Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholenessby Nan C. Merrill
Every commentary on the Book of Psalms has had to face the issue that many of these prayers commemorate and celebrate wrath and vengeance. What is needed is not ingenious exegetical rationalization of ancient texts, but the kind of transformation into a work of piety and art that is provided here.Addressed are the needs of a world seeking to counter individual and
Every commentary on the Book of Psalms has had to face the issue that many of these prayers commemorate and celebrate wrath and vengeance. What is needed is not ingenious exegetical rationalization of ancient texts, but the kind of transformation into a work of piety and art that is provided here.Addressed are the needs of a world seeking to counter individual and societal injustices by a global peace born of personal peace through prayer and practice. In short, here is the Book of Psalms recast in the light of the continuing revelation and evolution of the authentic religious spirit of the scriptures.
- Bloomsbury Academic
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- 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Nan C. Merrill is the author of Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, which has sold 50,000 copies and is in a tenth-anniversary edition. Her widely used Meditations and Mandalas: Simple Songs for the Spiritual Life is also published by Continuum. Merrill founded the monthly newsletter Friends of Silence, served with urban parish teams, facilitated retreats, and was engaged in prison ministry for more than thirty years. She passed away in January 2010.
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Praying the Psalms: An Invitation to Wholeness was a gift to me from a dear Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart. Because of her generosity and Nan Merrill's non-exclusive language, I am pulled into the Psalms. My soul opens to embrace the God of Love, the God of Presence, the God of Comfort and the God of Forgiveness. Over and over again, I find myself drawn to trust my Creator. In a world where fears are many, Merrill's interpretation of the Psalms is a feast for souls buffeted by economic downturns, job loses, worries about failing health, concerns about aging parents and challenges of relationships. Not once did I as a woman feel anything but included in the Psalms. Merrill deserves the thanks of women who have had to swallow hard for centuries as they were pushed to the spiritual sidelines. Poetic. Enlightening. Refreshing. Truly a path to wholeness, unity and inclusion.
Nan C. Merrill's PSALMS FOR PRAYING is a treasure! Having used it for years, I continue to recommended it to many people. Merrill's take on the traditional Psalms opens new insight into the power of God's Spirit in our lives now. Replacing ancient imagery of war and violence with that of time-honored inner struggles, her prayers connect us with the inner wisdom of the Holy Spirit who is on our side and "intercedes with sighs too deep for words ..." (Rom. 8:26, RSV). I love this wonderful prayerbook. I recently bought one for a dear friend struggling with fear and discouragement as she undergoes chemotherapy. Merrill's publisher should honor this collection of prayers with a more permanent prayerbook-like binding and thinner pages that lie open as we contemplate. PSALMS FOR PRAYING is my favorite prayerbook.
I opened this book to Psalm 91 and my heart was warmed as if my guardian Angel laid hands upon my shoulders. Last year our small group had struggled through all the Psalms often needing outside sources to help us in our struggles to hear the message. With this book they come alive. What a blessing!
I first heard of this book while in a Centering Prayer group. It was used as a springboard for centering. The Psalms are beautiful prayers of supplication and thanksgiving. However, in the text of the Old Testament, they can seem rather distant to the present experience. Nan Merrill has been able to keep the integrity of the original Psalm while at the same time transforming the prayers from a point of guilt and fear to one of love and reconciliation and forgiveness. For those in search of peace, I recommend Psalms for Praying.