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How Strong Women Pray Hardcover – November 2, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Part celebrity memoir, part how-to guide to prayer, this collection features the personal stories of many famous women who openly discuss their spiritual lives. There are some mature and wise words from singer Amy Grant, who confesses that prayer for her is often loose and unscheduled, and from actress/singer Della Reese, who has a regular morning devotional routine. Some of the stories are gripping: syndicated radio host Janet Parshall shares the story of her son's recovery from a gunshot wound to the head; Sopranos star Edie Falco reveals how prayer was the key to overcoming alcoholism; and gymnast Nadia Comaneci discusses how her family remained pious even when prayer and churchgoing were punishable offenses in Romania. The book is roughly organized into themes such as childhood, motherhood, career, marriage, dark times and maintaining a prayer life amid worldly success. Some of the most touching revelations in the book are St. John's own disclosures about fissures in her marriage, recovery from sexual abuse, and problems with perfectionism and self-esteem. At other times, though, St. John's chapters feel like excuses for name-dropping and establishing her career bona fides, which are certainly impressive (Harvard and Oxford degrees; Paralympics silver medal; working on Wall Street and in the White House), but not always obviously relevant. (Nov. 2)
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"Bonnie St. John has inspired many people with her own life and what she has accomplished despite her disability but wanted to share how prayer was a big part of it all and has written a book titled "How Strong Women Pray". -- ThewhatIfWomen.blogspot.com

"Bonnie St. John's amazing life story is interwoven with intimate reflections on prayer by Maya Angelou, Kathie Lee Gifford, Amy Grant, Kathy Ireland, Edie Falco, and Susan Taylor, to name just a few." -- AWidow.com

"The good news is, every woman, no matter how strong her spirituality, struggles to get close to God and stay close. Learn from their lessons. There's something for every woman between the covers." -- IDealinhope.com

"This book speaks to the power of God and the strength women draw from him." -- ChristysBookblog.blogspot.com

"Very inspirational book that will have you considering your prayer time or lack there of." -- LauraWilliamsmusings.blogspot.com

"How Strong Women Pray" is an intimate spiritual journey undertaken by author Bonnie St. John to learn about prayer and how it plays a part in the lives of women." -- EURweb.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords; 1 edition (November 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446579262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446579261
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How Strong Women Pray by Bonnie St. John is a powerfully written devotional/memoir. St. John had her foot amputated when she was four, was sexually abused from her preschool years until almost her teens by her stepfather, medaled in the Paralympics in skiing, and worked in the White House. Episodes in her life are bracketed by short essays by famous strong women about how they use prayer in their lives. Each woman uses prayer a little differently: some talk to God all day as a friend, others use more formulaic prayer, some meditate and listen for God there. But every woman listens to God in her own way and feels him moving in her life. Amy Grant, Edie Falco, and Maya Angelou each speak of the power of God. St. John's story is alternately heartbreaking and uplifting, and her search for faith speaks to the heart. The chapters are short and easy to read. While other reviews mention to St. John as a name-dropper, that's an unfair label. Each story tells of how this woman fought to rise above her circumstances and ultimately came to the realization that she couldn't do it alone. While she may have met famous people along the way, none of them filled the God shaped hole in her heart. This book speaks to the power of God and the strength women draw from him.
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Format: Hardcover
Bonnie St. John has an impressive resume. Her list of accomplishments includes Paralympic Silver Medalist, one-legged Olympic ski champion, magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, Rhodes Scholar, White House official, author, motivational speaker. What one may not expect to learn is that such an accomplished woman was also a victim of sexual abuse for several years of her childhood. While the loss of her leg drove her to succeed, the scars from childhood victimization threatened to destroy her. St. John realized that she had a gift for inspiring others with her story. As she set out to become a motivational speaker and author, she learned the power of prayer. However, the pain of facing her past and finding healing drove her closer to God and deepened her prayer life. St. John has shared her story with thousands of men and women, but many do not understand the strength she receives from spending time in prayer every morning. How Strong Women Pray was born from her desire to share the power of prayer, not only in her own life, but in the lives of twenty-seven other strong women from around the United States.

Most of the women who volunteered their prayer testimonies for How Strong Women Pray are not considered "religious" or "spiritual." To the casual observer, it would appear that these women have achieved their status by sheer will-power, hard work, and luck. St. John's goal with this project is to show that some of the most well-known and respected women in music, television, radio, politics, publishing, education, and athletics make prayer a priority in their lives. In addition to St.
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Format: Hardcover
Bonnie St. John's book, How Strong Women Pray epitomizes the focus of the aforementioned scripture. With skill, care and candor Ms. St. John cleverly entwines her life experiences with that of others to show the importance and results of prayer in their lives.

Through the uniquely written treatise readers are offered a view into the private lives of twenty-seven women. Each is viewed as strong in their own right. All are connected by duo threads of commonality; their dependence upon prayer and faith to acknowledge that they are not in control of their destinies. Delightfully absent from this work is the impression of a regime of rigidity and uniformity to be entered into. Instead, you will see the simplicity and fervor in which each approaches prayer and are divinely ministered to.

Those who feel that the presence of high profile names, the mention of positions Ms. St. John has held and her academic and Olympic accomplishments are self-serving will not absorb the full thrust of the work. They will miss the fact that in spite of her high visibility and accomplishments, she has made a choice. Through the choice to be vulnerable, Ms. St. John speaks to the plight of many with disabilities. Without reserve she is reaching out to those who are merely surviving rather than seeking to overcome the trauma of sexual childhood abuse or other obstacles that is preventing them from reaching full potential.

Reviewer/Dr. Linda Beed
On Assignment Reviews
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Format: Hardcover
Bonnie St. John is a contributor as well as editor of How Strong Women Pray published by Faith Works, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group. The book consists of first person essays by women of renown and some maybe unknown to readers. It tells of the hills and valleys of their lives, pivotal moments that defined their faith and spirituality and how they overcame the odds against them.

In a series of pieces woven throughout the book, St. John deftly writes what amounts to a memoir. St. John was the first African American woman to take a medal in the Olympics. She is now a motivational speaker and writer. To get to this point, she went through insurmountable odds; sexual abuse, having her leg amputated at an early age and her struggles with maintaining her faith and spirituality in the world of business.

Vonetta Flowers was apart of the 2002 gold medal winning women's bobsled team. Her story of a black girl from Alabama transitioning from track and field to the predominately white winter sport of bobsledding is indeed an interesting one, but her son's medical problems and her journey to faith is her most self-affirming story. Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., formerly of the Grammy winning group, The Fifth Dimension have been married for over 35 years but it was their faith and Marilyn's unfailing belief that helped Billy through a crisis that could have ended their marriage. Kathie Lee Gifford, Johnetta B. Cole, Kathie Ireland, Susan L. Taylor, and singer Amy Grant all have stories of trials, tribulations and remarkable acts of redemption that sustained their prayer lives.

There is a cross section of women from varying professions, careers and celebrity life. This book is a great volume to have as one can read stories at will and rejoice with the author of each story. This is an ideal gift for a sister friend that might need a little uplifting and reaffirmation of faith.

Dera R. Williams
APOOO BookClub
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