God wants honest conversation with us. Yes, we should be singing praises to him, but we should also express the doubts and fears and anguish of our lives. How can we sing praises when we are in bondage to addiction? or mourning the death of a parent? or devastated by a terminal illness? We can’t. That’s why the Psalter was the essential prayer book of the early church. It represents the full range of human faith and emotion. Athanasius was one of the early church’s most prominent pastors. Ben Wayman introduces contemporary Christians to his ancient, classic guide for praying the book of Psalms—the earliest we possess. Pray along with Athanasius and make the words your own.
Benjamin D. Wayman is assistant professor of religion at Greenville College and a pastor at St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church in Greenville, Illinois.
“An ideal guide to praying the Psalms. Athanasius has found a diligent and sympathetic advocate and friend in Ben Wayman.”
—David Bentley Hart, contributing editor of First Things and author of The Beauty of the Infinite
“Since discovering the importance of fixed-hour prayer for a life of action, I've encouraged thousands of people to pray the Psalter as part of Common Prayer. Many of them have asked, “But how do you make these prayers your own?” Ben Wayman is enough of a scholar to know that others have asked this question before. I'm so glad he's given us this ancient resource from Athanasius, the same father of the church who gave us the first biography of a monastic.”
—Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of The Wisdom of Stability
My first thoughts upon praying with this book for the last week were “This guide is going to crack open the Psalms for me. I expect Make the Words Your Own will have a permanent place on my bookshelf.” After praying them for two weeks, I thought “This guide will crack me open to the Psalms. I expect it to be off my bookshelf, and in my hands, often.”
—Lauren F. Winner, author of Mudhouse Sabbath and Wearing God “We should be grateful to Ben Wayman for rescuing Athanasius’s Letter to Marcellinus…. [T]his book defies the distinction between doctrine and devotion.”
—Stanley Hauerwas, author of Hannah's Child (from the foreword)
“Wayman reinvigorates the ancient voice of Athanasius, a true pastor of souls, by allowing him to speak tenderly to his flock, even today.”
—Fr. David V. Meconi, SJ, editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review (from the afterword)