With each new beginning, be it the new school year when I have another chance to create a system that works for me, or the flip of the calendar, my spiritual life is always a key area of scrutiny. How can I improve? How can I get closer to God? How will I be able to do that?
In How Strong Women Pray Bonnie St. John (former paraolympic medalist, White House staffer, and Rhodes Scholar) tackles the issue of prayer–one area in which I always feel that I am lacking. She clearly explains why we often stumble through our prayer lives (p. xiii):
Conversations about prayer are rare. People can go to church together every day and never talk about how they pray. Husbands and wives can pray separately for a lifetime and never share the experience. Even in a prayer group, most people talk about what they are praying about, not how they actually pray.
In the pages of this book St. John shares her own story–personal and professional successes and failures, the hurt of abuse, and her spiritual journey. She also lets 25 women share how prayer has impacted their lives, but more than that, they simplify and demystify the experience by sharing how they pray. I enjoyed reading her story and the profiles of the other strong women who acknowledge the importance of prayer. I found this book practically helpful in the area of prayer, encouraging, funny, touching and inspiring. Here are some examples from a few of the women profiled:
“I always feel that I should have a regular prayer routine, but I don’t. I usually talk to God about three times a day.” Heather Whitestone McCallum, former Miss America
Amy Domini, CEO of a company which uses investments to build a better world says, “I always pray last thing before I go to sleep. Sometimes I get on my knees. Mostly, I don’t.”
Marilyn McCoo, speaking of her marriage, shares “The Lord gave me the patience. Before I was praying, I tried to handle it all through arguing. Prayer worked much better than arguing. It helped me tremendously. I learned not to take matters in my own hands.”
There are discussion questions included, which would make this book perfect for a book club or small group Bible study.
If you’d like to win a copy, please leave a comment on this post, and check out the New Habits in the New Year guidelines at this main post.
Come back on January 9 to see if you have won. Please be sure that the email address that you enter with is one that you check regularly, and also check your spam folder when the winners are announced if you see your name.
Thank you for all your great comments on your favorite reads of 2007. I really enjoyed reading them. The winner of one (or more) surprise books from my stash is Melissa Markham. You should have an email from me requesting your address.