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Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
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Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,560 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Designed to help individuals, families, and congregations pray, sing, and act together across traditions and denominations, Shane Claiborne, Enuma Okoro, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove offer a book of common prayer to help you and your community join together each day with the same songs, scriptures, and prayers.
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Published November 23rd 2010 by Zondervan (first published November 9th 2010)
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I finally ordered a hard copy of this prayer book. I have been using the online version ( for the past year. Whether you are new to fixed hour/liturgical prayer or not this book has the potential to change your prayer life. The book is itself a beautiful work of art. Well made. The pages are nice and sturdy which should make for great daily usage. As for content: There is one Evening Prayer for each day of the week. Each day has the Our Father as a border in both English and in ...more
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liturgy
This is an exciting book! I came to it with hardly any background knowledge on who the New Monastics are, and I think that served me well. I see this text as a healthy injection of ancient wisdom into the postmodern church. This book breathes a freshness and a vitality that are missing from the more traditional churches that have never abandoned the historic liturgies. In many ways, familiarity breeds contempt. I won't accuse any churches of having contempt for their historic liturgies, but ther ...more
Hansen Wendlandt
What is better written: some of the best prayers of Christian history included here, or the gospel clarity of the Ordinary Radicals’ introduction and interstices? What a stunningly good and rich book, a true inspiration to live peacefully in “holy mischief” (24)!
If we accept that worship is a time to be with God publicly-—as though we were at a pub with Jesus—-then the work of worship, liturgy, is the organized movement of the Spirit. Claiborne et al tells us so succinctly how praying with litu
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book disappointing, although perhaps those who are not familiar with The Book of Common Prayer or daily office books might find the material fresh and useful. I was hoping for more inclusive language and postmodern theology, as well as more depth. I much prefer the St. Helena Breviary for personal use.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not know what was in this book when I bought it. All I knew was that I really wanted to grow in my prayer life and I like Shane Claiborne.

So for those of you who are like me and want to know what's in the book, let me tell you...
This small books is divided into 5 sections:
-Daily Prayer, with a morning prayer, midday prayer, evening prayer and compline prayer.
-Monthly Action, which explains the tenets of New Monasticism and gives ideas for how to live out these values.
-Occasional Prayers,
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I haven't used this in community, as intended, I've been using it as my daily devotional for some time now. I appreciate the biographical notes, the songs, the daily Bible readings (based on the lectionary), and the various prayers.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing better than this book would be the full text hardcover edition!
I call it "Liturgy for Dummies" and it's a perfect introduction to the traditions of the church for a dummy like myself. I am enjoying having a new morning rhythm with this book.
This is a great prayer book. It is meant for small groups, house churches and families. I love to use it by my self too because of its language and focus.
Josh Morgan
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (

This post is part of my series on prayer books. I received a complimentary review copy of this book without a requirement or expectation of a positive review.

Common Prayer is a the result of a collaborative effort of Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro. All three (from my understanding) have an emphasis on missional living, intentional community, and the new monasticism. This in
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-own
This is from my Amazon review:
I received my copy right before the first day in the book (December 1st) so I've been praying with this book daily since then. I am loving it! As an individual who loves liturgy and common prayer but would not consider himself to be Anglican/Episcopalian nor necessarily a part of any of the classic liturgical denominations, I find this prayer book to be a refreshing look at the 'style' - if you will. As a youth pastor, this has been a good way for me to introduce a
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I engaged with this Common Prayer during Lent. While I did not make my goal of regular daily practice, I did spend time with it frequently enough to understand its rhythms.

Common Prayer guides followers through three prayer times each day. Morning Prayers are lengthy, including readings about saints and from Scripture, as well as call and response prayer. There is a Morning Prayer for each day of the year and special prayers for Holy Week. The same Midday Prayer is used every day to develop a rh
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gets four stars just for the scope - prayers for every single morning of the year! If you are wanting to get into the tradition of fixed hour prayer (there are also midday and evening prayers on a weekly rotation) this book could be a help.

Claiborne, and the other authors, are part of the New Monasticism, emphasizing discipleship to Jesus as entailing things like poverty and nonviolence. These emphases shine through, though they do bring in voices from all Christian traditions.

The only
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a resource to be used daily with morning, midday, evening prayers and a compline. It highlights the Christian calendar and significant historical events and Saints throughout the year. For those who have practiced these traditions for years or those who want to bring more liturgy and Christian tradition into their lives, this book is easy to use and portable. I find it inspiring to pray the prayers from throughout history (some are 1,000 years old) and know that Christians around th ...more
For the beginner, and the experienced, this is an excellent book on common prayer. The biggest stand out for me is it's ecumenical take on liturgical prayer from different parts of the church as well as it's social conscious focus in collects and the intros to the calendar months.

As one who has been circling around liturgical prayer this was a welcome addition to my ever growing collection of prayer books. This is not bogged down like some books that would end up being more beneficial if one was
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying this devotional. The Scripture passages are selected to help the reader progress through the Bible in a year; however, I do find it "Selective" to some degree in terms of which passages are omitted such as stories of Judah and Tamar, the story of cutting up the concubine; many of the OT laws and tabernacle requirements and some of Saul's attacks on David. It appears we're trying to keep it mostly positive/non-controversial and eliminate potentially boring parts as we proceed ...more
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all
This is a cool prayer book, and I think it is a good addition to the spiritual life of any community. You can really see the influence from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Life Together" in its format. I think it adds a lot to the Christian community who wants to worship the God who loves justice and hears the cry of the poor. It focuses on topics that other common prayer books undervalue. However, the book really, really focuses on those topics at the expense of others, and I would recommend it as one b ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
A wonderful introduction to Liturgy and wonderful way to start your day. I love this book except for one matter, if you or someone you love is in the military, Shane Claiborne is a pacifist and some of his writing may not align with yours. His writing about his feelings/ideas on our military is limited to the front introduction but he very clearly (loudy) states his beliefs and while I whole-heartedly support the freedom of speech, I feel maybe this book of liturgy is not the most appropriate pl ...more
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing "radical," per se, about this book of prayer other than it compiles prayers from various Christian faiths (though you might never know if you have not been exposed to other faiths). As the name implies, it includes restricted, structured evening prayers for every day of the year, morning prayers for each weekday, and a midday prayer for every day. In addition, it includes some hymns, though only a few bars, from both Protestant and Catholic faiths. This music also reflects the w ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful resource for home, church, or small group prayer! Be advised, though, the hard copy is worth the price. The Kindle version does not fully display the suggested songs, nor is it convenient to move from place to place. A hard copy, which comes with a ribbon marker, is much more user-friendly. Sometimes a "real" book is simply better, and this is one of those times. That said, the Kindle version is only $1.99, so it's an inexpensive way to help you decide if you'd like to spend the ...more
Evan Hays
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: devotional
Now is as good of a time to review this as any. Always tough to review a devotional, because you never really "finish" it, but Amy and used this for much of the summer and really enjoyed it. We both love prayer books, and have a big collection and have used many of them. The layout of this one is really nice, and it is really easy to use. I also like its blending of both ancient and modern as well as its high church and low church traditions. Well done, and may God continue to bless Claiborne an ...more
Kenzie Townsend
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. Even it's condensed format was easy to follow. There is a rich history of ordinary people doing the extraordinary. I liked that it included everyone in that history including non Christians. In that way, it was also easy to see a sense of community. It is a well planned book that allows for a lot of reflection from the reader. I would pause, and Google a song or hero and pause further. I like books like that. Jesus has a story so grand it's hard to follow or emulate as worship. T ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has helped me keep a daily ritual of prayer. Even though I seldom had time to read the scripture that goes with each day's prayer and I only knew a few of the songs to hum or sing in my head, I got a lot out of reading all the different prayers and focus my mind on God before I start my day. It gave me a much needed structure, voice, and vocabulary to pray. And much of it was just beautiful to read. I am continuing to use it in my daily life to hold me accountable and keep me in commun ...more
Sean Post
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claiborne and company have created a readable, accessible, pray-able liturgy. They have taken great care to represent the diverse traditions that compose the Body of Christ. This is a fantastic introduction into the world of liturgy for those who may be unfamiliar. That was pretty much me before this book.

As an aside, I'm not sure I agree with every aspect of Claiborne's theology (e.g. some of the stories he tells emphasize his stance of unconditional non-violence and pacifism). However, I'm wi
Zac Talbott
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing collection of prayers and liturgy for every day of the year... Useful for lay Christians for home and personal devotion as well as for church leaders in finding new prayers and liturgy to incorporate into corporate worship. This is something I would recommend to ALL people of faith without reservation.
Joshua Casey
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful introduction into fixed-hour prayer. If you want something more involved, look to Phyllis Tickle's Divine Hours.
This ecumenically-produced work includes prayers, daily readings and songs from nearly every branch of the faith, as well as beautiful art and practical ways to "be the answer of our prayers." Good stuff.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent. I love the prayers and the historical notes.

Unfortunately, the audiobook is hard to navigate. I bought it from audible. Unfortunately, the chapters are numbered, not named. There are almost 400 chapters! I have made several bookmarks for myself, and I can usually figure out where I need to go from a bookmark, but it is a pain.
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This large book is guided prayers, scripture and song for each day of the year. There are different morning prayers for 365 DOY, mid-day prayer is the same for each day and a different evening prayer for each day of the week (S, M, T, W, Th, F, S). I don't get to it every day, but it is neat to do with your spouse or with the kids.
Christi Flagg
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm enjoying this daily devotional/reader. I think I needed some structure in my prayer life and this is definitely old-school structured. I wish I could read it out loud more, but my cat gets intense when I'm talking to no one and decides I'm in need of intervention. Now I want the travel version to have on my desk at work.
Lance Schaubert
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great companion to the real book of common prayer, this volume modernizes the daily morning liturgy, organizing it more like a daily devotional and less on the church calendar. Because of this, it will help return us to the holy days.
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Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. He heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living "as if Jesus meant the things he said." Shane is a champion for grace which has led him to jail advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and ...more
More about Shane Claiborne...
“Lord, free us from our self-deception and attune our hearts to your Spirit, that we might remember how you humbled yourself, and learn to serve one another, whatever our disagreements. Amen.” 5 likes
“Clarence Jordan, co-founder of Koinonia Farm, wrote, “The Good News of the resurrection is not that we shall die and go home with him, but that he is risen and comes home with us, bringing all his hungry, naked, thirsty, sick, prisoner brothers with him.” 4 likes
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