Compiled by members of the Archbishop Philip's Calling Melbourne2Prayer advisory committee, here are some suggestions for prayer books and resources which you might find useful.

A favourite prayer from Thomas Merton's Thoughts in Solitude (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 19th edition Nov 1999)


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you, does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust in you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. - Roland Ashby, Director of Communications, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Prayers of Life, a Personal Manual for Prayer and Ritual by Michel Quoist (Gill & MacMillan, 1971)


A classic that will be known to many people. This collection of prayers and reflections marks many of life’s milestones, and many of life’s situations. It is a wide-ranging and powerfully moving collection of writing. Probably not well suited to daily use, it is the kind of book I delve into when words fail and no other source seems to quite do the job. It is deeply contemplative and profound without seeming to be so. It is difficult to imagine that this little book would not deeply move everyone except for someone spiritually dead. The thing I most enjoy about it is that it shows humanity as an asset and not a liability. It is powerfully grounded in the everyday. - Jamie Miller, Obl. OSB, Corpus Christi, 2009.

Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim by Edward Hays (Ave Maria Press, 2008)


This book is a personal manual for prayer and ritual and I love it for its language and its unique ways of addressing God. The prayers and rituals in this book call me out of a parochial way of praying into a way that is truly global and which more accurately reflects the world I inhabit. My experience of using this book both for personal prayer and as a basis for corporate prayers is that it provides a pattern for prayer, a model if you like, that calls me to expand my religious and spiritual boundaries to embrace a larger and wider world, and to embrace a more expansive spirituality. Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim contains new and freshly creative morning and evening prayers for each of the four seasons of the year. It has rituals for the Planetary Pilgrim, prayers for before and after praying, Psalms for the Seasons, Psalms for the sacred seasons, Psalms and prayers for personal seasons of change and to mark major life transitions. - Jamie Miller, Obl. OSB, Corpus Christi, 2009.

Prayer at Day's Dawning (and Prayer at Day's Ending) by Jim Cotter (Cairns Publications, 2001)

A revised book of prayers parallel in format to Prayer at Night's Approaching, which focuses on time of day and season of year, on body and earth, creation, pilgrimage and everyday life, with questions for meditation. Prayer at Day's Dawning is a companion to Prayer at Night's Approaching and a successor to Prayer in the Morning. Both books express a concern that the language of our prayer should be both true to, and a fresh unfolding of, our inheritance. They aim to be inclusive, and to honour a variety of imagery for God. - Web review

Holy Ground – Liturgies and Worship Resources for an Engaged Spirituality by Neil Paynter & Helen Boothroyd (Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow 2005)


A collection for anyone searching for worship material that reflects the world we live in, with sections covering human rights, justice, poverty, peace, prejudice, the environment, and reconciliation. It includes a useful index, mapping the content to the Church Year and to other anniversaries and special days. The liturgies and worship resources are presented as they were used – often for particular services, not always in church, and not always for large groups. - Web review

Australian Psalms by Bruce Prewer (Lutheran Publishing, Adelaide 1979)


Prewer has had a long and successful career as a Uniting Church minister. This book is a beautiful collection of psalms and free verse which has the capacity to anchor our prayer life in the culture and environments of Australian life. The psalms Prewer has written urge us to remain present to our Creator and Redeemer in an Australian context. This book has enriched my personal meditations with deep insights into contemporary life. On more than one occasion I have used Prewer’s material in a group setting. - Jamie Miller, Obl. OSB, Corpus Christi, 2009.

Prayers for the Domestic Church – A Handbook for Worship in the Home by Edward Hays (Ave Maria Press 2007)


This book is companion to Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim. This book is truly a handbook for worship in the home and within the family. In the very early Church it was parents and family elders who were the prototype priests. Sacredness encircled the home and rituals marked important events and milestones. Families and neighbours gathered for the holy meal that remembered the death and resurrection of Jesus. The challenge of the 21st century is for us all to rededicate and revitalise our homes and work places as places where prayers and rituals can transform our world and which have the potential to remind us of our membership in the world-wide Church of God. The prayers and rituals in this little book seem to me to have the potential to reawaken the priestly role of mothers and fathers and family elders, and the sacredness of the family homes and work places. My own family have used and continue to use a number of the rituals included here. - Jamie Miller, Obl. OSB, Corpus Christi, 2009.

A Wee Worship Group by the Wild Goose Worship Group (Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow 1999)


Previous incarnations of this book have been used extensively throughout Britain and abroad by lay leaders, bishops, clergy trainers, youth groups, house groups, women’s groups, prisoners’ groups, worship groups – in fact absolutely anyone exploring transforming, creative and participative worship.

All the new material has been used and tested continually in the light of comment and experience. Some material is incorporated from the previous edition.

This fourth incarnation contains the following liturgies: five for morning, two for daytime, five for evening, two for Holy Communion, and one set of Prayers for Healing. There are also fourteen chants (full music versions) appropriate to the liturgies. A new feature is the introductory section, with hints on how to prepare for and use the liturgies to best effect. It includes guidelines for planning, leadership and environment, with pointers as to the use of music, the Bible, conversations and symbolic action. - Web review

Reaching Out Without Dumbing-Down – a Theology of Worship for this Urgent Time by Marva Dawn (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995)

Why do churches fight Worship Wars? Why do discussions about how to conduct worship often split into two vitriolic polarities over traditional versus contemporary styles or into two opposing camps, such as organists/guitarists, baby boomers/elders, returnees/loyalists or clergy/musicians? These worship wars prevent us from being the Church. Marva Dawn writes to help local parishes and denominations think more thoroughly about worship and culture so that they can function effectively in contemporary society. - Web review

Iona Abbey Worship Book by the Iona Community (Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow 2005)

The services and resources in this book reflect the Iona Community's commitment to the belief that worship is all that we are and all that we do, both inside and outside the church, with no division into the sacred and the secular. The material draws on many traditions, including the Celtic, and aims to help us to be fully present to God in our neighbour, in the political and social activity of the world around us and in the very centre and soul of our being. This new edition has been extensively revised and rearranged and includes much new material developed by the resident group on Iona. - Web review

Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community (Harper, San Francisco 1989)

Celtic Daily Prayer is the fruit of the spiritual life of a remarkable community. Its liturgies, prayers, and meditations are drawn from a deep well of spiritual experience that transcends fashion, culture, and denomination. Blending prayer and praise and building upon the ancient wisdom of traditional Celtic Christianity, this prayer book is extraordinarily fresh. At the heart of the life of the Northumbria Community, as well as this book, lies the Daily Office -- morning, noon, and evening prayers and a monthly cycle of meditations for individual or communal use each day. With words drawn from sources such as St. Patrick's Breastplate, Teresa's Bookmark, Columba's Blessing, and the Psalms, this cycle of daily prayers reflects the essential rhythms of life. - Web review

A Common Prayer – a Cartoonist talks to God by Michael Leunig (Collins Dove, 1990)

In 1989‚ cartoonist Michael Leunig began an experiment. Asked to produce a weekly cartoon for Sunday Age‚ Australia‚ he remembers wondering if newspapers might carry some small spiritual message of consolation as a tiny reparation for the enormous anxiety and distress they can create. - Web review

Prayers for Anglicans by David Adam (Kevin Mayhew, Suffolk 2008)

The majority of prayers in this book have been used for many years by thousands of Christians to express their love and devotion to the ever-present God. They have been brought together not to replace our own words but to inspire us to higher devotion. There are countless jewels, some almost 400 years old, others sparkling fresh. - Web review

Tides and Seasons – Modern Prayers in the Celtic Tradition by David Adam (Triangle, London 1989)

David Adam draws from the rich store of Celtic Spirituality insights which speak to our own world today. The prayers he has written for this book echo the rhythms of creation which find their parallels in our spiritual lives. - Web review

Daily Services - Morning and Evening Prayer from a Prayer Book for Australia (Broughton Publishing)

Morning and evening prayers have framed the daily life of God's people for millennia. The pattern of praise, psalm, scripture and prayer, reformed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the English Reformation, has been renewed in recent decades - Daily Morning and Evening Prayer from A Prayer Book for Australia being one example. This booklet gathers these services together with a weekly cycle of psalms and a selection of prayers from APBA including the weekly collects, and makes them light weight for carrying and accessible for use at home or work. - Web review

A Book of Hours by Thomas Merton & Kathleen Deignan (Sorin Books, 2007)

Thomas Merton was the most popular proponent of the Christian contemplative tradition in the twentieth century. Now, for the first time, some of his most lyrical and prayerful writings have been arranged into A Book of Hours, a rich resource for daily prayer and contemplation that imitates the increasingly popular ancient monastic practice of praying the hours. Editor Kathleen Deignan mined Merton's voluminous writings, arranging prayers for Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Dark for each of the days of the week. A Book of Hours allows for a slice of monastic contemplation in the midst of hectic modern life, with psalms, prayers, readings, and reflections. - Web review

The Celtic Vision by Esther de Waal (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 1988)

While working in the late 1800s as a British civil servant in Scotland’s remote Hebridean Islands, Andrew Carmichael set himself the project in his spare time of collecting the Celtic chants and repetitive prayers still in use among the residents of those scattered islands. He published them under the title Carmina Gadelica (‘Gaelic Chants’). A century later, the prominent scholar of Celtic Christianity Esther de Waal put out an edited anthology called The Celtic Vision, making these verses very accessible, useable, and inviting the reader to adapt them daily. It is a lovely volume of authentic prayers to work with, in much the same way as David Adam’s books have done. - The late Hedley Beare, 2009.

Lost in Wonder - Rediscovering the Spiritual Art of Attentiveness by Esther De Waal (Liturgical Press, 2003)

The commentaries are both informative about the origins and the intentions of each prayer and there is a good mix of traditions represented by both prayers and contributors, which may challenge and surprise those who rarely stray from their own familiar territory. - Web review