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It is finished!

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : December 13, 2006

I’ve been spending most of my time during the past two weeks working on the Missio Dei Book of Prayer…I just finished the first draft! It is 115 pages. I don’t want to distribute it electronically just yet–at least not via this blog. If you’d like a copy, let me know, so that when I run off copies, I can make one for you.

The book of prayer covers morning and evening for 28 days–four weeks. The first week focuses on chapter 5 of Matthew. Week two focuses on Luke’s parables. Week three emphasizes the signs and “I am” statements found in John. Week 4 follows Mark’s account of Jesus from his entry into Jerusalem through his trial, crucifixion, and resurrection.

The themes and prayers have an anabaptist flavor–here we were inspired by the Anabaptist Prayer Book. Also, there is a focus on the West Bank, giving the Missio Dei Book of Prayer a missional quality. I’m going to work on a “generic” version that can be used by people for their own contexts.

The morning prayers include a set of opening prayers (borrowing from the Eastern Orthodox tradition), a reading, the Lord’s prayer, and a closing prayer. The evening prayers are similar, but have a call to praise (based around the “Jesus Creed”) instead of an opening prayer and have one of seven canticles instead of the Lord’s prayer. The evening prayer also includes a psalm.

Next, I’ll read and re-read it for errors. Then I’ll do a quick, inexpensive print-out for myself and a handful of others, asking them to make suggestions for changes. After that, we’ll add some simple artwork and have it bound. We’ll bind two versions: 1) The book of prayer with the Missio Dei Rule of faith included and 2) a “generic one” with just the book of prayer and without specific references to the West Bank.
After each reading there is an italicized prompt for prayer or reflection. Here’s an example:

Week 1: Saturday Morning

In the morning, before you begin the day, stand with reverence before the All-Seeing God and say:

(+) In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Having invoked the Holy Trinity, keep silence for a little while, so that your thoughts and feelings may be freed from worldly cares. Then recite the following prayers without haste, and with your whole heart.

The Tax Collector?s Prayer

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Opening Prayer

Lord, open our lips and our mouths will proclaim your praise.
You are good to those who wait for you, to all who seek you.

Matthew 5:38-42

You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

1 Peter 2:13-17

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of the foolish. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Ephesians 6:11-12

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Pray for the courage to live as a peacemaker and reconciler. Pray against the principalities and the powers. Pray that you may live humble lives, submitting to authority for the Lord?s sake.

The Lord?s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

Closing Prayer

Father, may we live as bold citizens of the Kingdom. We pledge our allegiance only to you. You are the King! Babylon has fallen! Lord, as we follow you, help us to wage war against our enemy. Father, we know that our enemy is not flesh and blood, so let us wage war as you do. Father, you overcome evil with good. Help us to overcome evil with good. You are the Peacemaker. Make us peacemakers. Help us to turn the other cheek. Help us to resist evil with love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of JesusManifesto.com. He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.


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    Hi Mark,

    I've been following the development of your community on your blog for the past year. Your insights and passion are appreciated. I've been involved with an attempted church plant for the past two years that has stalled and I've withdrawn for a number of reasons.

    I like what I see you've done with the prayer book idea. I would appreciate a copy once you have it available. Since I'm currently leading a bible study on spiritual disciplines, and our focus now is prayer, I'd like the opportunity to share that with our small group if its okay with you. We could do some beta testing:).

    I will be passing through Minneapolis between Christmas and New Years (on the way to Afton) and would welcome the opportunity for a face2face chat if scheduling allows. Would you be open to that? No worries if it doesn't work!

    Peace,
    Norm
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    Norm,

    When I'm ready to make copies I'd be happy to send you some. I'd love to have beta testers.

    Unfortunately, I'll be gone between Christmas and New Years--I have to got to Urbana for my role as an InterVarsity staffer. Urbana, for some reason, happens between Christmas and New Years every three years.

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