Author of Praying for Strangers
One simple idea...
One surprising year...
One inspiring memoir that will transform lives...
River Jordan shares her incredible journey of a year of "Praying for Strangers." For a full year, River kept a resolution to pray for a different stranger every day. While her sons were both deployed to war zones, River focused daily on complete strangers instead of the concerns of her own heart. The "Praying for Strangers" keynote includes heart touching, life changing, and often humorous moments of a very normal person walking through an amazing year of connecting with people in a new way. River shares stories of the people she encountered along the way, how those experiences changed her life forever, and how making a human connection can change the lives of all those who dare to slow down and listen to a stranger's story.
As 2009 approached, New Year’s resolutions were the last thing on River Jordan’s mind. Her sons were both about to go off to war—one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan — and she was planning a family reunion to see them off. All River could do was pray for her sons’ safety and hope to maintain her strength, until she unexpectedly came upon the perfect New Year’s resolution—one that focused on others instead of herself. She would pray for a complete stranger every single day of the year.
In Praying for Strangers, River Jordan tells of her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before. The discovery that Jordan made along the journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers (in often astounding ways), but that the unexpected connections she made with other people would be a profound experience that would change her own life forever.
River Jordan is a southerner with a global perspective. She began her writing career as a playwright and spent over ten years with the Loblolly Theatre group, where her original works were produced, including Mama Jewels: Tales from Mullet Creek, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Virga.
Ms. Jordan’s first novel, The Gin Girl (Livingston Press, 2003), has garnered such high praise as “This author writes with a hard bitten confidence comparable to Ernest Hemingway. And yet, in the Southern tradition of William Faulkner, she can knit together sentences that can take your breath.”
Kirkus Reviews described her second novel, The Messenger of Magnolia Street, as “a beautifully written atmospheric tale.” It was applauded as “a tale of wonder” by Southern Living, who chose the novel as their Selects feature for March 2006, and described by other reviewers as ” a riveting, magical mystery” and “a remarkable book.”
Her third novel, Saints In Limbo has been painted by some of the finest fiction voices of today as “a lyrical and relentlessly beautiful book,” and “a wise, funny, joyful and deadly serious book, written with a poet’s multi-layered sense of metaphor and meter and a page-turning sense of urgency.
The Miracle of Mercy Land, a novel set in 1938 along the Gulf waters of Alabama, debuted September 7, 2010 and has been painted as ‘A triumph of beauty,”
River Jordan’s first work of narrative non-fiction, Praying for Strangers, An Adventure of the Human Spirit, arrived with great expectation, April 5, 2011.
Ms. Jordan teaches and speaks around the country on “The Power of Story”, and produces and hosts Clearstory Radio on WRFN, 107.1fm Nashville.
When not traveling the back roads of America, River lives with her husband and their Great Pyrenees lap dog, Titan in Nashville, Tennessee. She thinks about where stories come from – places and people and moods of the heart while rocking on her front porch. And long after the sun sets over the ridge, she waits for the moon to rise, watches the stars come out, and stares off into the blue-night sky believing with all her might.
Current Speaking Topics
An Adventure of the Human Spirit - One Year, One Resolution
Inspiring, funny, and poignant stories from the best-selling 'memoir in moments' about how this one tiny thing can change your world. Hear River speak, and find out why people are saying, “My life has been altered.”
The Power of the Human Connection
Designed for Corporations and other organizations who employ anyone with contact to the world. From customer service to processing medical patients, there is one element that companies must have to continue to rate highly with their clients, maintain their client base, and receive referrals - - - a genuine interest in the person their speaking with. How do you manifest that with sincerity in only a matter of moments? River Jordan shares the secrets she discovered in the writing of her, "memoir in moments."
The Power of Story
Designed for Schools, Libraries, Colleges, Universities, and Book Festival events, this universal message can be shared with anyone for any occasion. It focuses on how we can embrace the true power of story in our personal lives to live a richer life. With examples from classic and modern literature, River Jordan weaves a special message regarding how everyone's life is a story worth telling and how all of our stories are connected.
The Power of Being Human
A perfect engagement choice for Foundation and Non-profit Fundraisers who serve the greater good of humanity through the caring and donations of others whether it be their time, their gifts, or their money. It's about how our contributions to the champions of society make the world a better place and how we must all play our part.
The Beautiful Between
What happens when a powerful, generation no where near ready to grow old, suddenly discovers that they are at a new stage in life? Specifically designed for those Baby Boomers that are still listening to the Beatles while caring for their parents,and dancing to Jimi Hendrix while babysitting their grandchildren. They may find themselves suddenly singing David Byrne's song, "This is not my Beautiful life!" River Jordan shares with great insight and humor that what you do with this bridge time between generations is of extreme, and lasting importance. And in the most frustratingly beautiful, amazing ways, can be the greatest unplanned adventure of your life.
“River is amazing! We are so glad that she was with us! Two thumbs way up!”
-Leigh Holloway, Edenton Street UMC
"We recently invited River Jordan to share with several groups in our church around the theme of Praying for Strangers. It was a wonderful experience! River is a gifted writer and communicator with a powerful message. In her humble and gentle way she challenged us with her personal story to step out of our comfort zones and dare to pray for those strangers that intersect our lives every day. River and her staff were a pleasure to work with – they were incredibly accommodating to our needs. If you are looking for a God-honoring and fresh approach to challenging every member of your church in the area of prayer, I highly recommend River Jordan!"
-Jeff Payne, Senior Minister, Holland Park Church
"In a word, River Jordan's book is transformative. She takes the two great commandments - Love God and love your neighbor - and embards on a journey that leads her into a deeper communion with God, and into a deeper understanding of and love for one's neighbor - wherever that neighbor may be found. Praying for Strangers provides us with a wonderful template for a spiritual practice that is accessible to all!"
-Pastor Bob Bauman, Wrightsville United Methodist Church