After writing several books for adults over the years, U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black will make his debut with a children’s book, A prayer for our country: words to unite and inspire hope.
The book is slated for release by Zonderkidz on June 7, 2022. Illustrated by artist Kim Holt, the picture book for young readers celebrates the things that make the United States of America “an amazing place,” said the editor.
“I believe one of the greatest blessings in my life has been learning to pray,” Black said in a statement to Adventist Review“My mother and the members of the church taught me by precepts and examples how to make my spiritual whisper heard in heaven. My new book is an attempt to help this generation of children learn to harness the power of prayer as well.
According to a report by Weekly editorsthe idea for the book began with Katherine Jacobs, Acquisitions Editor at Zonderkidz, after coming across a prayer Black said during a post-insurgency session of Congress and the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 .
“He remembered those who had died, asked for guidance on the dysfunction threatening our democracy, and called on people to seek common humanity in one another,” Jacobs said. Weekly editors.
According to the same report, Jacobs contacted Black about the idea for the book and discovered his “big heart for talking to kids.” She added: “We immediately had a common vision for this title. [And so,] A prayer for our country was born.”
Black began serving as a chaplain in the Senate in 2003, after nearly three decades in the United States Navy. Among his books is his autobiography, From the hood to the hill (Thomas Nelson, 2006), which tells the story of his growth to become the first military chaplain, the first Seventh-day Adventist, and the first African American to serve as chaplain in the United States Senate.
The publisher advertises the book as a volume that leads children to thank God for the United States, “while exploring the ways we can model God’s love to support the citizens of our country, heal wounds that divide us and look to a stronger, united future.” He adds, “Senate Chaplain Barry Black believes that words matter and that healing and unity are possible in [the United States] if we see the image of God in others. In this prayer for children based on the wisdom of his nearly two decades of daily prayers in the U.S. Senate, Black offers needed and inspirational text to help the next generation grow stronger in the faith.
The book uses child-friendly language to show children how prayer can be part of their daily lives, explores ways children can live out their faith, and presents a positive message about kindness and respect, according to the release note. of the editor. “A prayer for our country is perfect for helping children better understand and react to events that occur in [the United States] today, teaching children how to pray and read aloud in classrooms, at story time and in families,” he said.