Book Review: Praying for Strangers
Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit
By River Jordan (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
River Jordan proclaims herself to be a private person. She keeps personal things to herself and her faith is personal—strong and real, but personal. So why would a reserved novelist alter her preference and her practice to write about her spiritual journey? The answer is as unexpected as the journey itself: it was God’s idea.
As 2008 was ending, River reluctantly made a New Year’s pledge: to pray for a stranger every day for one year. This was one resolution she would keep. Her book, Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit, is the story of this endearing faith journey. Actually it is many stories, the stories of the strangers she met and prayed for.
Sometimes her prayers would be offered without the stranger’s knowledge, but for others—perhaps increasingly so as the year progressed—she would approach them, explain her resolution, and then listen. And they would have much to share, as their story—their fears, challenges, and burdens—flowed forth with ease and release.
In almost all cases she was received well, with her reaching out being repeatedly received as an answer to their prayers or the yearning of their hearts.Over and over it was clear God was directing her to the right person who most needed her care, concern, and prayers that day. Tears would be shed and hugs offered.
The strangers River Jordan prayed for were powerfully affected, River was powerfully affected, and so to can we as we vicariously journey with her in Praying for Strangers.
[Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit, by River Jordan. Published by Penguin Group. 2011; ISBN: 978-0-425-23964-3; 322 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.