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.
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
Christianity Today, Award of Merit, Christian Living (2008)
Eugene H. Peterson
— author of the Bible translation The Message
"I read books on the Lord's Prayer the way I go to a concert hall to hear a performance of a musical piece I already know well — say, Mozart's First Violin Concerto — not to get more information but to participate personally. Telford Work's writing does this — scrupulously faithful to our Lord's words but, even more, prayed with passion and imagination. Encore!"
— Duke Divinity School
"With wit and wisdom Telford Work does the impossible — that is, he helps us recover what a radical thing we do when we pray the Lord's Prayer. As a result he helps us feel the oddness of the familiar in a manner that will make us think twice every time we pray the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. What a wonderful book!"
R. R. Reno
— Creighton University
"Rich, accessible, immediate, pungent, challenging, and often wise, these theological reflections by Telford Work help us understand our Christian vocations in our world of doubt, uncertainty, conflict, and sin. Enjoy the wonderful combination of theological sophistication and Christian common sense!"