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|For Praying Out Loud
Interfaith Prayers for Public Occasions
L. Annie Foerster
“The goal of this book is to help us evoke all of creation as our palette for public worship. When nothing and no one
is left out of our prayers—when everything in creation is present—it is easy to reach the heart of God and of the
gathered community. When we understand and believe that the holy is at the center of our gathered community, our
prayers will have more impact, both spiritually and secularly.”
—from the Introduction
Though prayer itself is universal, many traditional prayers are not accessible to people of all faiths. Occasions of
public prayer, often occurring at secular events, are most successful when they welcome all that are present. A
fitting prayer must invoke a sense of the holy and provide a common ground of belonging for everyone. In this
inspiring collection, Annie Foerster presents a wealth of useful guidance on crafting universal prayers, along with an
abundant sampling of beautiful prayers of all kinds, for adaptation or for use as they are. Beneficial for clergy, lay
ministers, anyone participating in interfaith worship and readers who want to write prayers of their own.
Public prayer requires a common spiritual language that will “invoke a sense of the holy and provide a common
ground of belonging for all present.” In the opening chapters of this helpful volume, Foerster focuses on creating a
sacred space in a public setting and offers practical tips for writing interfaith prayers, choosing the right tone and
language, and closing prayers appropriately.
These introductory suggestions are followed by nearly eighty prayers by Foerster and others, which may be used as
they are or adapted. This wonderful collection provides clergy and lay people alike with well-suited reflections and
blessings for all kinds of interfaith public events. Prayers are grouped by theme for easy reference— Unity and
Diversity; Peace and Justice; Healing and Remembrance; Gratitude and Praise; Dedications and Ordinations.
About the Author:
L. Annie Foerster is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister who has who has served churches in Washington State,
Texas and Ohio. Foerster received her master of divinity degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School. She is
a frequent participant in public worship.
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