Books for Spiritual Formation and EncouragementMy recommendations for spiritual reading for the whole family...
No I don't recommend The Magic Treehouse series for spiritual anything, and yes I had plans to have my kids pose with the Jesus Storybook Bible, but...

No I don't recommend The Magic Treehouse series for spiritual anything, and yes I had plans to have my kids pose with the Jesus Storybook Bible, but...

A friend recently asked for my recommendations for books that might offer spiritual formation and encouragement, for parents and children alike.

Here's what I had to say:

As for the kids, the book we have is called The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. Very readable for adults too.

–You also might enjoy reading The Chronicles of Narnia with your kids. We have used these on retreats with high school kids because they contain lots of reflections on the nature of God and faith. The kids might not get that part, but it's kind of fun to read and think about as an adult. CS Lewis in general has some great stuff, including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, A Grief Observed and The Great Divorce, but more if you're asking some of the intellectual questions about the credibility of Christianity rather than looking for spiritual guidance.

As for adults, some of my favorites include:

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (she's written a lot, and other ones are great too, but this is her most well known and it tells the story of her conversion and offers lovely insights on faith and grace)

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen (Nouwen also has written a lot. I am partial to the ones he wrote that reference his time at the L'Arche community in Canada when he was a friend to Adam, a man with an intellectual disability. These include The Road to Daybreak and Adam.)

A Praying Life by Paul Miller (This book is a little more practical than the others. Lamott's is a story, Nouwen is mostly reflections, but this has some teaching on how to live a life of prayer. It made a huge difference for me in how I approach prayer, though I feel like lately I've forgotten most of it and should probably read it again!)

The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women's Work by Kathleen Norris (A very small book that came from a series of talks about how we can experience God in the day to day.)

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller (Keller is a preacher in NYC, so this is based on sermons he's given about God's "prodigal" love for all of us. He has also written some other good books, and Generous Justice is my favorite but I think this is a good place to start)

–Finally, an organization called Renovare has great spiritual formation resources:. I have loved the Devotional Classics and the Spiritual Formation Workbook.

What books would you add to this list?

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