Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

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This thoughtful and inspiring collection of prayers by Walter Brueggemann emerged from his more than forty years of teaching. Full of reflection, faith, and dialogue, they reveal another side to this gifted author.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Walter Brueggemann, whose thoughtful and reflective works on the Hebrew Bible have ensured that the term "Old Testament theologian" is not an oxymoron, offers distilled wisdom from his 35 years of teaching in Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth. At the seminaries where he has taught, professors traditionally open their classes with prayer-a practice that for some might devolve into a quick nod to convention, but Brueggemann has always presented the opportunity to involve students more intimately in the assigned biblical texts. This marvelous little book of Brueggemann's start-of-class prayers will have readers cheering, especially when he writes that "much public prayer in the church is careless and slovenly, and... what passes for spontaneity is in fact a lack of preparation."
Library Journal
Brueggemann (Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA) is a classic in his own right. His Theology of the Old Testament is widely read in many seminaries, and his Old Testament studies and original theology are closely followed. This is the first collection of his original prayers, and as such it is likely to be as attentively read as his previous works. Brueggmann's keen and sensitive intelligence is not best displayed here, and his ear for language in these prayers, typographically set out as though they were poems, is better than tin but not golden. Still, these prayers are the sincere outpourings of a man of deep faith, and his theology in them is of a piece with that in his earlier celebrated works. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800634605
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 411,939
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Foreword
1 And then you - Facing God
And then you 3
At the dawn 4
You live at the hinge 5
Stunned by the morning 6
We wait for you to ache 7
You ... and therefore us 8
A thousand, a million, a trillion tongues 9
For how you hope 10
We say "Yes, yes" 11
You with ears bent close to our lips 12
The other side of the street 13
Not at our beck and call 14
You sweep away what we treasure 15
No more sinking sand 16
Before the day is out 18
Three times holy 19
The place where you are curbed 20
Our true home 21
2 A people with many secrets - Truth-telling confession
A people with many secrets 25
Like an endless falling 26
We treasure what you end 27
Not always for you 28
You who command 29
We also live double lives 30
An answering and refusing 31
Yours, and not ours 32
We are takers 33
Fashioning better guarantees 34
The God we would rather have 35
But now you know 36
Even on such a day 37
3 Against your absence - A hidden God
Against your absence 41
Our despairing hope 42
No newness yet 43
You are known in hiddenness 44
You stay hidden within that misery 45
With or without you 46
Against a closed sky 47
4 We are ready to listen - For illumination
We are ready to listen 51
Your command is garbled 52
Ears but do not hear 53
We would know more of you 54
The voice we can scarcely hear 55
The din undoes us 56
The grace to be haunted 57
Give us Saturday ears 58
Reach us 59
That we may change 61
Re-text us 62
5 Move off the page - While reading texts
Move off the page 65
Before us 66
We try, as best we can, to live by bread alone 67
You turn tables 68
Teach us how to weep 69
Your world-forming speech 70
Your word 71
Our mother tongue 72
How you inhabit this text 73
Your new news 74
After the bitterness 75
When the world spins crazy 76
The poems conflict us 77
Soak our lives in it 78
Alabaster cities 79
We are children of another world 81
6 Awed to heaven, rooted in earth - For the church in mission
Awed to heaven, rooted in earth 85
Not the God we would have chosen 87
Re-brand us 88
And we are different 89
A hard, deep call to obedience 90
Yes 91
We do not want to be arrested 92
Do not fear 93
Give us appropriate yielding 95
We are much drawn to circuses 96
Our right names 97
Be our primary disease 99
The anguish and burden of the message 100
With all the graciousness we can muster 101
Deliver us from amnesia 103
Demanding all, not too much, but all 104
Kingdoms rage ... and we are called 105
Move us beyond ourselves 106
7 Start again - For a bruised world
Start again 111
The threats do not wane 112
Their plowshares are beat into swords 113
Reform our deformed lives 115
Work your wonders 117
In the midst of all the pushing and shoving 118
Come to our shut down places 119
We are all in hock 120
While the world says "not possible" 121
We are not self-starters 123
Be your powerful, active, sovereign self 124
Friday is your day of entry 125
Into our several hells 126
Is there a balm ... in Gilead or anywhere? 127
Ours is a seduced world 129
Ceding our end to you 130
8 We will not keep silent - Cadences of gratitude
We will not keep silent 133
You give ... and we receive 134
The God who yearns and waits for us 135
The gratitude we intend 136
We are second and you are first 137
With you it is never "more or less" 139
Giver, Giver, Giver 140
Larger than fear 141
We notice your giving 142
9 Occupy our calendars - Praying the Christian Year
Occupy our calendars 147
The grace and the impatience to wait - Advent 148
In violence and travail - Christmas 149
There is a time to be born, and it is now - Epiphany 150
Not yet as light as hope - Shrove Tuesday 152
Loss is indeed our gain - Lent 153
Revise our taking - Lent 154
Or did we get it wrong - Lent 155
In the name of the bruised one - Holy Week 156
Held back - Holy Week 157
The pivot of hope - Maundy Thursday 158
The terrible silencing we cannot master - Good Friday 159
Not the kingdom of death - Easter 161
We are baffled - Easter 162
You who stalk the earth with new life - Easter 163
But not held - Easter 164
Easter us - Easter 165
To make things new that never were - Pentecost 167
We wait ... but not patiently - Reign of Christ 168
In these very late days - Reign of Christ 169
Index of biblical references 170
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2010

    A Startling Book of Prayers

    This is a startling book of prayers. Many are related to particular days of the church calendar and some are appropriate for "every day" use. What pulls them together is an openness and authenticity seldom found among Christians, much less in their books. Brueggemann is honest about our struggles to trust and follow God as well as our misgivings when it seems God ignores us or asks too much. But he also exults in the God of the universe who nurtures us with grace and humor. The prayers are appropriate for private mediations, in small group devotions or as discussion starters with a larger group.

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