Rooted Recommends: Every Moment Holy


As parents and youth workers, we sometimes find ourselves at a loss for words to speak or to pray with our teenagers. This is where liturgy, a little like praying through the psalms, can be such a blessing—it gives us words when we feel empty.

Enter Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey[1],a beautiful volume of words for those wordless moments. Following after the tradition of Puritan prayer books such as The Valley of Vision and A Diary of Private Prayer, McKelvey offers fresh words for modern situations relatable to teenagers. Every Moment Holy contains prayers and liturgies for everything from a sick day to feasting with friends, from the anniversary of a loss to the first snow. There’s even a prayer for those who feel awkward in social gatherings. During this season of pandemic worries and the heartache of racial injustice, I have found the liturgy “For Those Flooded By Too Much Information,” especially poignant to read with students.

Families will appreciate the daily prayers for table blessings, which might help teenagers feel emboldened to lead the family in prayer before a meal. The book would also be a wonderful gift to share with friends.

Founder of Rabbit Room Press, singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson, writes of the significance of this volume for his family: “When we’ve feasted with friends, when our family dog has died, when we arrived at the Atlantic for holiday, when we sat on a hill over our home to watch the sunset, when I planted flowers in the garden, when my sons and I watched a series on Netflix, we read aloud Doug’s liturgies to remind ourselves of the sacredness of all things, of the pervasiveness of the Gospel.”

May you and your teenagers remember the nearness of Jesus as you pray the words in this treasured book.

[1] There’s also a new, less expensive “pocket version” of the book available.


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