News Archives

Book focuses on praying for President Bush

4/10/2003 News media contact: Kathy Gilbert · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.

NOTE: A photograph is available with this story.

By Cathy Farmer*

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
Pauline Jones Hord has written a collection of her prayers for President George W. Bush: 'Praying for the President.' Hord, 96, is a lifelong United Methodist and member of Christ Church in Memphis. A UMNS photo. Photo number 03-139, Accompanies UMNS #215, 4/10/03
Pauline Jones Hord believes President George W. Bush is "the kind of president we should get behind in prayer."

She believes it so much she has written a collection of her prayers: Praying for the President. Hord, 96, is a lifelong United Methodist and member of Christ Church in Memphis.

"One of the deep desires of my heart is that the Christians and God-loving people of America will unite in daily prayer for our president, the administration and our nation," she said.

Brandon Windsor, manager of the Memphis Cokesbury store where the book is being sold, said Hord told him she heard the president mention that he reads a devotional and prays every morning.

Hord's book of prayers was originally inspired by President Jimmy Carter. While watching his inauguration, she said she felt a "strong urging" to pray for him every day during his first year as president. She kept a journal, writing down each day a scripture relating to leaders, and then recording her prayers.

"At the end of the year, she stored those 365 devotions in her writing room," Windsor related. They weren't to see the light of day again until Faithe Finley, an editor with the Christian book publisher Master Design Ministries, was looking through a stack of Hord's writings.

"Dr. Hord had contacted Ms. Finley about printing some of her poetry," Windsor said. "But they put the poetry on hold when Faithe found the manuscript for the devotional book."
Praying for the President has received a great deal of attention in the Memphis area. WREG-TV interviewed her about the book and aired the story on March 19 - the same evening that U.S.-led forces went to war against Iraq.

"We sold 15 copies the next day to people unfamiliar with Cokesbury," Windsor said. "At least, they had to ask directions to the store!"

The first printing of 2,000-2,500 books will be sold for $15 each. Subsequent printings will be reduced in price to $5 each.

"Dr. Hord isn't trying to make a profit from the book," Windsor said. "All the money is going into the Pauline Jones Hord Trust and designated for charities chosen by Dr. Hord."

The book's foreword was written by the Rev. Maxie Dunnam, former pastor of Christ Church and president of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.

"These prayers come from a heart of passion for prayer and a heart of compassion for the leadership of our nation," he wrote. "If millions of people could use this little book of prayers to focus their praying for the president, I am convinced that it would bring a spiritual revolution."

After 66 years of teaching and decades of helping others, Hord has amassed an arsenal of honors. Here is a sampling: former President Bush's Daily Point of Light (95th in 1989); Who's Who in American Education (1961 to present); Senior Citizen of the Year (1997); Distinguished Alumni Award from Rhodes College (1998); Outstanding Business Woman of the Year (1959); and Person of Vision Award by the Alliance for the Blind and Visually Impaired (1993).

The book may eventually be carried by all 70 Cokesbury stores around the country, Windsor said. "It's in the process," he explained, "but it will depend chiefly on whether or not we can get the quantity of books we need."

For now, Praying for the President is only available at the Memphis Cokesbury store. More information is available by contacting Cokesbury at (877) 221-8638.
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*Farmer is director of communications for the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church. This story first appeared in The United Methodist Reporter Memphis Conference Edition.

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