Local Author Offers New Way to Organize Prayer Life

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

Pray A to Z CoverAmelia Rhodes admits to offering up quick prayers for those in need, but forgetting to pray long-term for those needs. Her prayer life was more haphazard than helpful so she figured out a way to get more organized.

Rhodes began a blog series offering an organized list of things to pray for and downloadable cards for readers to print and create their own lists. Readers asked for sturdier cards, so Rhodes and her husband began developing a stand and card pack in September 2015. By March 2015, the Pray A to Z card pack/stand were available for purchase.

Now that initial idea has expanded even more thanks to her new book "Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community," to be released Tuesday, Nov. 15, by Worthy Inspired ($14.99).

"My hope is that readers will become more engaged and excited about their prayer lives," said Rhodes. "I hope the book will be a starting point, that readers will get excited about their relationships with God and go deeper and farther."

"Pray A to Z" offers five topics per letter; three are prayers of petition and two are prayers of praise. For example, the letter A has readers praying for Adoption, Abuse and Alcoholism, and offering praise for Abundance and Almighty.

The letter C offers prayers for Cancer, Court Cases and Caregivers, and praises God as Creator and Comforter.

"I struggled with only a few letters (Q and X), but there are so many struggles around us that it wasn't hard," said Rhodes, who lives with her family in Lowell. "I love incorporating praise, too. We cover hard and heavy topics, but as we praise God we realize that every need we have is met in who God is."

Rhodes is putting action to her prayer life as well. At her upcoming talk and book signing at Baker Book House, Alpha Family Center in Lowell will have a representative there collecting items including baby soap and lotion, diapers, diaper cream and wipes. For every item a guest brings, they will be entered in a drawing for books, gift certificates, artwork and other gifts.

The Muldoon family will be there too. They are missionaries to Indonesia with YWAM working to prevent trafficking among children. Baker Book House will donate 20 percent of "Pray A to Z" book purchases that night to them.

Rhodes points to letters in her book that apply: P for pregnancy; R for raising children; M for missionaries, T for trafficking.

"I hope readers and guests will get more involved with the people around them," she said. "As we pray, God makes us more aware of how we can be his hands and feet in love and how we can serve those around us."

Rhodes sees "Pray A to Z" being used by individuals, families and even small groups. She'll have a link to a downloadable guide for small groups on her website.

"The book covers issues surrounding families, justice issues facing us today and personal issues about how we relate to our community," she said. "It's a combination of praying as you personally and you collectively as the body of Christ."

Rhodes, who works for the North Country Trail Association, attends Ada Bible Church with her husband and two children. "I've always wanted to be a communicator; I loved speaking and performing. Writing is a natural fit with that, but I didn't consider it a career track until five years ago," she said.

Amelia Rhodes will talk about and sign copies of "Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community" at 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 17, at Baker Book House, 2768 E. Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. Guests are asked to bring diapers, diaper cream, baby wipes or lotion to donate to Alpha Family Center in Lowell.
Author Information
Ann Byle
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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