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24 February 2023

This week’s selection: theology of intercession, prayers for justice, and biblical authorities in early Christianity

Morning Prayer in Urumqi: Preparing petitions when praying for the world by David Goodacre (Sacristy Press, £16.99 (£15.29); 978-1-78959-261-0).

“Praying for the world beyond the Church is an important strand of the Church’s vocation. But in such a complex and diverse world, it can be difficult to find the words to pray for a specific place or situation. Morning Prayer in Urumqi encourages intercessors to pray widely and imaginatively. David Goodacre speaks first of the general problem, then explores the theology of intercession, before spelling out a way of preparing more specific petitions. He asks intercessors to examine what associations they may have with the different parts of the world — from the news, from reading, from personal connection — illustrating this by sharing his own personal associations in a series of 52 vignettes, one for each week of the liturgical year.”

Acting in the Wake: Prayers for justice by Walter Brueggemann (WJK, £14 (£12.60); 978-0-664-26616-5).

“This collection of prayers by noted Hebrew Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann can be used in both public worship and private devotion. These prayers run the gamut from particular days in the church year to special moments in the lives of worshiping communities to events playing out on the world stage. In all cases, the prayers spur us toward acts of justice and peacemaking and call on God to heal and restore God’s hurting and broken people.”


Before there was a Bible: Authorities in Early Christianity by Lee Martin McDonald (T & T Clark, £28.99 (£26.09); 978-0-567-70578-5).

How did authority function before the bible as we know it emerged? Lee Martin McDonald examines the authorities that existed from the Church’s beginning: the appeal to the texts containing the words of Jesus, and that would become the New Testament, the not yet finalized Hebrew Scriptures (referred to mostly in Greek) and the apostolic leadership of the churches.” 

Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.

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