June Cotner's athletic lifestyle was ended forever when a car accident, eight years ago, severely damaged her neck. Since then, she's gathered poems and prayers for getting through the hardest times in life--illness, injury or deep depression. This collection includes psalms, Bible readings, samples from religious texts the world over, contemporary and classic poetry, and simple, inspirational blessings and prayers. It brings in works by little-known poets and writers, and others by writers one would hardly expect to find included in a collection of "prayers," like Voltaire and Friedrich Nietzche.

Organized by category--"faith," "hope," "comfort," "healing"--these meditations offer rich food for thought on the nature of pain and suffering in the human experience. Most of all, they stress the importance of not seeking to evade suffering, but struggling to live with it and beyond it. As Cotner herself writes, in a short work called "Perspective," "Rather than focusing on what has been lost, Dear God, help me to be grateful for how much I still have."

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