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Praying for My Life

Marion Bond West is fascinated by honesty. Honesty in others. Honesty with herself. Honesty with God. For more than 36 years, she has written honestly about her life and God in a wide variety of books, magazines and newspapers. Now Marion’s transparent writing becomes intensely personal in Praying for My Life (GuidepostsBooks, September 2006), her spiritual memoir recounting the power of prayer and the faithfulness of God in every situation. As she recalls God’s provision throughout her life, Marion explains how an obscure passage in the Biblical book of Habakkuk has shaped her prayers and taught her to rely on God. Marion grew up as an only child in a small southern town full of wide porches, big back yards, and church-going people. But it wasn’t until she was married and had four small children that she saw her own desperate need for God. Motherhood wasn’t what she expected it to be. Many days she could just barely hang on while trying to handle hyperactive twin boys. Several years later, when her husband Jerry found out that “feeling under the weather” was terminal brain cancer, Marion watched him die. Then she watched herself morph into a single parent to teenage children, something she never dreamt she’d have to do. Marion looked honestly at the profound loneliness and sadness in her life and wrote with candor about battling depression. That article appearing in a 1986 Guideposts magazine issue was read by a widower in Oklahoma, Dr. Gene Acuff, who replied to Marion’s article via a letter and a phone call. The resulting correspondence blossomed into a whirlwind romance and marriage—now almost 20 years strong. After their union, Marion’s troubles did not evaporate. She relied on prayer as her heart broke for her now grown children – her twin sons struggled after the death of their father with rebellion, addiction and irresponsibility. In all of these adversities, Marion still believed “God is able no matter what…He is able.” Praying for My Life recounts Marion’s often tumultuous life, which has provided much of the working material for her six previous books and hundreds of articles. Her writing is characterized by “a willingness to become vulnerable in order to talk to people about her pain—in order for them to work their way out of their own.” The author characterizes her new book as a story for readers who have almost given up hope, almost but not quite. Marion is a contributing editor of Guideposts magazine, having written for the internationally recognized publication for more than 34 years. Marion says she has the distinction of being Guideposts’ most published and most rejected writer. She has written seven books, including Out of My Bondage, No Turning Back, Two of Everything but Me, Learning to Lean, Look Out Fear, Here Comes Faith! and The Nevertheless Principle. Her articles and stories have appeared in Home Life, Today’s Christian Woman, Readers Digest, Atlanta Journal Constitution and many others. She has been writing for Daily Guideposts for more than 37 years. She and her husband Gene Acuff live in a Watkinsville, Georgia.