Introducing: Rachel Barham And Advent Prayers

Friend and colleague Rachel Barham penned these Advent prayers for her family this past Christmas.

Though we are now in Epiphany, I wanted to share them with you.

I appreciate her prose and prayerful voice.

An Advent Prayer: First Sunday of Advent

As our nights grow longer and our days grow shorter,
as winter stretches ahead of us and warm days seem so far away,
we look on these evergreen branches as signs of the spring that WILL come
and on this candle as a symbol of the light we long for.

In these dark days, we wait for the light of Christmas,
and we remember God’s promise to our world:
Jesus Christ, our Light and Hope, will come.

We look for the coming of his light into the darkness of our world,
into the darkness of our own hearts and lives,
and we say:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus.
We wait for you in darkness
and we long for your light to brighten our way
and lead us into your life and truth.

An Advent Prayer: Second Sunday of Advent

We wait with Mary for Christ to be formed in us,
Daring to trust this hidden womb-weaving,
And treasuring the smallest signs of growth.

As Mary took heart to see
the wondrous swelling of Elizabeth’s belly,
So the burgeoning life of God we see in others
encourages us that this sacred life grows also in us.

More and more, we long to bring Christ into the world,
Though we know that pain and labour accompany the birth of new life
As surely as joy and wonder.

Groaning and waiting,
Pregnant with hope and desire,
We prepare today a place for your coming,
Son of Mary’s womb, and Christ of our own hearts.

(c) 2008 Rachel Barham


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.