Don’t get me wrong, I still love to sit down with a good bit of Oswald Chambers or a bit of Brengle or other such writers in the evangelical stream of things. Never having been one who is a fan of ‘liturgy’ in a formal setting (esp in corporate worship), I’ve found some surprising gems in two areas in recent months.
I have been dipping into the Siddur, the orthodox Jewish prayer book. Part of the insight here is that some of the prayers to be found are ones which have been around a VERY long time, such as the amidah which Jesus would probably have prayer regularly and who some say is the root of The Lord’s Prayer. Anyone who has ever prayed through, for example, the evening prayer in the siddur will have found great blessing in the God of Israel who neither slumbers nor sleeps!
The second is a more recent purchase. Celtic Daily Prayer produced by the Northumbria Community. This book came on my radar after a visit to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) earlier this year. It caries some ancient and modern prayers, meditations, readings etc in keeping with this hub of celtic Christianity in the UK. What I like about this is the understanding it brings of God as much bigger than just the recipient of our daily prayer list! There is room to consider the vastness of God, God as Father, Son Spirit and the responses of his people to that over the generations.
Having said all that, a vigorous Salvationist spirituality is my default mode. Yet how good it is to remind ourselves that we stand on the shoulders of spiritual giants throughout the whole path of Christianity and Judaism as we’ve all tried to engage with God.