In December of 2008, amidst the fear and worry of her two sons being shipped off to war--one to Iraq, the other to Afghanistan--River Jordan reluctantly made a single New Year's resolution--to pray for a stranger every day. The days that followed and the amazing stories that unfolded along the way changed Jordan in ways she could never have anticipated.
Format: Hardcover Number of Pages: 336 Vendor: Penguin Putnam Inc. Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 7.50 X 5.00 (inches) ISBN: 0425239640 ISBN-13: 9780425239643 Availability: In Stock
What if there was something readers could do that could positively influence others and change their lives in the process?
As 2009 approached, New Year's resolutions were the last thing on River Jordan's mind. Her sons were both about to go off to war and all she could do was pray for their 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 for a year.
In Praying for Strangers, River Jordan tells of her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before. The discovery that Jordan made along the journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers, but that the unexpected connections she made with other people would be a profound experience that would change her life forever.
River Jordan's writing career began as a playwright where she spent more than ten years with the Loblolly Theater Group. She is the author of three critically acclaimed novels. She speaks and teaches around the country and produces and hosts her own radio show from Nashville, Tennessee, where she and her husband live.
"River Jordan writes so beautifully, with such faith and grace and surety, it is entirely possible that she is transcribing for an angel." --Joshilyn Jackson, author of Gods in Alabama
"River Jordan writes about the relationship between people with richness, color, imagination, genuine drama, beauty, pain and sadness, in the same vivid way she writes about the heat and humidity and the landscape and the physical side of living. She makes you care about the people she writes about, even the ones you might not like, but more than that, she makes you see them." --Rick Bragg, author of All Over but the Shoutin'
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.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"...gently beguiling...[a] very personal journey in self-discovery." -Booklist
"... offers readers a wonderfully written, shimmering, accessible and wholly honest account of a journey into intercessory prayer. It is a journey that more of us might be encouraged to take because River Jordan has been willing to show us how." -Englewood Review of Books
"I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It made me aspire to be a better person. It made me be more aware of the strangers I encounter in my life and of how much a simple word of kindness can mean to someone. I cannot recommend this book enough - I will be buying copies to give to several of my friends." -BermudaOnion's Weblog
"...an inspiring read that I hope will encourage people to step outside of their comfort zones and show a little out-of-the-ordinary kindness to strangers." -The Parchment Girl
"Jordan has managed to write a beautiful book that I have been pushing at people for weeks." -A Worn Path
"Praying for Strangers will bless you and alter the way you see those seemingly random people that God places daily in your path." -Ron Hall, New York Times Bestselling co-author of Same Kind of Different As Me
"To escape her own fear - a paralyzing terror every parent of a soldier understands - River Jordan resolves to pray for a stranger every single day for a year. She finds them in bus stations, bathroom stalls, cocktail parties and parking lots . . . . 'Today, you are my stranger,' she tells them. And it's the beginning of something extraordinary. Praying for Strangers reminds us (through the power of this tiny, seemingly insignificant act) that we can never assume know the vast universe that exists inside the person next to us - or the one we are yet to discover inside ourselves. I have my next year's resolution." -Neil White, author of In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
"By means of story, anecdote and calm persuasion, River Jordan suggests an unexpected remedy for both our cultural malaise and our sense of spiritual powerlessness: that we make a habit of praying, not for people we know, but for strangers, in an unheralded, untrumpeted gift of Grace. The very act is compelling and quietly subversive in a culture where strangers equal threat and gifts demand notice. And in the end, the gift you might be giving is one to yourself. Read and consider the wonder, which will continue to grow on you, long after the book is done." -Janis Owens, author of The Schooling of Claybird Catts