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.