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Prayer in the Face of Cancer - Book Review

This is an unassuming little book that is powerfully changing the lives of teens and adults alike. It is short and easy to read, containing only 80 pages, many of which are hand-written, and personal photographs. It is the journal of Melissa Bell Meisenhelder, a student at Gordon College.

When Melissa was only 3 weeks away from her 18th birthday, she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer. The night she was diagnosed, she turned to God and her faith grew over the next 20 months. These last months of Melissa’s life were dedicated to bringing people to God. Everyone close to her knew of her faith and her desire that they know the security she had in Him. Her prayer journal is a day by day record of her faith and her prayers. She describes her daily concerns and joys and her love for the people in her life, always focusing on the positive.

At first sight, Melissa’s Prayer Journal appears to be too simplistic, with its pages in Melissa’s own hand and snapshots of her friends and family. However reading through each entry reveals the young woman’s heart and a relationship with God that most of us can only wish for. Throughout her journal, it is clear that Melissa wanted to share the intimacy she had found with God and the publication of this book seems to be doing just that with the world. Throughout the book there are notes about what Melissa was doing at each point in her life and after each entry, there is space for the reader to personalize the journal by recording his or her own thoughts.

The original paperback form of Melissa’s Prayer Journal was printed as a memorial to Melissa, to be distributed to those who knew her. However, as more people saw and read it, it became clear that the journal was meant for a wider range of readers.

There is also a companion book for group discussions. Leader’s Guide to Melissa’s Prayer Journal by Rev. Benjamin O. Davis is a curriculum consisting of ten lesson plans consisting of discussion questions, key points, scripture and suggested prayer.

Written with a teenager’s heart and style, it is a perfect gift for the young people in your life. It is more than a guide to faith in the face of cancer. It is a guide to a child-like relationship with God.

“ I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:3,4 NIV


Melissa's Prayer Journal
at Amazon

Leader's Guide
to Melissa's Prayer Journal
at Amazon

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