About Writing Always Remember to Pray

First illustration in progress!

Join us for an interview with Robin McCall, author of Always Remember to Pray:

Why did you want to write a book about prayer for preschoolers?

In preparation for WMU’s Project Help PTSD, I studied factors that help preschoolers build coping skills and resilience. In researching these factors, I kept coming back to prayer as a major influence in helping all of us—adults, as well as preschoolers—to cope with stress and fear. As we learn to pray without ceasing, we develop faith that God truly is with us in every situation. This realization of His ever-present help is vital to the spiritual formation of preschoolers and children. I wanted to create a book that would open opportunities for grown-ups to help little ones talk about prayer.

Prayer is an intentional practice. It takes discipline to learn to pray in every situation. Can you imagine how different our world will become if we teach our preschoolers the value of praying in every situation? Just imagine what the world would look like if prayer became our default mode, instead of worry and stress and fear? (I am still working on that one myself!)

Where did you get the idea for Always Remember to Pray?

Well, the idea came to me during a time of prayer! I was studying 1 Thessalonians at the time. As I was praying, 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 kept rattling around in my head, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” As I prayed, I realized that preschoolers need to know this. Prayer is much more than something we do before meals and at bedtime. Preschoolers can grow in their understanding that prayer is an ongoing conversation with God.

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Narrowing down the life experiences that would most resonate with preschoolers. Oh, and not writing a full epistle on every page! Keeping content concise is always a challenge.

What was the easiest thing?

Strangely enough, the illustration ideas came very quickly. Once I determined which prayer scenarios to focus on, I could fully envision each illustration.

In your About the Author notes, you say that your mother-in-law, Mary Alice McCall, taught her family how to live a life filled with faithful, fervent prayer. Can you tell us a little more about her?

My mother-in-law has been my spiritual mentor and is one of my faith heroes. She has walked through seasons of great adversity since she was just a little girl, and has experienced losses that could have left her bitter and disillusioned. Instead, her life is an illustration of abiding in Christ. Mom has prayed our family through some seemingly impossible situations. We are all so grateful for her firm faith and gentle guidance. She embodies Colossians 3:16–17: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

One last question. Who is Grumps?

Ha! Clay Allison, our graphic designer, is Grumps. That is the beloved name his grandchildren gave him. Clay is a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and prayer warrior—and he is a wonderful graphic designer. He and his wife, Carla, are living out amazing testimonies about the power of prayer. I hoped to honor Clay by using his special “Grandpa name” in the book.

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