Author, Kids, Review

When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner + q&a

In order to encourage y’all and your little readers, we’re delighted to share tried and true kids favorites (books or series) from our family’s collection. When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner was an instant favorite for us! Feel free to return the favor and tell us all about your kid lit favorites in the comments!

about the book

From the moment I saw you, 
I started to pray.
Big prayers and small ones 
I have sent God’s way.

I prayed you felt safe, 
full of joy and content.
When I whispered “I love you,”
you knew what I meant.

From the author of the best-selling When God Made You comes a new illuminating message about God’s design affirming young readers.

With lyricism, whimsy, and heartfelt emotion, Matthew Paul Turner reveals the tender emotions connected with watching a beloved child grow up and experience the world. Paired with Kimberley Barnes’s vivid and playful illustrations, When I Pray for You is a beautifully affirming book, in which children and parents will see their own stories come to life.

When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings parents pray over their children, and shares with the little ones how much care and concern a loved one feels for them.This is a book you will read to your child again and again. Perfect for any occasion, as well as for milestones including baby showers, birthdays, and graduations.

goodreads | amazon | bookdepository | christianbook | bookbub


why we like it…

Matthew Paul Turner’s children’s picture books remain among our family’s favorites even as we grow out of the traditional picture book ages! Each one of our children (ages 7 through 14) has spent time reading the pages and/or admiring the adorable and relatable illustrations, again soaking up each detail and pointing out parts that appeal to each of them individually.

When I Pray For You just about requires tissues for this reader mama! It is a joy to see our children pour over the pages of an affirming and faith-filled book like this one. The bright and cheery artwork and heartfelt prose dance across each page. Turner continues to rise above the usual simplified children’s storybook fare with intelligent vocabulary to enrich and engage thirsty young minds.

Reading this book aloud is a joy! I look forward to expressing my love to our children through reading this book often and with tissues for years to come.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


about the author

Matthew Paul TurnerMatthew Paul Turner has authored 16 books including Churched and Everything You Need to Know Before College.

He has written for publications including USA Today, The Washington Post, Relevant, Christianity Today, and The Daily Beast.

His unique blend of story with spiritual commentary has garnered him a large and loyal fan base.

Matthew lives with his wife, Jessica, and their three young children in Nashville. Visit his website!



How were you inspired to write When I Pray for You?

My kids have inspired every picture book I’ve written so far, but none more than this one. As a person of faith, I knew parenthood would include lots of praying; but I’m not sure I realized how often I’d pray, oftentimes without my kids ever knowing I’d prayed. In many ways, praying is a bit like breathing, a consistent conscious and subconscious longing of hope on behalf of my kids. I think prayers over my kids numerous times throughout the day and my hope is that When I Pray For You will capture the simplicity and passion of that reality.


How have you found reading to your kids to be helpful for them? How has it enhanced your relationship with them?

I love reading with my kids. It’s such a rich and rewarding time for them and for me, too. Books can get us to laugh out loud or discuss interesting topics or lead us into heartfelt chats about God or diversity or being kind. Books are such powerful tools because they help talk about things that many of us parents wouldn’t know how to discuss or might feel awkward just bringing them up. But with a book, it opens the door to chat about serious and nonsensical subjects, discussions that help me shape and/or influence their hearts and minds to think about important ideas.


about the illustrator


book trailer


also available

When God Made You When God Made Light by Matthew Paul Turner


Do any of your favorite children’s books bring tears to your eyes, reader friends?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein gets me all misty, too!

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