My daughter, Kiera, was the inspiration behind the Prayer Monsters. Kiera suffered from bedtime anxiety when she was younger. She would come to us each night with a million worries, thoughts, and fears running through her head. I would take Kiera’s hand and lead her back to her bedroom. Then, we would discuss her worries and pray about them. I told her, “If you hand all of these worries and fears over to God, he will take care of them for you. Then, you will never have to worry about them again.”
The wonderful thing about children is their unwavering faith. Together, Kiera and I would pray. Then we would physically toss each worry up to God so he could take care of them for her. When I saw what a powerful and profound effect prayer had on my child, I knew I had to share this with other parents. Prayer completely eliminated all of her fears.
I am often asked why I chose a monster family as the books’ characters. The reason is really a combination of things. At that time, Kiera had a fear of monsters, as most children ages four to seven do. Before turning out the lights at night, she wanted me to check under the bed and in the closet.
I also believe God placed the term Prayer Monsters in my head then basically harassed me until I used it! Just kidding! But I did feel a very strong calling by God to use the phrase Prayer Monsters. I was writing a book series for kids to help them with their fears. How could I ignore the fear of monsters? The more I thought about it, it was so wonderfully ironic.
Why do monsters have to be scary? Why can’t monsters be friendly, lovable, and have a strong faith in our amazing God? My choice of monsters as characters has become a highly debated topic. Someone recently said to me, “No thanks, I’ll stick with veggies and bears.” That made me laugh. Aren’t bears scary? And after all, Pixar’s movie Monsters Inc. generated $577 million dollars in worldwide sales. Apparently, kids are not afraid of friendly illustrated monsters!
About a week after sitting on the Prayer Monsters idea, I attended a charity event at the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The speaker for the evening was Richard DeVos, cofounder of Amway. In his speech that evening, Richard said, “If there is someone in the audience right now that has an idea for something, go home and start on it immediately.” He said, “Don’t wait. If you wait until you know everything about how to do that idea, you will never do it. You have to learn along the way.”
I felt immediately convicted by God and as if Richard were speaking directly to me. I had never written a book before. But I went home that evening and wrote the Prayer Monsters books. I pitched the idea to publishers a week later and had multiple offers for a book deal. I did not even have a literary agent. Truly, God had a hand in this.
Prayer Monsters is such a great book series, and I am extremely proud of it. Each book centers around a particular problem or situation a child might face, and that problem is always resolved with prayer. It could be a prayer of forgiveness, a prayer of healing, or a prayer for guidance. The objective is to teach children to pray about anything and everything!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7).
I want kids to learn from an early age that they can go to God with everything. There are also a lot of character–building themes in the storylines. I am a mother of four children. I wrote a series I wanted my kids and future grandkids to read. And when life is difficult for my kids—no matter what age they are—I hope they always turn to God through prayer.
Tracey Madder began her career in the entertainment industry as a model, actress, and photographer. She has a BA in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh and has also worked in marketing and sales. Tracey is the owner of Super Faith LLC and Bus Stop Bible LLC, companies that create faith-based products for children. She is also the author of a children’s Bible story book and the Super Faith Blog, a Christian blog for families that inspires grown-ups and kids to “Be Super,” promoting character building and virtue. However, it is the title of stay-at-home mom that Tracey is most proud of. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Tracey has four little monsters of her own. Inspired by her daughter’s bedtime anxieties, Tracey created the Prayer Monsters to help children learn to pray and hand their worries over to God.