Author Lisa T. Garland Pours Her Heart Out In “Heartfelt Prayers For My Friends”
By Rick Kern
“It will help you gain a deeper understanding of prayer and how to pray to get your prayers answered because there is power in words,” says Lisa Garland on her Website. She is referring to her book, “Heartfelt Prayers for My Friends.” Resting on the reality of Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof,” “Heartfelt Prayers” is a thoughtful and moving collection of prayers, penetrating insights, and inspirations.
It began unassumingly enough with Garland writing and saving the prayers she prayed for a friend after sending them to him. However, it also fulfilled a longstanding dream. “I always wanted to write a book and I thought that I would start with my autobiography,” explains Lisa, “but I didn’t start with that first. It started with me sending a prayer to a friend of mine and that’s also who the book is dedicated to.”
As its initial draft unfolded, she realized that she wanted more in “Heartfelt Prayers” than the prayers alone. Consequently, she elaborated on companion issues such as, what prayer is, how to get your prayers answered, the reason for praying, and other related topics. These missives, located in the beginning of the book, all lead into the many profound prayers that are recorded in it.
Among the more touching and inspiring pieces in “Heartfelt Prayers,” is prayer for the 9/11 survivors. And while we can all identify with such touching petitions and have probably prayed similarly, Lisa’s hits much closer to home — she was just mere blocks away when the towers were attacked…
“I was there on 9/11,” she reveals, “my office wasn’t too far from the location — four or five blocks from there. I was exposed to the toxins and everything that was all around and affected those who were working in the area.” Continuing she adds, “You feel for those that already lost their lives and there are those family members who may still be sick and may have to go through what they are going through. They went and put themselves out there to help another person… That’s why I included a prayer for the survivors, including myself, because I’m going through what everybody else is going through, though maybe not to the same extent.”
Lisa was born on the Island of St. Thomas, United States, Virgin Islands, where she completed her high school education. Subsequently, she relocated to New York City to attend Hunter College and earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics.
While there, she lived with her sister and her husband who were pastors and gave her life to the Lord at age 19 during a revival service that took place at their church. She presently works as a software specialist for the city of New York at the Department of Social Services.
Garland chose to title her book as she did because it is not just about prayer alone — it is for friends. “I could have chosen, “Prayers for My Friends,” she explains, “but I chose ‘Heartfelt’ because I believe that everything that I have written came from my heart since I’m truly praying for my friends.”
Her prayers are absorbing and meaningful because friendship is more than a word to Lisa. “Friendship, I would say, describes a relationship with someone who is there for you in good as well as bad times,” she reflects. “It is someone you can depend on, someone to talk to; communicate with. Someone who basically has your back. Not someone who is going to be there for you as long as you are doing well and have money and then, when you’re down and out, they’re nowhere to be seen.” She adds, “But if you’re there for me through thick and thin, whether I’m up that day, or I lose my job, if I’m getting back on my feet, whichever the situation, you’re that friend that I can reach out to help me.” And based on “Heartfelt Prayers,” it is a working definition that she lives by as well!
Bitten by the “writing bug,” Garland is far from finished. “I’m going to write at least two-to-three more books,” she promises. “Whether or not they’re going to be something I do full-time thereafter, only God knows that and what direction He will be taking me.” Clearly, she means it as she is full steam ahead, knee-deep in her autobiography at this writing.
An inspiration to many, Lisa, a mother of two, continues to teach her children about God and the importance of serving and worshiping Him. As might be expected, she enjoys reading, but she is anything but one-dimensional. A well-rounded woman of God, she also enjoys baking, cooking, drawing, painting, crocheting, traveling, and taking long walks. Her prayer is that many souls will be won to Jesus Christ as God uses her to write and testify to His goodness in her life.
“Heartfelt Prayers for My Friends” will help readers gain a deeper understanding of prayer and how to pray effectively because of the author’s belief in the power in words before the Lord (hence its Proverbs 18:21 foundation). It is written to encourage and inspire the reader to seek a close and personal relationship with God and bring peace and comfort to the 9/11 survivors. Visit www.ltgarlandinspirations.com to learn more about Lisa and obtain a copy.