Omar Weber published a book of prayers, a series of conversations with God about day-to-day matters of joy and concern, written in Spanish, which was a delight to me when I ordered a copy from Concordia Publishing House, entitled _En el nombre de Jesús_. Our God is not just a god who sits in the heavens and looks down on us as sinful scoundrels making mistakes as he points and laughs at the entertainment of the fixes we get ourselves into by our own pig-headedness. Ours is a God who came to dwell among us, to sit at the table with the down-and-out, the sorrowful, and the cheaters. Some followers of Christ become friends of their Savior who first befriended us, enjoying communion, advice-seeking, confession, and a safe haven for fears, ideas, rants, hopes, and needs through conversations with the Lord.
In his book of prayers, Pastor Weber intercedes about quotidien concerns that are common to Christians at particular moments in our lives. He includes personal situations such as, "Thank you for all that I have and am" and "I have too much to do" and "I need to learn to work on a team", as well as prayers for community, including "Prayer for my sister" and "Prayer for those who are angry at the church"; these prayers are overflowing with love and devotion for the God who loves us infinitely more than we deserve, who invites us to cast our burdens and cares upon his strong shoulders.
Back in early 2008, I asked the editors of CPH if I could translate a selection of twenty five or so of the prayers for a booklet to use as a Christmas gift the coming year for my family. The editors granted permission and I got started. They asked me to submit those translations for approval by the copyright office, and when I did, they offered me the translation job of the entire book. I was surprised, a bit overwhelmed, and soon delighted by the task ahead of me. I enjoyed a summer of sitting in the coffee shop, the public library, and at the kitchen table mediating on the words of the prayers until the pages fell out and I felt I knew the author as a friend.
If Advent is a time of reflection and prayer for you as it is for many believers, or if you're thinking of a gift for Christmas for a person of prayer: hot off the press, the bilingual version of Pastor Weber's book of prayers In the Name of Jesus is available for less than $15.