Some Favourite Prayer Resource: Part 3

Here is the final (and eagerly awaited) installment of my trilogy of posts about helpful prayer and liturgy resources.

Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth by Brueggemann (USA)

I wish there were more works like these, where our biblical scholars and theologians let their work reach its proper end – the task of prayer. Surely the place where a depth of understanding of the biblical narrative and Christian theology is most needed and fruitful is in addressing and being addressed by the God to whom the Scriptures point, the One to whom theology points? Walter Brueggemann delivers, although he doesn’t make it altogether easy for us ‘end users’. His depth is at times bewildering, and the work he does, and the distance he covers in a sentence or two can take a fair few readings to grasp. Occasionally I look at the scripture reference and then think, ‘I guess you had to be there!’ Again, while I have used less of these prayers than I would have liked to over the years, they have deepened my own writing of prayers. This is the one where the bookmark lay in the section, ‘A Hidden God.’

Against your absence

All power, honour, glory be to you!
You….sometimes hidden, silent, absent, unresponsive.
We are so privileged that we seldom sense you
   hidden, silent, absent, unresponsive.
But we know people who do,
   we think of places where you do not appear.
We imagine you defeated, weak, held captive.

And we wait a day,
two days,
until the third day.

And then, most often then,
quite reliably then,
you appear then in your full glory.

This day we pray against your absence, silence and hiddenness.
Come with full power into deathly places, and we will praise you deep and full.


The Sun Dances: Prayers and Blessings from the Gaelic by Alexander Carmichael (Scotland)

Ok you got me. This one is here to make up the numbers. A friend was giving away books and I spied this on the list. It went on my shelf and haven’t looked at it since. But here’s one that caught my eye as I flicked through it, used for the baptism of a child:

The little drop of the Father
On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

The little drop of the Son
On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

The little drop of the Spirit
On thy little forehead, beloved one.

To keep thee for the Three
To shield thee, to surround thee; 

To save thee for the Three,
To fill thee with the graces; 

The little drop of the Three
To [wash] thee with the graces.

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