown child are some of the "prayer skills" offered.
The final chapter, "Praying for One Another's Children," suggests asking our children's godparents and Confirmation sponsors, along with our friends, to pray on their behalf. In addition to close friends and relatives, the Bouchers maintain that the whole faith community has a crucial role in supporting each other's children in faith; our spiritual responsibility is to pray for each other's children.
The back of the book contains several pages of additional resources. Helpful websites and a list of other relevant books are suggested for further reading.
John and Therese Boucher are the authors of several books. John has served as director of evangelization for the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey for many years; Therese maintains a website that offers resources for evangelization. They live in Princeton, New Jersey. Their new book offers a practical, hopeful, and valuable guide for parents and grandparents.