|Publication Date: 21 May 2015|
|Publisher: SPCK Publishing|
|Page Count: 170|
|ISBN-13: 9780281074037, 9780281074044|
The Second Intercessions Handbook
· mainstream public worship
· festivals and special events
. informal worship and worship for small groups
. intercessions with children and young people
. personal intercession
gives a wealth of ideas for praying, in different types of services, for different situations . . .
. . . packed with a rich selection of prayers and practical ideas intended to breathe new life into prayer.
An excellent resource taking us through the problems and challenges of intercessory prayer. It has humour and helps us to clarify our thoughts on how we ought and ought not to pray.
AN indication of the beguiling nature of retired Bishop of Oxford the Rt Rev John Pritchard’s style is in the fourth paragraph of “A word at the beginning” of The Second Intercessions Handbook: “Please don’t use these intercessions!” He goes on, of course, to explain that each item is there for the user to adapt to their own situation, personality and voice. The book (£10.99) was first published in 2004 and is described by publisher SPCK as “The Updated Bestseller”, although the “updated new material” mentioned is neither described nor identified. Nevertheless, this is a book packed with original approaches to intercessory prayer, whether in mainstream worship, at festivals and special occasions, in informal worship and small groups, or with children and young people and in personal prayer. It is leavened throughout with humour and acceptance of human foibles. As well as the 75 richly-varied suggestions for prayer – well justifying the sub-title of “More creative ideas for public and private prayer” – there is a list of further resources.
John Pritchard was until last year the Bishop of Oxford and as such contributed to the Spring and Summer 2014 issue of this journal. SPCK has now reprinted the second of his Intercessions Handbooks. His own position is clearly from within the mainstream of the C of E but there is so much in this book that would be useful to worship leaders in any tradition. The subtitle is “More creative ideas for public and private prayer” and it is truly useful collection of suggestions, methods, systems and processes for prayer. It is a varied and imaginative book ranged over five broads themes – mainstream worship; festivals and special occasions; informal worship and small groups; children and young people and personal prayer. Although it includes some written prayers that could be used or adapted by others its main interest comes from the way it uses all manner of items as imaginative aids to prayers including maps and globes, trees, sand and water, even hazelnuts and sparklers and much more. Such interactive ideas are not ginmicks but ways of approaching the divine that are borne out of an active prayers life. The author’s own attitude to prayer is perhaps summed up by one of his remarks – “Prayer is a conversation in a relationship and relationships are much more subtle and our responses to each other much more nuanced than mere ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Prayer isn’t internet shopping!”