Bending With the Breeze

Prayer offers many things: peace, joy, centering, clarity, and the comfort of God’s presence and companionship. An exercise both natural and of deliberate exertion, we never know what we might find on our way. But we need not pray alone or turn down directions or inspiration for our journey.

Prayers From the Earth, an audiotape by Rev. Amitiyah Elayne Hyman, is a collection of prayers well-stocked and overflowing for our sojourn—our time of prayer. While delicately crafted, the tape is nevertheless robust and invigorating. The listener will find that God provides us with everything that is needed, through creation, history, cycles of life, and other people.

Throughout Prayers From the Earth, Hyman offers the wisdom gained through 17 years of pastoring in the Washington, D.C. area. This tape represents an innovative application of liturgy, sermon, song, poetics, and improvisational spirit. Hyman, of Woodland Indian and West African heritage, employs words and phrases that should reach members of various Christian traditions and those deeply concerned with the Earth, the legacy of our ancestors, justice, and spirituality.

In "Creation Prayer," thanksgiving is returned to God as we realize in prayer and thought our communion with nature, creatures, and persons. Cleverly, Hyman remembers all of Earth’s inhabitants as we pray: "Tree people, Plant people, Rock people, Insect people, Winged people, Finned people, Four-legged people, and Two-legged people. Red, black, yellow, and white people." Such reverence and consideration is supported by nature and God’s power displayed through the elements. With this comes gratitude and adulation as we seek the Great Spirit—"holy, high, and lifted up."

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 1998
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