Prayers for a Privileged People

by Walter Brueggemann

Paperback, 2008





In Prayers for a Privileged People, this much-published author sculpts--as carefully as if with chisel--prayers on behalf of those who are people of privilege and entitlement--the haves--at an urgent moment in our society. The privileged face, on the one hand, the seduction of denial or, on the other, the temptation of despair. These prayers of wisdom and prophetic power remind us that when things go wrong , when we are afraid , and when we feel prodded by those who lack voice, there is a conversation we can have--a conversation situated amid the promises and commands of God. From the Circuit Rider review: "This is a beautiful collection of poetic and prophetic prayers, words to be prayed with, mulled over, pondered, savored--and challenged by. For in this little text, we glimpse a side of Brueggemann we may not have known through his rich Scripture studies alone. Here, he draws on not only his extensive years of study and teaching of the Psalms and the prophets, but his own faith immersion in the church year and in the liturgies of the church." (Click here to read the entire review.)… (more)


Abingdon Press (2008), 200 pages

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½ (8 ratings; 4.5)

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LibraryThing member wrmjr66
Brueggemann's prayers are a wonderful blending of the contemporary issues we all face with biblical language and imagery. These prayers are appropriate both for individual and corporate prayer. He writes the prayers with line breaks, like poetry, but the rhythms are more that of well-written prose.
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I definitely consider it a prayer book worth owning.
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LibraryThing member Jared_Runck
Linguists have long noted that, within the verbal stylings of biblical Hebrew, the prophetic literature has occupied a uniquely "middle ground" between prose and poetry (just compare a few Bible translations of Jeremiah, for example) and you can actually see the ongoing debates and developments. To
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me, Brueggemann's greatest accomplishment in this book of poetic prayers/prayerful poems is give a sense of what this "prophetic" diction might sound like in English.

This is "classic Brueggemann" in multiple ways: themes, motifs, subjects, and those absolutely mind-blowing turns of phrase that show up every other page or so that, frankly, open up new ways to see the world. It is a collection that well repays a slow read (say, a poem a day) or a total immersion (the entire book could easily be read in an afternoon, at most). One note: There is a definite progression to the poems (Pay attention to the section descriptions!), so they should be read in order rather than skipping about.

I will certainly return to this book in the future; it brings together literary beauty and prophetic power in near-perfect balance and combination. Furthermore, it demonstrates not only Brueggemann's range as a writer but the clarity and consistency of his central convictions and concerns. Truly, it is a wonderful work.
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