Prayers - Soft theistic, Non-theistic
Contemporary Jesus/Lord's Prayer
The Canberra Affirmation - Text and six new hymns
A collection of various Affirmations and Manifestos
Gretta Vosper in her book With or without God, says if it can't be said from the pulpit, it shouldn't be sung in the pews. I agree totally. I would also suggest this advice should go beyond preaching and singing to include praying.
These sample prayers, written to be spoken, are logged in two groups: soft-theistic and non-theistic. They seek to be shaped by a progressive, post-liberal theology. When soft-theistic, they attempt to use new or different metaphors when addressing the presentness of the sacred. Lament rather than confession is also a feature of some.
I have learned much from others as I have shaped my understanding and practice of praying. Among those are: Francis Macnab (St Michael's Uniting), Michael Morwood (ex-priest and author), Jerry Stinson (First Congregational UCC), Sherri Weinberg (St Paul's Presbyterian) and Bob Kleinheksel (C3 Exchange, formerly Christ Community Church). As well as many unnamed...
My hope is, these examples may encourage others to try their hand at shaping progressive prayers, the often over-looked or neglected aspect of the Sunday morning experience. And then have the courage to lead their congregations in the same.
Over the years several people more creative and poetic than I, have looked at the traditional Jesus or 'Abba' Prayer, and recast it into contemporary language and thought-forms. Over the years I have collected some of this creativity and now share them in one place. A personal favourite is Paul Alan Laughlin's 'Mystical Lord's Prayer' - which is non-devotional, and does not call upon an Other/One/Being to intervene but rather affirms the immanent presence of the divine.
Inspired by Gretta Vosper's congregation in Canada, a group of folk in my last Congregation also attempt to move beyond saying what we don't believe, to affirming what we do. Reconstruction rather than just deconstruction. I collected all the contributions, put on my editor hat and the Canberra Affirmation was the result.
Since sharing this Affirmation two interesting things have happened:
(i) others have indicated a willingness to be associated with the Affirmation, and asked to 'sign on'. So if this Affirmation touches you where you are in your journey at this moment and you would like to be associated with this effort (rather than with every word or 'I' or 'T' of the Affirmation), just eMail me to that effect and I will add your name to the list;
(ii) a writer of progressive hymn lyrics has taken the six clauses of the Affirmation and written words to six new hymns. These hymns, published in 2009, are posted here with the author's permission.
Likewise, several progressive religion thinkers have issued Manifestos or Statements/Affirmations from time to time, which I have found inspiring. I've collected a few.