BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Gloria Gaither Shares Private Thoughts and Prayers
Courtesy of The B&B Media Group
Gloria Gaither has served as the muse for several generations of Gospel Music lovers. Her words were inspired by her own vibrant walk with God, and they seem to grow even sweeter with the passage of time. Today, several decades after penning the lyrics to her first spiritual song, she and her husband, along with many fellow musicians and friends, continue to play to sellout crowds on their Gaither Homecoming tours. In her new work, A Book of Simple Prayers (Regal, July 2008), Gaither presents readers with an unexpected treat—the chance to read over her shoulder as she pours out her heart in prayer.
For many people, prayer can sometimes feel like an awkward, forced exercise, one they are “not spiritual enough” to do well. Gaither’s prayers, though obviously articulated with the voice of a gifted poet, serve as practical examples of how we can simply talk to God about the everyday stuff of life. The book includes prayers of thanksgiving for her husband, family, and the beauty of creation and prayers of intercession for others—friends, family, and even perfect strangers that she saw on the news. She asks God to ease her sleepless nights, to protect her young grandson as he begins school, to bless a family vacation, and to guide a nation that has lost its way. As they follow Gaither’s lead, readers will be encouraged to begin their own conversations with God.
Gaither recently discussed her book.
Where did the material that became A Book of Simple Prayers originate?
That’s a good question. The truth is, I never set out to write this book. In fact, I never set out to write prayers at all. But there was a span of time when I didn’t find it easy to pray, but, when I went to write one of the things I had to write, a prayer would come. I could not begin whatever project was before me until I cleared my mind of the prayer that was tumbling from my heart onto the page. In the beginning, I kept them in a small pocket-sized notebook, but soon the notebook was full and the prayers kept pouring out.
How long did this period of prolific prayer journaling last?
This book contains snapshots of my story that unfolded over a year or two. Up to that time, I had not had a similar experience, and I haven’t since.
Why did you wait so long to share these prayers with other people? What changed your mind about that?
For a long time I treasured these prayers and kept them hidden, reading them sometimes in my most private times. I thought my journey was unique and much too personal to reveal to anyone else. But as the months and now years have passed, I am coming to know that my story is not unique. It is not even my own, but a story within a much larger story. In working with people across the country and around the world, I’ve come to know that most of us go through times that re-route our prayer life. I think as people eavesdrop on these dialogues with the Lord (at least, as they hear my side of the conversation), they will recognize bits of themselves.
What kinds of prayers are included in this book?
These prayers cover a wide range of topics, from the big questions of faith to the simple, miraculous pleasures—like waking up beside the man I love—that draw spontaneous thanksgiving and praise. Basically, they revolve around the events of my life over a few years. I prayed for family and friends, for my little grandson as he started school, and for my daughter as she was in labor. I have always marveled at God’s exquisite creation, so there are several prayers to that effect. I sought the Lord when the world was so obviously racked by turmoil, when I saw disturbing things on the news, and on nights when I couldn’t sleep. One day, after the tragic death of a friend’s young son, I didn’t know what to say to God—and I told Him so. One theme that pops up often is a desire to grow, to walk ever more closely with my Lord.
What do you hope this book will accomplish in the lives of readers?
The more I come to recognize my story’s place in God’s grander Story, my once bewildered questions are turning to psalms of thanksgiving at the wonder that I have been included in what He is doing. It is my hope that as people read these prayers, they will catch a glimpse of the Author behind it all.
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