I first discovered the name and writings of Walter Brueggemann just about two years ago. Some of you will have been familiar with him for some time. Discovering his writing is a bit like digging up gold nuggetts. Holding them up you see that there is value there beyond the surface. Walter’s writings and particularly his prayers are gems. They give words to our thoughts and express those things which seem so obvious once you’ve read them.
Below is one of his writings – make it your prayer. And if you have time or interest check out his many books.
We begin the new week toward you,
from whom no secret can be hid.
We have had a night,
and a lifetime of secrets.
We have stored the usual list of secrets,
of acres of guilt unforgiven,
of desires too rich to utter.
Beyond that, we have a secret list of hurts,
from ancient days with parents and siblings,
from assorted bullies at playschool
and in adult life;
some of us overly sensitive,
all of us grown protective
and capable of self-pity
Beyond that, we have a secret list of hopes,
some selfish and some noble,
hopes of new freedom and new reconciliation,
of new security and new recognition,
of doing well and being well.
We have so much to keep hidden.
And you know –
you know because you made us and have watched us from the beginning;
you know because you see us in our waking and our sleeping;
you know because you love us right through, beyond all our covert capacity.
And we yearn to be known – fully, without reserve by you;
So we ask on this day,
courage to match your love,
honesty to match your generosity,
self-awareness to speak into our awareness of us.
That by the time the sun sets,
we will have rent the curtain of our lives,
and let you into the center of it all,
there to abide in holy forgiveness.
We pray through your spirit of all truth
that our truth opened to your mercy may make us free.