Title: Special Intentions
Author: Claire Coleman
Publisher: WestBow Press
In James 5:16 the Bible states “… and pray for one another that ye may be healed.” Claire Coleman, author of Special Intentions – Remembering Others in Personal Prayer, takes this saying to heart and utilizes it to the fullest in her brief, tenderly written prayers.
This two hundred and twenty three page paperback book has a photograph of a wet green leaf dripping into white reflected water on the front cover and a paragraph about the book’s contents, three reviews and a short author biography with small author photograph on the back. There were no misspellings or typographical errors but there were a few minor capitalization and punctuation mistakes. There was no profanity but some of the heart-breaking, terrible topics might be more geared to the young mature adult and older who wants to improve his or her own prayer life.
Coleman’s introduction explains that two monumental events lead her to write the book: the horrific tragedy of September 11, 2001 and her brother’s Navy retirement ceremony. These events changed her so deeply and caused her to reconsider and concentrate on others, especially those on the fringe of life, handling stressful situations or those behind-the-scene people that may feel unappreciated or unneeded.
The book is broken down into eleven chapters, each sub-titled with a specific Bible verse. The concept is to read one prayer a day for that particular type, vocation or situation of the person mentioned. If it is not the AIDS baby, street druggie or war veteran, it could be the recent school graduate, the childless parents or a shy office worker. Coleman tries to touch many aspects of our daily lives that we unconsciously walk by, ignore or say few words to the people whom cross our paths.
Each page is devoted to one type of person, be it the elderly with arthritis, the local barista working to make ends meet or the plethora of volunteers. She tries to reiterate that God created every human being for a special, important reason and we should pray for that person specifically, forcing the reader to focus on someone other else.
This book is a wonderful reminder to stop thinking only about ourselves, our wants and our needs but to turn outward to others by simply calling them out to God in prayer, to help, protect and get through day to day or those horrendous gut-wrenching situations. With the extra lined blank pages in the back of the book, anyone can write in their own myriad of more people to consider and bring in prayer to God.