At first glance, the prayers in Lisa T. Bergren’s Upside-Down Prayers for Parents appear to go against all normal parenting instincts. Most parents wouldn’t dream of spending 31 days praying that their children get caught doing wrong or experience financial hardship. Yet these are the type situations God uses to mold all of us into the people He created us to be.

While other parents pray that their children escape challenges and hardships, Bergren suggests releasing our children—and ourselves—into God’s care, trusting that He will equip all to follow Him more closely. The journey may lead through trying times but culminates in a strong relationship with Christ.

Though the negatives at the beginning catch a reader’s eye immediately, Bergren pairs each with the complementing statement of benefit. She offers a brief devotional reading that illustrates the principle. Each day ends with a prayer for the parent, space to record personal thoughts, and suggestions for discussing the topic with younger and older children.

The devotions are deceptively simple. Though short and easy to read, they pack a heavy punch when it comes to trusting God. The reader walks away with plenty to contemplate for the day.

You don’t have to be a parent to find benefit from the material in Upside-Down Prayers for Parents. Anyone interested in deepening their relationship with God will find food for thought, but parents will find the book particularly poignant as a child of God raising children to follow His ways.