Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities.
A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.
Her best-selling autobiography Joni has been translated into more than 45 languages, introducing her to people around the world. She has authored more than 50 books, including her latest A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God's Sovereignty. Joni has served on the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She is Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and serves in an advisory capacity to the American Leprosy Mission, the National Institute on Learning Disabilities, and Christian Blind Mission International, as well as on the Board of Reference for the Christian Writers Guild and the Christian Medical and Dental Society.
She has received numerous awards and honors, including the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award; The Courage Award from the Courage Rehabilitation Center; The Award of Excellence from the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center; The Victory Award from the National Rehabilitation Hospital; and The Golden Word Award from the International Bible Society.
In June of 2010, Joni was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Having undergone surgery and chemotherapy, she remains committed to invest her energies and efforts in kingdom building initiatives around the globe.
Regarding her most recent role as honorary chair person of the National Day of Prayer, Joni observes, "I’m so grateful to God He has given me the health and stamina to call the people of our nation into faithful and specific prayer for our country. I look forward to fulfilling my responsibilities in this important role and I trust the Lord will use me to inspire and encourage others to cultivate a lifetime habit of prayer!"
2011 National Prayer
Almighty God, you are our Mighty Fortress, our refuge and the God in whom we place our trust. As our nation faces great distress and uncertainty, we ask your Holy Spirit to fall afresh upon your people — convict us of sin and inflame within us a passion to pray for our land and its people.
Grant the leaders of our country an awareness of their desperate need of wisdom and salvation in You until sin becomes a reproach to all and righteousness exalts this nation.
Protect and defend us against our enemies and may the cause of Christ always prevail in our schools, courts, homes, and churches. Lord God, send a spirit of revival and may it begin in our own hearts.
Remember America, we pray. Remember the foundations on which this country was built. Remember the prayers of our nation’s fathers and mothers, and do not forget us in our time of need.
In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.