In this review space, I like to try to cover things that are recently out- in the hopes of offering good information as to what is worth your time and shelf space and what could be skipped. Sometimes, however, a book slips through the cracks and I don’t learn about it until a couple years after publication. Then I have to wonder if I am way behind everyone else or if maybe others need this information too.
Published in 2016, A Booklet of Uncommon Prayer is a small e-book from Evangelicals for Social Action. I saw a link to the book recently on a friend’s social media page and went searching for this new-to-me resource. The subtitle for the booklet is this: Collects for the #BlackLivesMatter Movement — and Beyond. It is authored by Kenji Kuramitsu.
It’s the rare publication that delivers exactly what it promises. This is a collection of prayers for situations like After a Shooting at the Hands of the Police and Against Environmental Recklessness and For Muslim and Christian Solidarity. The prayers are succint and deeply felt.
Here is part of In Times When People Say “All Lives Matter”:
…Teach us, Liberator of your Faithful, to take the side of the oppressed, as you did. Point us to the example of Moses, of your prophets, of Christ, who with boldness and truth proclaimed that the lives of the exploited matter…
This book offers a needed voice and is an asset to the pastor who wants strongly worded prayers and is more comfortable with a prayer book or written prayers. Even for the more extemporaneous prayer warriors among us, this is a helpful resources for our own devotions or as a jumpstart to a prayer in a difficult circumstance.
How about this from Against Constantinian Christianity:
… Teach us to unmask human conquerors for their false claims to lordship, wreck our allegiance to earthly dynasties of wealth and power, and do not let us be swayed by false promises of great power…
I believe I will put that one in my regular rotation.
You may not love every prayer in this book, but I guarantee that you will be moved by them and find yourself thinking of them. Since this is an electronic resource, you can easily keep it on your phone or tablet and have it handy. If you didn’t know, now you know. If I didn’t already have this book, I’d buy it today.
The Reverend Julia Seymour serves Big Timber Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Big Timber, MT. She blogs at lutheranjulia.blogspot.com and readsallthethings.com. She contributed to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit and is President of the board of RevGalBlogPals, Inc.
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