When Prayer Takes Place: Forays into a Biblical World

By J. Gerald Janzen, Brent A. Strawn and Patrick D. Miller (editors)

A collection of exegetical essays by the biblical scholar J. Gerald Janzen, exploring how the activity of prayer is presented in scripture.

ISBN: 9780227176733


Where in the world was Jesus when he prayed? Where is any one of us when we pray? Since we are embodied creatures, our prayer location can be mapped onto space-time coordinates. Since we are social creatures, our prayers are also situated within our social locations. But do these sets of coordinates exhaustively identify the place that prayer takes when truly entered into? Conversely, can either set totally prevent prayer from taking place there? The studies in When Prayer Takes Place explore dimensions of these issues traced in selected texts from both parts of the Christian Bible.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 450

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

J. Gerald Janzen is MacAllister-Petticrew Emeritus Professor of Old Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. His most recent book is At the Scent of Water: The Ground of Hope in the Book of Job (2009).

Brent A. Strawn is Associate Professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology and Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University.

Patrick D. Miller is Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary.


Foreword, by Brent A. Strawn and Patrick D. Miller

Introduction: From Plane to Plane

Part I: Orienting Ourselves in the Biblical World
1. “. . . and the Bush Was Not Consumed”
2. What’s in a Name? “Yahweh” in Exodus 3 and the Wider Biblical Context
3.What Does the Priestly Blessing Do?
4. Praying in the Space God Creates for the World

Part II: Forays into a Biblical World
5. Prayer as Self-Address: The Case of Hannah
6. The Root škl and the Soul Bereaved in Psalm 35
7. As God Is My Witness: Another Look at Psalm 12:6
8. “And Not We Ourselves”: Psalm 100:3 and the Eschatological Reign of God
9. Standing on the Promises of God: On the Thematic Resonance of “No Foothold” in Psalm 69
10. The Verb ya’ames in Psalm 27:14: Who Is Strengthening Whom?
11. Revisiting “Forever” in Psalm 23:6

Part III: The Standpoint of Two Prophets
12. Solidarity and Solitariness in Ancient Israel: The Case of Jeremiah
13. Eschatological Symbol and Existence in Habakkuk
Part IV: An Interlude
14. Toward a Hermeneutics of Resonance: A Methodological Interlude between the Testaments

Part V: New Testament Afterword
15. “Hid with Christ in God”
16. Faith as a Foothold “within the Veil”: Afterwords in the Letter to the Hebrews
17. Redeeming the Expression “Redeeming the Time”


Author Index
Scripture Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Janzen has been looking at these biblical texts all his life. Every time he looks again, he sees something else by way of connection or nuance. It is a delight to salute this long-loved colleague on this rich offer that is a gift of newness.
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Rare is the exegete who is wise beyond his or her own specialty. Rarer is the interpreter who explores the text down to its minutest of details with infectious wonder. Janzen is that exegete: critic, theologian, philosopher, and poet. His exegetical forays are expeditions of a vivacious mind that will touch the heart, indelibly.
William P. Brown, Columbia Theological Seminary

In these essays, both old and new, Janzen delves into detailed exegetical and intertextual analyses of biblical texts, crossing both Testaments and constantly appealing to the original languages with a sensitivity that generates profoundly existential reflection on one’s own relationship with God. I found his essays transformative both for my reading of Scripture and for my own life.
J. Richard Middleton, Northeastern Seminary