"So what are we about as pastoral pray-ers? We are about bringing ourselves individually and as a faith community into right relationship with God..."
What about a Revised Common Lectionary based book of pastoral prayers for clergy and lay leaders that provides responsive prayers for each Sunday of the year. David gets asked this question often when people recognize him as the author of the three volumes of Prayers to Share. So, acknowledging that the pastoral prayer is often overlooked and undervalued, and that clergy and lay leaders may be hard-pressed for time to compose a fresh pastoral prayer each week, he has put together a unique and comprehensive collection of prayers, based on the Revised Common Lectionary Year A, that can be adapted to present circumstances and used in a variety of settings.
The prayers are responsive, written for one or two leaders and a congregational response. They all allow for the inclusion of local and worldwide current events, and individual and congregational concerns. David usually uses the weekly Gospel reading as the broad theme for the prayers and divides them into four easily identified sections: world, suffering, church, and ourselves.
The "how to use" section covers preparing to offer pastoral prayer, and offers 12 ways to "do" pastoral prayer, such as: two leader congregational response, using people and objects to dramatize a theme, using part of a hymn for a lead or a response, or using silence for effect
Other features include a thematic index, a scripture index, icons in the margin to enable quick identification of prayer sections and alternate suggestions, as well as a Data CD with text files.
David Sparks was educated theologically in England and Canada and has served for 30 years with The United Church of Canada. David's previous three-book lectionary series, Prayers to Share, has been welcomed and widely used in North America and Europe and further afield in India and Australia.