Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit

Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit

4.5 7
by River Jordan
     
 

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What if there was something you could do-something simple, yet so powerful-that could positively influence others and change your life in the process? Critically acclaimed author River Jordan discovered that very thing...

As 2009 approached, both of River Jordan's sons were about to go off to war-one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan-and she was

Overview

What if there was something you could do-something simple, yet so powerful-that could positively influence others and change your life in the process? Critically acclaimed author River Jordan discovered that very thing...

As 2009 approached, both of River Jordan's sons were about to go off to war-one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan-and she was planning a family reunion to see them off. All River could do was pray for her sons' safety and hope to maintain her strength, until she unexpectedly came upon the perfect New Year's resolution-one that focused on others instead of herself. She would pray for a complete stranger every single day of the year.

In Praying for Strangers, Jordan tells that the discovery that she made along the journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers (in often astounding ways), but that the unexpected connections she made with other people would be a profound experience that would change her life forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this memoir, Jordan (Saints in Limbo) recounts stories of a year in which, when both of her sons were deployed to war zones, she decided to pray for a complete stranger every day. The results were extraordinary, as time after time she was led to pray for the stranger who needed it most: a nurse whose husband just had surgery, a teenager with visible bruises on her neck and arms, a young soldier coming home to a newborn daughter. Jordan writes eloquently about her experiences and the lessons she learned, but ultimately the book grows repetitive; with no context or depth given to these strangers, their stories run together and lose their distinctiveness. Additionally, with little context given to Jordan's own life and activities, the book reads more like a diary than a cohesive narrative, and her habit of ending every chapter with neat, tidy conclusions and moralizing contributes to this choppy, disconnected effect. Regardless, the idea of praying for strangers is admirable, and a reader looking for inspiration may find hope and grace in this account of the blessings of a prayerful life. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews

Southern writer Jordan (The Miracle of Mercy Land, 2010, etc.) commits herself to pray for a stranger every day as an ambitious New Year's resolution.

With two sons serving in two separate wars, a call for selfless prayer seemed the only remedy for what would otherwise become obsessive worry. In each chapter, the author finds a new stranger, a life lesson and the same prayer. Jordan's clumsy prose, formulaic structure and overt repetition dulls the effects of a collection of inspirational anecdotes that run into each other as the book progresses.An array of quotes from immensely diverse sources introduce each chapter, but only serve to showcase the lack of versatility in Jordan's storytelling. Readers are continually reminded that Jordan is a well-established writer, going as far as to state that, "for a Southern novelist, being a tad different can be just part of the badge of being a great writer." Unfortunately, the humility of a great writer and the integrity of true prayer and compassion are absent from what would otherwise be a truly inspirational concept. Jordan's colorful language and good intentions only pummel weary minds with a single point. Heart and intent, unfortunately, are not the saving grace for a book that contradicts itself.

Commendable intent, inspirational concept, poor execution.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425245606
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
223,631
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

River Jordan is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright. She speaks around the country on the "Passion of Story," and produces and hosts the radio program ClearStory from Nashville, Tennessee, where she makes her home.

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Praying for Strangers 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book blessed me so much I am ordering copies for all the ladies in my Bible study group. River Jordan is to be commended for her talents as a writer but also, for her willingness to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. The hundreds of strangers she has touched through her prayers for them just may have been all they needed to open their spiritual eyes and ears to God's calling.
Newconnexion More than 1 year ago
Christmas was past and River Jordan, a novelist, was about to see her two sons deployed overseas, one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. She wasn’t thinking about New Year’s resolutions, but one came to her anyway: Pray for a stranger every day. Unlike most resolutions, this one was kept, and out of the experience comes Praying for Strangers. Each day, over the course of a year, she chose to pray for one of the people — from all walks of life — whom she had happened to meet, often but not always telling that person of her intent. Then, with a sure writer’s instinct, she arranged the highlights into a nonlinear narrative. She hoped her prayers might hearten and sustain those for whom she prayed, but she didn’t expect that the impact on herself would be so great. The people she meets, and their stories, challenge her assumptions and bring unexpected insights. “It has been a humbling experience,” she writes. “Instead of discovering how much the world needs me, I’ve discovered that I was the one who needed the world.” — Fran Gardner, New Connexion Journal
LanellaLeigh More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! Really insightful lessons learned by the author over the course of two years of praying for people she did not know. This resolution helped River Jordan cope while her only two children--sons--served in two different war zones. I met her at our book club & she is an entertaining, down-to-earth, humble speaker. She emphasizes that the stars of this book are the people she prayed for, not herself. Several club members agreed this would be an excellent daily devotional book as chapters are short--uaually 2-5 pages-- leave the reader pondering what River has just learned & asking "what can/should I learn from this? A book to reread often. Inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Melissa Peter More than 1 year ago
The best book for my school
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
spring bentley More than 1 year ago
Very inspirational and needed in these times of indifference to our 'strangers'. After reading several chapters, I found each chapter was more of a devotional, requiring time to enjoy before going on. Both the reader and the writer have invested their time wisely!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago