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Prayers for a Privileged People Paperback – April 1, 2008
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Some of his prayers reflect on specific passages of Scripture. Others take their cue from the calendar, like those for Super Bowl Sunday, Income Tax Day, or Mother's Day. Still others follow lectionary days like Epiphany or Easter. The psalm-like poems or prayers embody the ancient maxim of lex orandi, lex credendi, that the way or law of prayer is the way of believing. They combine the prophetic-transgressive and the pastoral-compassionate, and demonstrate just how subversive is the act of prayer for those of us who are all too comfortable with privilege, safety, control, and competence. These prayers lead us toward a spirit of true candor about God, ourselves, and the world. I highly recommend this little gem of a book for both personal and liturgical use.
Whatever the fuse that ignites these inspired prayers, it ultimately doesn't matter. Scriptural themes, Psalm-like intonations, political views, psycho-therapeutic analysis of self and country, poetic license, and prophetic calls for a new way all bubble up together in these words of faith. Holy writ and world-event build together in stark and beautiful conversation.
Keep in mind that this God-talk is not filled with the saccharine-sweet, comfortably sanguine language typically associated with "church" settings. No, those sorts of words are jettisoned here (along with theological jargon) in favor of the sort of risky vocabulary that can only be drawn from faithful exegesis, keen awareness of life's wounds, and harsh honesty.
Brueggemann's prayers are blunt. They dare touch upon such themes as unfulfilled waiting, the sobs of lament, the violence of culture and governments, the inhumane treatment of the poor, and the tattered reality of broken dreams. Still, there remains the low, faithful (and sometimes even playful) rumble of a voice that will not yield hope. It is a pastoral voice that is needed not just (and obviously) in those broken regions populated by the ostracized, dehumanized, or vilified. No, it is a voice also needed among those blinded by affluence and caught in the "less-than" lives of misplaced excess.Read more ›
This volume of prayers engages the reader with this God.
But be ready to be shocked, pushed, pulled, challenged, and changed if you pray these prayers from your heart. As privileged people, we tend toward sloth, indifference, and ease. Yet a genuine encounter with God promises to unsettle. These pages offer no droning monotones that repeat familiar phrases or ask for Aunt Sally to be healed. These prayers connect us to the God of the universe, God's initiating grace and steadfast love, but also to God's passion for justice, God's desire for us to change, God's compelling ways that promise to renew our hurting world.
Brueggemann students may know about his scholarship. This book gives a glimpse into the professor's heart and faith. Life with God is dynamic, full of confession and honest struggle, sincere about the difficulties of faithfulness, especially among privileged people and a world of disparity and in need of healing and peace.
This book will feed your devotional life and inspire your faithfulness.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book which you can read again and again. Each prayer is long enough to guide you through serious contemplation of the theme of the prayer, but short enough so as not to... Read morePublished 3 days ago by S Willy
This is vintage Brueggemann. Prophetic. To the point. No one else among us today could have written this. Read morePublished 7 months ago by James William Holmes
Walter Brueggemann has done it again. What he has written goes straight to my heart.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
I find myself returning to it as I write my own prayers, as a reminder to be honest! Clear, beautiful, sometimes a little close to the bone, Brueggemann brings his scholarship to... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lore G.
I love love love this book.
Been praying it for my devotions for a couple years now.
It is haunting, convicting, inspiring, compelling, and powerful. Read more
The book shipped and arrived on time. These prayers were basically written for the American middle class, which is "privileged" in what they own and in their style of... Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by aeh
These prayers are a beautiful call to obedience and a life filled with Shalom in a world that tantalizes us with idols. Read morePublished on February 19, 2013 by Dr. Samuel Mahaffy