People of faith believe that prayer can change things.
With this in mind, nine prayer-warriors came together to publish a book that teaches and inspires mothers about the power that prayer can do.
Barbara Whitehead, Ph.D. co-authored “The Prayers of Black and Brown Mothers”, a book that focuses on eight women whose lives and how prayer has helped them overcome their difficulties.
Brenda Jackson Darling (64), said that she was the only Florida co-author to be featured in the book published last year. Georgia has the other coauthors.
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Darling was born in Gainesville, and moved back to Gainesville in 2017, when her first grandchild was due.
Darling shared that she had always dreamed of writing a book and that a prayer line helped to realize her dream.
Whitehead was introduced to Whitehead by a woman who used a prayer line to introduce her to Whitehead, who was looking to feature women with a heart of prayer in her book.
“She (Whitehead) knew prayer saved us and has brought us from generations to generations,” Darling said.
There are many prayers that mothers can use to pray for their children who are in similar circumstances to yours. There is, for example, a prayer to single mothers and one for unborn children.
“This book touches lives and there are prayers for people who never prayed for them,” Darling said.
Darling wrote a prayer to single mothers, and hopes that the book will help empower and enlighten readers as they embark on their journey.
“I know how to write from that experience and pray on that experience,” Darling said. “A mother’s love is universal. All mothers want the best for their children.”
Darling is also a women’s support group leader of “Grace To Be,” which she started because of all the trauma she has experienced in her life and her desire to be there for women who have faced similar experiences.
Darling explained that GTB is safe for women to heal together.
The mother of two and grandmother of five, Darling said she is also in the process of writing her own book titled “Lessons for my Granddaughters,” in which she will share words of wisdom for her granddaughters and girls to live by.
“I do believe prayer changes things,” Darling said. “Prayer can change families, nations and the world.”
Whitehead, 63 years old, is originally from Cordele in Georgia and currently resides in Macon, Georgia. He said that the inspiration for the book came from the experiences of Black mothers.
“The news shows what Black and brown mothers pray about,” Whitehead said. “Prayers help us to access heaven to influence the situation on Earth. This book gives validity, visibility and a voice to mothers.”
Whitehead’s prayer in the book is for the protection of unborn children.
Whitehead was the child of a 15 year-old mother who didn’t want to feed another person and had to endure trauma from the community and culture she was raised in. She claimed that her mother had advised her to have an abortion, but she decided to keep her pregnancy.
“In the womb, the baby can hear and be a recipient of the mother’s words,” Whitehead said. “The fetus experiences life before being born in this world.”
Whitehead claimed that when her mother was rejected from people she knew, her mom used prayer for strength.
“The church shunned her and the school kicked her out,” Whitehead said. “The only comfort was prayer. She gave her baby to the Lord’s service. If she received comfort from prayer, I received that through the womb.”
Whitehead received the Distinguished Author’s Guild Award in the Faith and Religion category for “The Prayers of Black and Brown Mothers” book a few months ago.
“I would like Black and brown mothers to not be ashamed of their experiences,” Whitehead said. “They have the power to stand in the middle of any situation and come out victorious. This book is not to negate the motherhood of other people, but to give a voice and visibility to those who do not have it.”
Gloria Crowder (60), co-author, was born in Thomson, Georgia and moved to Macon as a caretaker in 2000.
Crowder is an evangelist for the Church of Living God Outreach Ministry and is the CEO of Gloria’s Soul Food.
Crowder’s prayer in the book was for mothers who have children with a mental illness. One of Crowder’s 10 children was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar.
Crowder said she and her son were not on good terms for a decade and that they “did not hug each other for 10 years.”
She claimed that he was sent to prison for one year after he attacked his landlord.
“I felt so much grief,” Crowder said. “I didn’t want to hate him. All my children are special to me. I prayed for the release of all my ill feelings. I felt happy when I heard him call my mother once again. By the grace of God, we got to this point. The Lord answered my prayer.”
Crowder shared that her joy at being reunited again with her son was a source of strength.
“When I tell you prayer works — it works if you can believe,” Crowder said. “My son embraced me. A good shepherd goes back for that one sheep even when you have 99.”
Crowder said praying for her son’s mental health strengthened her faith and love for the Lord.
“If it had not been for the Lord on my side, I don’t know where I would be,” Crowder said. “I want this book to let people know to never give up and to keep praying. If I gave up, I don’t know if he would be alive. Never give up on your loved ones no matter what they’ve done.”
“The Prayers of Black and Brown Mothers” book can be purchased on Amazon for $15.99.
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