Vonda here: I know you’re probably surprised to see a post from me on a Wednesday, but this is one of those times I just had to make an exception. It all started back in 2001 when Edie Melson and I met at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference as writing newbies. Not only did we discover we lived in the same town, but we lived only three miles from each other! It was the beginning of a special friendship of encouragement, support, learning, and love.
God has blessed us both through the years, and we’re constantly amazed at how He has overseen and directed our lives as we’ve left the newbie stage behind and are now privileged to encourage, support, teach, and love on other writers.
And this week, while Edie and I are both at Blue Ridge again–she as the co-director, me as faculty–I want you to join me in celebrating the release of her brand new book, While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military. I know you’ll see why this book is so important, especially at this time in our nation’s history.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for Edie and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book!
Welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den again, Edie. I’m so excited about your new book! Let me start by asking was it so important for you to write this book.
I struggled with fear while our son was deployed. Often the worst times were when I was awakened with horrible nightmares. Iâ€™d make my way downstairs and sit in the recliner, clutching my Bible and trying to pray. So often the prayers wouldnâ€™t come. I longed for a book like this to give me a jumping off point for my own prayers.
Oh, Edie, I well remember those days for you. How was your own perspective helpful as the mother of an active duty marine?
I think that experience has given me insight into the deepest fears we face while a loved one is away at war. I know firsthand the hopelessness that comes from being unable to protect someone you love.
Why is prayer vital for our military soldiers?
Itâ€™s vital that weâ€™re covering our military with prayer. Prayer activates Godâ€™s power. Sure, He can and often does work without it, but Iâ€™ve also seen how He moves mountains because of it. Our prayers help provide protection, comfort, even peace for those serving so far from home.
I loved the fact that the prayers didn’t only focus on the soldier. Why is it important to not only pray for the soldier, but for their families and loved ones as well?
Our soldiers are not the only ones serving. The families may not be official members of the military, but the battles they face are every bit as real and every bit as dangerous. This is especially true now that terrorist groups are targeting military families in their war against America.
How did you choose the six categories (Wisdom, Strength, Faith, Protection, Peace, Those Close to My Loved One) to pray for the soldier?
I kept a deployment journal while my son was away at war. When I looked back through the prayers I recorded there, these were the things I prayed. It seemed to make sense to go with what brought me peace during those stressful time.
How did you choose the seven categories (Fear, Peace, Patience, Faith, Strength, Anger, Reaching Out to Others) to pray for oneself / those waiting at home?
Again, by going back through my journal and looking at the things I struggled with.
I love that you offer the most prayers for Faith for our soldiers. Why is faith so critical to those serving during these trying times?
I think faith is what gets us through the dark times. So often when things are the blackest, itâ€™s hard to hear from God. Even though it isnâ€™t true, it feels like God is far away with His back turned. Itâ€™s only our faith in what we know is true, instead of what we feel, that keeps us moving forward.
Image courtesy of Edie Melson
Yes, prayer is often the only thing that can get us through the dark times. I noticed that each prayer provides a perfect notable quote as well as dedicated scripture to tie in with the prayerâ€™s message. How and why did you choose these?
I love quotes, and I felt that adding a quote would be another way to illustrate the focus of each prayer.
I know that the book isn’t just limited to individual family members and friends at home. Please share how While My Soldier Serves can be used for prayer groups praying for the military.
This book is a powerful tool for prayer groups. We know that when many people are praying the same thing it multiplies the power of those prayers. The idea of potentially thousands of people praying the same thing at the same time for our military is one of the most exciting aspects of publishing a book like this.
Thank you for joining us today, Edie. I pray God’s richest blessings as you continue to reach out to others through your writing and speaking ministry!
And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for Edie and then return next Tuesday to see if you’re the winner of her book!
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Â Here’s the Book Blurb:
While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military
Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.
In this book youâ€™ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. Theyâ€™re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.
Bio: As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, Edie Melson lived this book before she wrote it. Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out â€¨to others facing the same struggles.â€¨ She’s the Military Family Blogger for Guideposts.org, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker. Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.
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