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Book Review: Give Us Grace: an Anthology of Anglican Prayers by Christopher L. Webber
by Peter Menkin  
1/18/2009 / Book Reviews


Useful book for people interested in reading, using prayer

This is a book that I read, but more I use for prayer. I grant many of the prayers by the well known and should be known Anglicans in this book are old. And their language may be unusual to us moderns, at least to an extent, but they are useful and meaningful.

I bought this hardback to have access to prayers. I had read a biography of Terry Waite, the Anglican held captive some years ago in Iran. He said of his captivity, that one thing that held him was staying with prayers he knew from his prayer book. Albeit I have The Book of Common Prayer, and I say those prayers from it as do many Episcopalians. I thought to myself that I needed more, and though I don't believe that Terry Waite, a devout man, only said those prayers from his prayer book, and none of his own, nonetheless it is a good idea to have a source of prayer like the Anthology as also starting point and inspiration. Those who wish to widen their scope will find this a useful book, one full of history of the Anglican Church.

Say you are perusing the book, rather than reading it from one cover to the other, you will find all kinds of interesting prayers. Some are long. There is John Donne, who says prayers before various sacraments, like marriage. He is of course giving a sermon at the marriage. Here is some text to give you a taste of the language you may encounter. This from the time of 1571 to 1631:

"O Eternall and most gracious God, who hast promised to hearken to the prayers of thy people, when they pray towards thy house, though they be absent from it, worke more effectually upon us, who are personally met in this thy house, in this place consecrated to they worship. Enable us, O Lord so to see thee..."

The language is to this reader most moving and lovely. The book has many such samples of prayer. Here is another sample, this from Jeremy Taylor:

"An Act of Contrition...Lord, thou shalt find my heart full of cares and worldly desires, cheated with love of riches, and neglact of holy things..."

I was introduced to prayers from the New Zealand Prayer Book by a minister, and I was happy to find some of those prayers in this book, which Episcopalians may find a good source of history and interesting reading. There is a text before the prayers of each person who is quoted that tells of that persons life, and the years they lived. The quotes from the New Zealand book are too lengthy for here, but this excerpt about the night:

"The night is dark/Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you." "The night is quiet./Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,/all dear to us,/and all who have no peace."

That is a modern, contemporary prayer from their book.

More prayers, or subjects for prayer are given. Elizabeth Goudge, a layperson who lived 1900 to 1984 has some of her prayers in this book "Give Us Grace:" "For the Crippled, For the Blind," "For the Dying," "For Political Prisoners,"

Frankly, I enjoy finding these prayers, and I think if you are so inclined to a need to get words to pray and connect with God on all sorts of topics, you will find this a treasure of such good things. A book to keep, the type is large enough for easy reading and the hardback binding seems sturdy. So one can put this book to use for a long time. One reviewer calls this book, a "Feast." I think it is that, too. The publisher is Morehouse Publishing, an Episcopal Church publishing house. Interestingly, the genre or category for the book is "spirituality," and that should tell you something of it, too. There is no harm in being introduced to a rich tradition. The book is compiled by a well known Episcopal editor, Christopher L. Webber. Congratulations to him for an eminent job. Rich in prayer, this book is a keeper for those so inclined to the spiritual path and religious reading.

--Peter Menkin, Mill Valley, CA USA This is a book that I read, but more I use for prayer. I grant many of the prayers by the well known and should be known Anglicans in this book are old. And their language may be unusual to us moderns, at least to an extent, but they are useful and meaningful.

I bought this hardback to have access to prayers. I had read a biography of Terry Waite, the Anglican held captive some years ago in Iran. He said of his captivity, that one thing that held him was staying with prayers he knew from his prayer book. Albeit I have The Book of Common Prayer, and I say those prayers from it as do many Episcopalians. I thought to myself that I needed more, and though I don't believe that Terry Waite, a devout man, only said those prayers from his prayer book, and none of his own, nonetheless it is a good idea to have a source of prayer like the Anthology as also starting point and inspiration. Those who wish to widen their scope will find this a useful book, one full of history of the Anglican Church.

Say you are perusing the book, rather than reading it from one cover to the other, you will find all kinds of interesting prayers. Some are long. There is John Donne, who says prayers before various sacraments, like marriage. He is of course giving a sermon at the marriage. Here is some text to give you a taste of the language you may encounter. This from the time of 1571 to 1631:

"O Eternall and most gracious God, who hast promised to hearken to the prayers of thy people, when they pray towards thy house, though they be absent from it, worke more effectually upon us, who are personally met in this thy house, in this place consecrated to they worship. Enable us, O Lord so to see thee..."

The language is to this reader most moving and lovely. The book has many such samples of prayer. Here is another sample, this from Jeremy Taylor:

"An Act of Contrition...Lord, thou shalt find my heart full of cares and worldly desires, cheated with love of riches, and neglact of holy things..."

I was introduced to prayers from the New Zealand Prayer Book by a minister, and I was happy to find some of those prayers in this book, which Episcopalians may find a good source of history and interesting reading. There is a text before the prayers of each person who is quoted that tells of that persons life, and the years they lived. The quotes from the New Zealand book are too lengthy for here, but this excerpt about the night:

"The night is dark/Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you." "The night is quiet./Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,/all dear to us,/and all who have no peace."

That is a modern, contemporary prayer from their book.

More prayers, or subjects for prayer are given. Elizabeth Goudge, a layperson who lived 1900 to 1984 has some of her prayers in this book "Give Us Grace:" "For the Crippled, For the Blind," "For the Dying," "For Political Prisoners,"

Frankly, I enjoy finding these prayers, and I think if you are so inclined to a need to get words to pray and connect with God on all sorts of topics, you will find this a treasure of such good things. A book to keep, the type is large enough for easy reading and the hardback binding seems sturdy. So one can put this book to use for a long time. One reviewer calls this book, a "Feast." I think it is that, too. The publisher is Morehouse Publishing, an Episcopal Church publishing house. Interestingly, the genre or category for the book is "spirituality," and that should tell you something of it, too. There is no harm in being introduced to a rich tradition. The book is compiled by a well known Episcopal editor, Christopher L. Webber. Congratulations to him for an eminent job. Rich in prayer, this book is a keeper for those so inclined to the spiritual path and religious reading.

--Peter Menkin, Mill Valley, CA USA This is a book that I read, but more I use for prayer. I grant many of the prayers by the well known and should be known Anglicans in this book are old. And their language may be unusual to us moderns, at least to an extent, but they are useful and meaningful.

I bought this hardback to have access to prayers. I had read a biography of Terry Waite, the Anglican held captive some years ago in Iran. He said of his captivity, that one thing that held him was staying with prayers he knew from his prayer book. Albeit I have The Book of Common Prayer, and I say those prayers from it as do many Episcopalians. I thought to myself that I needed more, and though I don't believe that Terry Waite, a devout man, only said those prayers from his prayer book, and none of his own, nonetheless it is a good idea to have a source of prayer like the Anthology as also starting point and inspiration. Those who wish to widen their scope will find this a useful book, one full of history of the Anglican Church.

Say you are perusing the book, rather than reading it from one cover to the other, you will find all kinds of interesting prayers. Some are long. There is John Donne, who says prayers before various sacraments, like marriage. He is of course giving a sermon at the marriage. Here is some text to give you a taste of the language you may encounter. This from the time of 1571 to 1631:

"O Eternall and most gracious God, who hast promised to hearken to the prayers of thy people, when they pray towards thy house, though they be absent from it, worke more effectually upon us, who are personally met in this thy house, in this place consecrated to they worship. Enable us, O Lord so to see thee..."

The language is to this reader most moving and lovely. The book has many such samples of prayer. Here is another sample, this from Jeremy Taylor:

"An Act of Contrition...Lord, thou shalt find my heart full of cares and worldly desires, cheated with love of riches, and neglact of holy things..."

I was introduced to prayers from the New Zealand Prayer Book by a minister, and I was happy to find some of those prayers in this book, which Episcopalians may find a good source of history and interesting reading. There is a text before the prayers of each person who is quoted that tells of that persons life, and the years they lived. The quotes from the New Zealand book are too lengthy for here, but this excerpt about the night:

"The night is dark/Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you." "The night is quiet./Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,/all dear to us,/and all who have no peace."

That is a modern, contemporary prayer from their book.

More prayers, or subjects for prayer are given. Elizabeth Goudge, a layperson who lived 1900 to 1984 has some of her prayers in this book "Give Us Grace:" "For the Crippled, For the Blind," "For the Dying," "For Political Prisoners,"

Frankly, I enjoy finding these prayers, and I think if you are so inclined to a need to get words to pray and connect with God on all sorts of topics, you will find this a treasure of such good things. A book to keep, the type is large enough for easy reading and the hardback binding seems sturdy. So one can put this book to use for a long time. One reviewer calls this book, a "Feast." I think it is that, too. The publisher is Morehouse Publishing, an Episcopal Church publishing house. Interestingly, the genre or category for the book is "spirituality," and that should tell you something of it, too. There is no harm in being introduced to a rich tradition. The book is compiled by a well known Episcopal editor, Christopher L. Webber. Congratulations to him for an eminent job. Rich in prayer, this book is a keeper for those so inclined to the spiritual path and religious reading.

--Peter Menkin, Mill Valley, CA USA

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA where he writes poetry. He is an Oblate of Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Big Sur, CA and that means he is a Camaldoli Benedictine. He is 64 years of age as of 2010.

Copyright Peter Menkin

http://www.petermenkin.blogspot.com


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