Prayers for the Pilgrimage: A Book of Collects for All of Life, By W. David O. Taylor

Prayers for the Pilgrimage

A Book of Collects for All of Life

by W. David O. Taylor
Illustrated by Phaedra Taylor

Prayers for the Pilgrimage
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: June 04, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: A0823
  • ISBN: 9781514008232

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Prayers for every aspect of life

During the pandemic, priest and theologian David Taylor began writing collects (an ancient form of short prayer) as a daily spiritual exercise. It was a way for him to offer back to God his own fears and anxieties. As time went on, he began to receive requests for written prayers from friends and even strangers for a wide variety of circumstances and needs. His collection of prayers grew until it numbered in the hundreds.

Prayers for the Pilgrimage is a compilation of Taylor's prayers, arranged by topic and accompanied by a series of paintings by his wife, Phaedra. Here are prayers for morning and evening, work and play, public life and private life, doubt and faith—from Advent to Lent, from birth to death.

The Christian faith invites us to pray all of our lives back to God, lest we begin to believe that there is any part of our lives that God doesn't see or isn't interested in seeing. Prayers for the Pilgrimage gives us not only specific prayers but also a model for understanding our whole lives as prayer.

"When two en-Spirited people, wife and husband, join to offer their gifts of writing and art in a single volume, the blessing is doubled for readers. As David and Phaedra Taylor share in this book what moves and inspires them, it will speak into your heart and mind as their words and images rise from the page to enrich you."

Luci Shaw, writer-in-residence at Regent College and author of Reversing Entropy

"Prayers for the Pilgrimage is a thoughtful and delightful pairing of perceptive petitions and sensitive paintings, designed to tune the mind and heart to whispers of the eternal hidden in the everyday."

Douglas McKelvey, author of Every Moment Holy, Volumes I and II

"I'm so grateful for the work of David and Phaedra Taylor, as they both point us toward the heart of the Lord. May we all draw closer to the beauty of the Lord through these prayers and paintings."

Jamie Ivey, author and host of the podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

"This collection of beautifully crafted collects—little prayers for all kinds of occasions, encounters, dilemmas, and moments of celebration—will be a welcome resource for Christians everywhere. These prayers are deeply rooted in Scripture and yet speak powerfully into modern life. Many of them are memorable, beauty crafted little prose poems that will stay with the reader long after they have first been prayed. These prayers are indeed a host of good companions for life's pilgrimage."

Malcolm Guite, poet and author of Mariner: A Theological Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"I thank God for Prayers for the Pilgrimage. Prayer is the root system that feeds and nurtures our life with God. Author W. David O. Taylor has provided us with just such a root system. Watercolor paintings by Phaedra J. Taylor placed at the beginning of each section are a lovely addition to this collection. They encourage us to pause in our reading and praying for quiet reflection and meditation . . . a selah, to use the language of the Psalms. Prayers for the Pilgrimage is a treasure. Get it. Read it. Pray it."

Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and Learning Humility

"Sometimes we have all the words to pray. Sometimes we don't have any. This book is a perfect companion for the seasons when we could use some help with what we really want to say."

Scott Erickson, author of Honest Advent and Say Yes

"This collection of short, nuanced prayers is a gift that points us to the deep love God has not only for us but for our neighbors too. David Taylor offers thoughtful words for the journey, lending us prayers for a multitude of occasions, celebrations, and pain points, inviting us to bring our whole selves to the One who hears every cry of our hearts. This beautiful book is a rich resource for individuals, families, and churches, reminding us of God's presence in the joys and sorrows of life together."

Kayla Craig, author of Every Season Sacred and To Light Their Way: A Collection of Prayers and Liturgies for Parents

"Inherited prayers from our foremothers and forefathers in the faith have long helped Christians celebrate, mourn, survive, and simply live into the church's rhythms of marking time. Prayers for the Pilgrimage brings a fresh perspective to this long-standing Christian practice. The words and images within its pages lay bare the human heart and the very heart of God in a time when prayers that draw us near to God and to one another in community are desperately needed. Wherever one is on their faith journey, Prayers for the Pilgrimage will give voice to the varied and complex needs of life in the twenty-first century."

Teesha Hadra, rector of Church of the Resurrection Los Angeles

Read an Excerpt


Prayers for Life: Artist Statement by Phaedra Taylor

Prayers for Morning and Evening
Prayers for Monday to Sunday
Prayers for the Secular Calendar
Prayers for the Church Calendar
Prayers for Birth to Death
Prayers for Joy and Sorrow
Prayers for Sickness and Healing
Prayers for the Virtues and Vices
Prayers for Work
Prayers for Creatives
Prayers for School
Prayers for Mundane Life
Prayers for Public Life
Prayers for Relational Life
Prayers for a Violent World
Prayers for the Love of Neighbor
Prayers for the Love of Self
Prayers for the Love of God
Nature Prayers
Children's Prayers
Celtic Prayers
A Prayer for the Nobodies of the World

Appendix: How to Write Your Own Collects


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W. David O. Taylor

W. David O. Taylor (ThD, Duke Divinity School) is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and the author of several books, including A Body of Praise, Open and Unafraid, and Glimpses of the New Creation; he is also the editor of For the Beauty of the Church as well as co-editor of Contemporary Art and the Church and of The Art of New Creation. He has written for The Washington Post, Image Journal, Religion News Service, and Christianity Today, among others. He serves on the advisory board for Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts as well as IVP Academic's series, "Studies in Theology and the Arts." An Anglican priest, he has lectured widely on the arts, from Thailand to South Africa. In 2016 he produced a short film on the psalms with Bono and Eugene Peterson. He lives with his family in Austin, Texas.