The first thing I did when I received this book was to skim the Table of Contents; the immediate second was to deliver my extra copy as a gift to a colleague whom I was sure would enjoy it.
A compilation of prayers ~ some accompanied by Scripture, some by essays, some by quotations you might recognize ~ by seventy or so young (that means under 40!) United Methodist clergywomen, We Pray with Her: Encouragement for Women Who Lead is for all women in leadership roles, whether in families or classrooms or board rooms, or hospitals or offices or nonprofits or churches. The book is a small paperback and would easily slip into a purse or briefcase; the prayers are short and easily fit into many of life’s dilemmas. The titles are little windows into the lives of women, and remind me of the gifts women in ministry bring into our lives in the form of intimate familiarity with pregnancy, miscarriage, and childbirth; with the care of children and parents, with divorce and dismay and, as two of the section headings point out, with resistance and persistence.
Here is a woman praying for that “one day when [she] will shout with joy.” Here is a woman praying with Hagar for the quenching of thirst and for the knowledge that she is seen by God, even if not by others. Here is a woman quoting Brene’ Brown in the midst of her life as a single mom and pastor who sometimes feels a bit of judgment coming her way: “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Here is a woman I am privileged to know as a colleague in real life, praying about the task of persisting in the face of one challenge after another.
Down to earth, intrepid, hopeful, and faithful nevertheless, the women who wrote these prayers make excellent companions in the life of the Spirit.
I received two review review copies of We Pray with Her from Abingdon Press, and made no commitment in exchange other than to review the book.