Just what is pastoral prayer all about? When we pray for others and ourselves, what are we attempting to do?
As David Sparks explains, as pastoral pray-ers we are about bringing ourselves into right relationship with God, both as individuals and as a faith community. As pastoral pray-ers, we are about expressing our compassion for suffering humanity, and fulfilling God’s intention of establishing God’s realm on earth. Pastoral pray-ers are also about being involved in the answers to our prayers. There’s no trying to persuade God to do what we ourselves could do with some energy and effort here!
David writes his prayers with a view to awakening in us an awareness of where to put our energy and use our faith to bring about God’s kingdom on earth. They cover local and worldwide events, individual and congregational concerns. They are all lectionary-based and responsive and can easily be adapted to particular circumstances and used in a variety of settings.
Each weekly prayer is divided into four sections: world, suffering, church, and ourselves. Each week offers two or three specific prayer formats to choose from; the “How to Use” section provides 16 broad variations.
The book also includes a data CD with text files, thematic and scripture indices, and icons in the margin for quick reference.