Ash & Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos & Grace of Daily Life
What if who you are and where you are right now - in all the mess and beauty - is exactly what you need for your deepest connection with God yet? With this prayerful companion, your soul will rejoice, accept, surrender, and trust amid the ash and starlight of your daily life.
Spiritual writer and pastor Arianne Braithwaite Lehn provides encouragement for life's journey in these honest and poetic prayers drawn from the everyday emotions, joys, and pain of our days. Ash and Starlight features prayers for centering, confession and release, guidance and transition, waiting and struggle, comfort and strength, trust, and seasonal times of year. This compilation of 60 tender prayers will will help you find connection and wholeness in your own daily pilgrimage. You will be empowered to live authentically and soulfully, embracing the brokenness and beauty of your life right now, just as it is.
- When I need perspective at the start of a day
- When I want to numb, avoid, and block
- When I don't want to love someone
- When I'm in the messy middle of something
- When I need to trust where I am is right
- When I ache with hurt
- When I can't sleep
- For the New Year
- For Summer's Ending
- A Parent's Advent Prayer
- A blessing for someone you love (and yourself)
"Even with a shelf dedicated to prayer books and with journals and computer files filled with my own, Ash and Starlight is the prayer book I've been longing for. Lehn's gorgeous writing, her disciplined focus and yet wide-open spirit give us the words to pray when we're fresh out and lead us to ask for things we might not know we need. What a gift this book is! A must read for prayer 'warriors' and 'novices' alike." ―Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible and Gritty and Graceful: 15 Inspiring Women of the Bible.
"Arianne Braithwaite Lehn has gifted us with a collection of prayers that spring from deep faith, sensitivity, and passion. We hear her authentic voice and feel her open heart, as she writes with elegance, graceful expression, and moving beauty. These are prayers to empower and equip us. They are filled with fresh images and truly reach us in all seasons of our lives, as we call on our tender God, our merciful Jesus, and our supportive Spirit. This is a book to savor and share. Its prayers can strengthen our life-giving connection with God, helping us participate in prayerful dialogue that sustains and nourishes our days. This book is a blessing." ―Donald K. McKim, author of Everyday Prayer with John Calvin and Mornings with Bonhoeffer: 100 Reflections on the Christian Life
"This is a time when the voice of faith—with its claims, its risks, and its daring—must be articulated with venturesome freshness. Arianne Lehn responds to that requirement and here offers a rich catalogue of prayers that are open, inviting, and elusive enough for many entry points. Her imaginative probes are deeply linked to scripture, playful enough to be a fitting match for the playfulness of scripture. It is exactly, as she says in her subtitle, a moment for grace and chaos. Those who engage this book will find courage for chaos and receptivity for grace." ―Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"In Ash and Starlight, Arianne Lehn enters life fully, bringing all it contains into her relationship with the Holy. Here you will find tender prayers resonant with hope, the kind that sail freely on days of joy and stay afloat during times of turmoil. No matter what kind of day you’ve had, there’s a prayer waiting for you."―Joyce Rupp
"Arianne's prayers are crafted from the honest stuff of everyday life. Who of us has not felt messy, jealous, or on a threshold when old beliefs have died? This book meets you in the midst of all that glorious humanity, allowing you to bless the raw, challenging places and infuse them with grace so that you can see your reality in new ways. She offers the gift of potent words when sometimes we don't have our own to form."―Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE, OblSB, author of 12 books including The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred and a poetry collection, Dreaming of Stones.
"As a busy working mom, I crave moments of spiritual connection but need to find them in the cracks of my everyday life. Arianne Lehn's book provides just the right words at just the right time. This book is perfect for setting on a bedside table and picking up for a prayer here and there, when I need it most. Written with tenderness and concern, Ash and Starlight is like having a spiritual director on call, to page whenever I need her." ―Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home
"I ‘ve been an admiring reader of the Rev. Arianne Lehn’s exquisite prayers from the time she first began writing and posting them for her congregation. Through the years, I have eagerly awaited her graceful offerings. They always fill my spirit with wonder and gratitude and I treasure each artfully crafted, heartfelt word. Lehn’s prayers address the painful times and seasons in our lives, when our faith and spirit are stretched to the breaking point. Her honesty and vulnerability give voice to our sighs and groans. Her prayers lift us back to our unsteady feet as we stumble forward in the darkness now grasping a glimpse of light. They draw us to the 'thin places'—spaces where the 'veil' between heaven and earth feels paper-thin, as Lehn herself so perfectly states. Her writing is stunningly gorgeous. The words appear to pour from the pain through the pen. Yet it is obvious that every joining of consonant and vowel has been sifted through her spirit prior to being committed to the page. It is no easy writing, even though it appears to be so, but that’s exactly how it should be. Do not rush through the reading of these prayers. Savor each delicious word. Taste and see that the God of Light and Word is good, with us unceasingly, and forever. Ash and Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos and Grace of Daily Life is a collection to cherish, to share, to keep, to have as life’s inevitable challenges stop us in our tracks. I am thrilled that Lehn’s prayers are now gathered in this lovely collection. I will eagerly read and share the book with great joy."―The Rev. Dr. Kathleen Long Bostrom
"In this lush collection of prayers, Arianne Braithwaite Lehn manages to speak in a voice that is equal parts lyrical and unflinchingly real. The complicated breadth of life’s joys and challenges are reflected in the pages of this book. For those moments when the feelings are on the tip of your tongue but the words fail you, let these prayers be your guide and companion."―MaryAnn McKibben Dana, author of God, Improv, and the Art of Living and Sabbath in the Suburbs
"At once beautifully poetic and relatable, Ash and Starlight glows. Braithwaite Lehn invites readers on a pilgrimage of prayer and into an awareness of God's abiding presence. Most of all, she welcomes us to share her words as we pray. Her many and varied ways to address the Divine—Welcoming One, My Friend, Patient One, and so many more—are especially moving."―Jennifer Grant, author of Love You More and Maybe I Can Love My Neighbor Too