The Barber Who Wanted to Pray by R. C. Sproul is a marvelous book on at least three different levels. First, the artwork by T. Lively Fluharty is so realistic it makes you feel as though you can step into the story. Shaded beards on men's cheeks, ornate buttons on shirts, reflections in mirrors, fur on pet cats -- the attention to details is so phenomenal, the paintings rival photography (but are much warmer and far more alluring).
Second, the story is an interesting blend of modern times and historical records. As a contemporary family does its devotions and prayer time each night, one of the family's six children asks her father how he learned to pray so earnestly and how she might learn to pray with more passion and sincerity. The father then tells the ancient story of how Rev. Martin Luther was asked by the barber in his town how he might become an effective man of prayer. To respond to this request, Luther spent several days composing a book he titled A Simple Way to Pray, the first copy of which he presented to Master Peter, his barber. The book explains how to use The Lord's Prayer, The Ten Commandments, and The Apostles' Creed as foundations for showing love, respect, tribute, honor, and obedience to God through heart-felt prayers.
Third, the book functions as a teaching text. At the back, it has copies of the three key documents used in Luther's book. It also explains throughout the book how families can have meaningful times of Bible reading and memorization, discussion, and group prayer.
This book is so visually attractive and so smooth in its storytelling, young readers will be entertained by it while also being educated by it. Ė Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
This imaginative tale, based on a true story, begins one evening with Mr. McFarland leading family devotions. When his daughter asks him how she should pray, Mr. McFarland shares a 500-year-old storyóa story about a barber and his famous customer.
Master Peter is a barber well known to all in his village. One day, when Martin Luther the Reformer walks into his shop, the barber musters up the courage to ask the outlawed monk how to pray. Dr. Luther responds by writing a letter to the barber (a letter that we know today as the book, A Simple Way to Pray!). The barberís life is changed as he encounters a model for prayer by using the Lordís Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostlesí Creed.
R. C. Sproulís beautifully illustrated story will engage children and help them learn to pray according to the Bible. Dr. Sproulís unique gift for explaining complex truths will make this a treasured book to be returned to time after timeóa delight for both children and their parents!