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Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Story

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  377 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
While visiting the Holy Land, Amanda answers the prayers of a stranger . . . and begins an amazing Christmas journey.

Amanda Vance is ambivalent about her husband’s idea for a big family holiday up north. Last year she planned a special Christmas in their own home, carefully preparing a nursery and the keepsake ornaments for their newborn. Now that room stands as empty as h
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 10th 2012 by Thomas Nelson
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Nov 05, 2012 Kristin rated it did not like it
Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Story is the first book I've read by Davis Bunn and I really wish I could say that I enjoyed it but I am afraid I will not read anything else from this author. I know that I am not the best writer in the world so maybe I shouldn’t have a gripe when it comes to grammar or sentence structure—but this author is a serious abuser of conjunctions. One sentence alone held as many as five and I would nearly groan every single time I saw the word “and” used. Also, the d ...more
Jul 02, 2016 Tima rated it really liked it
Amanda is suffering after the loss of her child. When a neighbor offers her the opportunity to travel to Israel, her husband urges her to accept. The trip opens her eyes to things she'd been missing for a very long time. She learns that sometimes stepping out of our own grief to answer the prayer of another grieving person is just the thing we need to begin our own healing.

The story is set around Christmas time. But it can be read any time of the year, because it is a story about forgiveness, he
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
I'm starting to sense God's presence in all things, especially in the latest books I've been writing and Prayers of A Stranger by one of my favorite authors, Davis Bunn is certainly no exception. In fact I've highlighted more passages that spoke to me personally than I think I ever had in a book before and to me, that means something.

"It's a shame that life does not give us a time free of other worries when we can heal."

In the novel, Prayers of A Stranger, Davis Bunn accomplishes something more
Debbie Phillips
Dec 17, 2013 Debbie Phillips rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians - high school to adult
Another great Christmas story I chose and read this season. With fun quotes like this, “You know what they say, dear. God gave us friends to make up for our families.” (35) LOL

A story about healing. A story that takes place in the USA and in Israel, Bethlehem even. Very appropriate for a Christmas story. A story where God is very present. God works the best where healing is needed. There is always something to uplift and speak to my heart in a Davis Bunn book, like this quote.

“It's important th
SUMMARY: While visiting the Holy Land, Amanda answers the prayers of a stranger . . . and begins an amazing Christmas journey.

Amanda Vance is ambivalent about her husband’s idea for a big family holiday up north. Last year she planned a special Christmas in their own home, carefully preparing a nursery and the keepsake ornaments for their newborn. Now that room stands as empty as her heart.

Then a neighbor’s mishap turns into a last-minute chance for Amanda to take a much-needed vacation to tour

Author: Davis Bunn
Published By: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 5


"Prayers of a Stranger" by Davis Bunn was indeed a wonderful read that really touched me from deep down. This writer really knows how to truly touch ones heart from his writing. "Prayers of a Stranger" was a novel of 'the healing and of the friendships of forgiveness' was simply wonderful. We find in the read that Amanda and her husband Christopher Vance had su
Dec 10, 2014 Tarissa rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect book to put your heart in the right place at Christmastime. Heartwarming. Festive. Helps you to discover the true story behind Christmas.

This is my first book to read from Mr. Bunn, although I've heard great reviews of his books for years. I wasn't let down. I enjoyed Prayers of a Stranger SO MUCH!

Amanda Vance is a woman with a heart full of long-held grief. She makes it the Holy Land for a special vacation away from her job at the hospital. There are things she's avoided for
Amanda Vance is ambivalent about her husband’s idea for a big family holiday up north. Last year she planned a special Christmas in their own home, carefully preparing a nursery and the keepsake ornaments for their newborn. Now that room stands as empty as her heart.

Then a neighbor’s mishap turns into a last-minute chance for Amanda to take a much-needed vacation to tour the Holy Land.

An extraordinary turn of events allows Amanda to help answer a young mother’s plea for healing. Then, filled wit
Jan 19, 2016 NancyInWI rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas, christian
I don't know if it's because I was so busy and only read 15-20 pages a day that the story didn't keep my interest, but it seems like quite a few books I've read lately seem to plod until the last 30 pages. This book was no exception. This was one of only 2 Christmas books I read this year and didn't manage to finish this one until almost 4 weeks after Christmas. Finally sat down and read to the end today. The last portion had me in tears. I only wish I had read this Christmas week. It would have ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

For this Season I've been reading Christmas stories. I've chosen books that are not your typical boy meets girl romance story. Though this is the first time I've read one of the author's books, I really enjoyed it and will read others when Christmas is over!
Dec 15, 2016 Jodi rated it really liked it
Short sweet book, i loved all the references to prayer and i enjoyed "seeing" Israel. Some of the story lines were a little far fetched, but it was overall a nice, feel good book for this time of the year.
Dec 15, 2016 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
I loved this story about healing after losing a baby; one is stillborn and one dies soon after birth. It's supposed to be a Christmas story but it has little to do with Christmas and more to do with problems in peoples lives.
Dec 12, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
I liked the story, but the writing was lacking. It just didn't seem to flow. I don't think I will be reading more from this author.
Dec 27, 2016 Barb rated it really liked it
Interesting characters and story.
Megan Alton
Nov 27, 2016 Megan Alton rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars.
Amy Bradsher
Sep 29, 2012 Amy Bradsher rated it it was amazing
Bunn has written an intense yet inspirational look at a couple's journey through the loss of a child. Walking through mourning with Amanda as she searches for healing is both educational and inspiring. It's all too easy to think that those who have suffered a loss should be ready to move on when we are, but we all must heal on our own God-given schedules. Bunn offers a very compassionate view of this dilemma, painting vividly the issues this can create in our families and friendships but also sh ...more
Nov 01, 2012 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Travel with me to the land of miracles. Where is this? Here, there, but mostly right in your heart. Feel again that sense of awe you had when you first gave your total all to God, whether that was decades ago, or today.
Reading this novel, I remembered again that feeling I had when I once again gave everything, including my dreams to the Savior who loves me more than anyone could. I too, prayed that I could carry that feeling of euphoria into my daily life and that it would change the way I look
Feb 16, 2013 Corrine rated it it was amazing
This book is about a couple Amanda and Chris Vance Amanda who works at the local hospital as an administrative assistant and Chris who works for a electronics company the year before Amanda was pregnant just before Christmas she had a miscarriage both her and Chris were devastated Christmas was a complete mess that year they had went to Chris sisters Claire for Christmas but Amanda seeing all the children was too much for her so in the middle of the night they left Claire was not pleased.

Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Journey was a pleasant quick read for the Christmas season but not on the same par as the many other books I have read by Davis Bunn. The story focuses on 2 families---Amanda and her husband Chris---and Frank and Emily Wright and their daughter Lisa. Amanda has been struggling emotionally with the stillborn birth of a daughter nearly a year ago and her husband Chris is dealing with a crisis in the company he works. Their lives become entwined with their neighbo ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
A touching novel surrounding love and healing after the loss of a child. Amanda and Christopher are both coping in different ways, Chris launches himself into leading his offices Bible Study whilst Amanda has had to leave her NICU nursing career for the less painful option of assistant to the head of her hospital.

I warn you, you are going to be spitting fire at Chris' sister, who quite frankly is the most insensitive, cold-hearted woman, I've ever "met". Her callousness at the loss of her niece
Oct 17, 2015 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished "Prayers of a Stranger, A Christmas Journey" by Davis Bunn. My first Christmas novel of the year and I could not have chose a better one.

I really do not want to say a word about the plot of the book because to do so might rob you, the potential reader, of the blessing awaiting in the read of this book.

So instead I'll share some of the sentences I highlighted:
"Those who have hurt and grow from the pain, these are the ones to trust when your burden is heavy."

"That grief has its ow

Sep 25, 2012 Jeannie rated it it was amazing
This was a great inspirational book. The main characters have suffered a great loss in life and the future doesn’t look much promising, still they hold to their faith. It was an uplifting story about how God places people in our life to support us during our time of need and how God places us in situations where we can use our past to help others. We might not know how many people are out there praying for us and lifting us up, but we should place our trust in God’s hands and watch his story unf ...more
Oct 01, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing
When the previous Christmas holiday left Amanda and Chris reeling from a great loss, Amanda is uncertain what she feels about the upcoming Christmas season. An unexpected invitation comes from her neighbor Emily to visit the Holy Land and Amanda agrees to accompany her. When she meets Miriam at the Wailing Wall the healing process begins, and Amanda discovers she still posseses the ability to hold a child and bring healing to a family. Much is also happening for Chris and his neighbor Frank and ...more
Carole Jarvis
Dec 11, 2012 Carole Jarvis rated it really liked it
This is another book that I can recommend. Easy to read, but more depth than the average Christmas book. Three different storylines are woven together and I especially enjoyed the scenes that took place in Israel. Here's my review:

"Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Journey" by Davis Bunn is a story about forgiveness, healing and the giving of self. While set in Melbourne, Florida and Israel during the Christmas season, it would be good reading for any time of year. The journey of healing after
Dec 31, 2013 Erika rated it really liked it
A unique and outstanding plot, this book contained great Christian revelations appropriate for all times of the year, not just Christmas.

Chris on why he works with ethics and scruples: "Because they are grounded in the eternal."

Amanda coming to realize the parallels between Mother Mary and all mothers: "Was this not the way of all mothers? The hope and the terrible anxieties. The perfection of the Heavenly gift was balanced against the tremendous burdens of motherhood. It was true for every moth
Dec 19, 2012 Ronna rated it really liked it
This is a precious story of the great power of prayer in many lives. The family who lost their daughter to stillbirth, the family whose daughter was lost to the world of drugs, and a family whose baby daughter was getting sicker and sicker despite constant medical care.

Two neighbors found themselves visiting Israel with a tour group, but deciding to go out on their own so they could get closer to their Lord. When visiting the Wailing Wall with their prayers, they met a stranger who changes all t
Apr 29, 2015 Anita rated it it was amazing
I listened to this on my hoopla app on my phone. What a great story of a life mundane, transformed into a vibrant tapestry because of the kindness of a neighbor! (and a few other people as well) I loved the story of this hurting, wounded couple who were just surviving after a tragedy. The hand of God was so evident in the arrangement of the journey that would restore hope and purpose in their lives. I've never wanted to visit Israel, but I'm sure glad these characters did. Can't really say much ...more
Sandra Beck
Jul 14, 2014 Sandra Beck rated it it was amazing
From the moment I picked the book up I bonded with the characters..I hope to see more and follow them ..It leaves you reading well into the night..A heart warming story of life . You feel to the depth of your soul for them and pray that they can come out of this stronger and with love enough to survive anthing else that comes their way...Wonderful read from start to finish..Hoping for more of this story..
Sin Tien Tan
Oct 29, 2014 Sin Tien Tan rated it really liked it
First and foremost, this is a Christian fiction, so if that's not your cup of tea, do skip over this. That being said, as a non-Christian reader, I find this to be a lot more than bearable, which is already much more than what I can say about other religious reads. That is because when you get down to the roots, it's a tale of faith, and that's thankfully universal. Who wouldn't need a quaint parcel of hope, especially as the holiday is coming around? Heart-warming and uplifting.
Dec 03, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
I checked out the audio version of this book, because I love audio's and it was only the version that they had available at that time. This was a book that I wouldn't have chose for myself, because I love historical fiction. But it is the book that my book club chose. Once I got into the book I really enjoyed it even though I felt that the author could have added another chapter at the end for a year later. All in all I will read this book again.
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Davis Bunn is an internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than seven million books in twenty languages.

Honored with four Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, Davis was inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame in 2014.

His bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt. A sought-after lecturer in the a
More about Davis Bunn...

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