InterVarsity Press (IVP) is pleased to announce that Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep by Tish Harrison Warren was named the Christian Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) at its awards ceremony in Philadelphia on May 3. Prayer in the Night was also selected as the top book in the Christian Living category of the 2022 Christian Book Awards.
Framed around a nighttime prayer of Compline, Warren explores themes of human vulnerability, suffering, and God’s seeming absence. When she navigated a time of doubt and loss, the prayer was grounding for her. She writes that practices of prayer “gave words to my anxiety and grief and allowed me to reencounter the doctrines of the church not as tidy little antidotes for pain, but as a light in darkness, as good news.”
Jeff Crosby, ECPA’s president and publisher and the host of the 2022 Christian Book Awards celebration said, “The prayer of Compline and its earnest plea for God to keep watch over all who work, and who watch, and who weep in the night is a prayer for all of us, for all time. Tish Harrison Warren’s book, so artfully rooted in and wrapped around the prayer of Compline, has had a special resonance in the months since it was released. It’s a book that simultaneously has a sense of immediate relevance and of never-ending value, the type of book that will be read generations from now. I congratulate both Tish and the staff of InterVarsity Press for the ECPA Christian Book of the Year Award.”
“Sometimes a manuscript is delivered at just the right cultural moment, and this was true with Prayer in the Night,” said Cindy Bunch, IVP Vice President, Editorial. “This beautifully written book explores suffering, human vulnerability, and our experience of God. Written prior to the pandemic, it has been a comfort to many during this challenging and sorrowful season. I am grateful to have published it.”
Presented annually since 1978, the Christian Book Award program honors the “best of the year” in Christian literature. The winners were selected from sixty-five finalists to reflect literary excellence in twelve categories. Prayer in the Night was one of four finalists from IVP for the Christian Book Award program. The other finalists from IVP included God Speaks Through Wombs: Poems on God’s Unexpected Coming by Drew Jackson (Audio category), Lead Like It Matters to God: Values-Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World by Richard Stearns (Ministry Resources category), and Tempered Resilience: How Leaders Are Formed in the Crucible of Change by Tod Bolsinger (Ministry Resources category).
“In one of her books, the author Marilyn McEntyre reminds us that ‘words are entrusted to us as equipment for our life together, to help us survive, guide, and nourish one another,’” Crosby said. “The books selected as finalists, the individual category winners, and the Christian Book of the Year powerfully reflect the ways in which authors and publishers steward the sacred trust of words with excellence.”
Prayer in the Night was also named Christianity Today’s 2021 Book of the Year, and Warren’s first book, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life was the Christianity Today Book of the Year in 2018.
Warren is a weekly contributing newsletter writer for the New York Times and writes a monthly column for Christianity Today. She has worked in ministry settings for over a decade as a campus minister with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries and as the writer-in-residence at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Religion News Service, Christianity Today, Comment Magazine, The Point, and elsewhere.
For a complete list of IVP award winners, visit ivpress.com/award-winners.