Over the past month I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Talking To Jesus: A Fresh Perspective On Prayer by Jeannie Blacker. I joined the venture of this book with my best friend, soul sister and prayer partner Mary. When I agreed to the adventure of this particular book review, I was asked to ponder some questions such as How does walking next to someone similar to you help you understand God’s love more? Do you feel less alone? More encouraged? Today as I review this book I will also shed light on how invaluable our praying friendship is to me and our families while simultaneously answering these questions. And stay tuned to the end for a chance to win a copy of Talking To Jesus for yourself or as a gift!
As I began my head over heels Jesus girl journey about 10 years ago, I began to see the precious value in Christian friends that shared not only the same beliefs but the same bumps in the road. My husband Tim always says
A burden shared is half a burden
He took heart to this saying several years ago from a friend and he reminds me of it often. I see my sisterly friendships in the same light…sharing each others burdens. I believe this is a spin off of Galatians 6:2 AMP
2 Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].
We tend to shy away from the word burden because often times it alone carries a heavy weight. It feels burdensome to think about carrying my own let alone someone else’s. But wow, is there power in agreement.
My friend Mary and I met about 8 years ago at our church. Her and her family had just moved back from Ohio and were looking for a home church. We quickly ran into each other as we both have children of similar ages. It took us some time to get to know each other and both our personalities together, because we are so similar, didn’t lend to immediate connection. However, one night during a women’s retreat we roomed together. We stayed up all night laughing, crying and getting to the bottom of why we were so deeply connected. See, our pasts had a similar trail that are not often disclosed except under certain allowances by the Holy Spirit. Immediately our bond grew and grew and grew.
On November 5, 2012 Mary was one of the first people by my side to walk me through the tragedy of losing my late husband. She was the one who selflessly held Connor through the night so that he could sleep. She was the one, day by day with me, as other tragedies hit. Many others, many many others were as well, but today I focus on her. Often times I have felt like how could I ever repay her (or others) for how she helped me? I realize now that our relationship does not require repayment rather – just keep doing life together.
We sat down this past week to discuss the book and how it has impacted us. Several stories stuck out including The Paralytic and His Friends and The Ruler. Both stories hit the nail on the head individually. The Paralytic and His Friends reminded us about the importance of our friends faith! Because Jesus saw the faith of the man’s friends, he was moved with compassion to heal the man.
2 They brought to Him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a stretcher. Seeing their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], Jesus said to the paralytic, “Do not be afraid, son; your sins are forgiven [the penalty is paid, the guilt removed, and you are declared to be in right standing with God]. Matthew 9:2 AMP
And for The Ruler this story reminds us of the great compassion Jesus has for our children and the deep need for us as parents to move, pray, intercede on their behalf.
18 While He was saying these things to them, a ruler (synagogue official) entered [the house] and kneeled down and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just now died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and began to accompany the ruler, with His disciples. Matthew 9:18-19 AMP
Talking To Jesus is certainly an easy read and wonderful to pick up in the morning with a cup of coffee. You choose to go deep with her thought provoking questions or keep it light an swiftly move through the pages. I really enjoy the newness that is brought to the stories of Jesus and the perspective shift. This book makes for a great individual or group Bible study. If you don’t win the free copy, but are interested in purchasing the book, it is available on Amazon!
Mary and I will keep pushing along in the journey of life. Having a best friend and prayer partner to share with has certainly lifted the load. A perfectly timed text message or phone call can sometimes feel like the lifesaver I need. We both look to the Holy Trinity for our answers and are grateful to seek Him together. Soul Sister, hearts tethered together. I pray Jesus already has or will bring that type of friend into your life as well!
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I will draw a winner on Friday 12/8/2017 and announce it on Facebook!
Lastly, thanks again to The Blythe Daniel Agency for this amazing opportunity!