Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord's Prayer
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007 M07 31 - 252 pages
Karl Barth's legendary image of preaching with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other now has a matching image for praying. In Ain't Too Proud to Beg Telford Work encourages praying with a social documentary in one hand and the Lord's Prayer in the other. The result is neither a commentary on the Lord's Prayer nor a theology of prayer. Instead it is an exercise book that uses prayer to strengthen our theological muscles.
Work proposes that we take whatever is happening in our world -- a political election or the latest war will do -- and set the Lord's Prayer in the middle of it. Let that prayer shed light on the scene and expose what matters. Then pray it. Then look again and see how the prayer is a response to what matters. These three movements give structure to the book as a whole and to each chapter within it. Prayed this way, the Lord's Prayer is always new and never quite the same.
Ecumenical, evangelical, postmodern, and irenic in tone, Ain't Too Proud to Beg ends not with a neat scholarly wrap-up but with an open-ended "Amen" -- three sparkling, joyful sermons -- a fitting ending to Work's provocative exploration of prayer as a theological process.
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Page 140 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Page 75 - And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation concerning the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Not so shall it be among you: but whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom...
Page 212 - For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Page 9 - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
Page 106 - If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who...
Page 16 - All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Page 9 - How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Page 66 - Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.
Page 74 - Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: All this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.