Tuesday, February 13, 2024


The Yada Yada Prayer Group (The Yada Yada Prayer Group #1)The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two have in common?

Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a prayer group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends? I almost didn't even go to the Chicago Women's Conference--after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn't exactly my "comfort zone." But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together, and the "Yada Yada Prayer Group" was born! When I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound Sisters to show me what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.


For me, 5 stars doesn't come close to being enough. I remember reading and loving the first two books in this series many years ago, but never went further at the time. Now I'm starting all over - which is a good thing, because I'm getting more out of the series the second time around.

The story features a social and cultural mix of women randomly assigned together as Prayer Group #26 at a two-day Chicago women's conference. There's no way they would have become friends in the normal scheme of things, so all that unfolds as they journey together, both during and after the conference, is fascinating and inspirational. The story speaks to all of us through its themes of friendship, acceptance, tolerance, understanding, repentance and forgiveness.

It was interesting that much of the story is told through the voice of Jodi, a character that I wasn't all that fond of until toward the end. Some of the ladies are stronger in faith and much more comfortable praying than others. For instance, Jodi admits that, "Theologically, I knew I'd been saved, but it wasn't something I felt very much." Maybe there was a time in my life where I could relate to Jodi.

Personally, I found The Yada Yada Prayer Group not only entertaining, but to be life changing in the area of prayer. I've always been a little uncomfortable praying out loud, and that these ladies found it so easy to talk to God and praise Him - "worshiping Him, being glad to know Him - no strings attached" - was an encouragement to me.

Jodi proved herself to be very human, just like the rest of us. While healing both physically and spiritually after a traumatic accident, Jodi dwells on a phrase that I can't get out of my mind either, "If not for grace..."

Highly recommended, 5*

-- Yada definition: "to perceive, understand, acquire knowledge, know, discern." And if spelled Yadah, it means "to acknowledge the nature and work of God."
-- "A saint is just a sinner who fell down...and got up."

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