In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public

by Ken Sehested, author/editor, prayer&politiks

Author-signed copies, $20.00 suggested contribution
Publications Unltd 2009; reprinted by Wipf & Stock Pub. 2014; 108 pages.

To purchase, send a check with your note to Ken Sehested, 358 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806 or order online:
(Postpaid in the U.S. Unfortunately, postage for destinations outside the U.S. are exorbitant. Go to this website to find the cost for delivery to your address.)



For decades Ken Sehested has been one of our most passionate faith-rooted organizers for peace and justice.  Unlike many, however, his vision and competence extend to the aesthetic and poetic. This volume gathers many of his reflections and should be employed alongside prayerbooks and hymnals, whether our work is in the seminary, the sanctuary and/or the streets! —Ched Myers, author of Binding the Strong Man

“In the Land of the Living is the cry of a modern psalmist. Here is poetry for authentic worship of the wild and unfettered God. This collection should be within easy reach of every pulpit and a companion for those following the Way of Jesus in today’s world.” —Rose Marie Berger, Associate Editor and Poetry Editor, Sojourners magazine

“Having spent a lifetime at the convergence point of scripture, faith, ministry, and justice, Sehested brings to voice what he has seen and heard and known in that long, faithful life. —Walter Brueggemann, author of Prayers for Privileged People

Sentimentality threatens Christian speech. It is, therefore, with gratitude we receive these litanies written by Sehested. They make for challenging reading, but that is exactly what we need to speak truthfully to God and one another. Hopefully these acts of strong conviction will be widely used. —Stanley Hauerwas, author of The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics

Never pray in a room without windows, the Talmud teaches.  Ken Sehested prays in a room with wall-to-wall windows, all wide open to the heartbreak of the world. In the Land of the Living makes Scripture what it was meant to be: a flash of insight, a bolt of courage, a stretch of imagination, a surprising peek into heart of God.  If you want to learn how to pray the Scriptures, start with this book. —Mary Lou Kownacki, a Benedictine sister, is the author, A Monk in the Inner City: the ABCs of a Spiritual Journey

I found myself reading aloud some phrases from this work to my unsuspecting husband because they roll off the lips so gleefully: “Repent and confess you creatures of flesh. Linger and hear, for mercy draws near, bewildering fear in its wake.” —Susan Mark Landis, Peace and Justice Support Network, Mennonite Church

“In the Land of the Living connects heart with words that I wish I had. Get his prayers and make them your own!” —Glen Harold Stassen, author of Living the Sermon on the Mount: Practical Hope for Grace and Deliverance

“These prayers are jumper cables from the pew to the world.” —Maren Tirabassi, co-author of Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship

“Listen to these and repeat them together. Hear midrashes in a down home accent to make Clarence Jordon smile from beyond. Hear litanies that teach with a gospel wit. Hear prayers from the depths of earth made to make one's heart sigh and groan.” —Bill Wylie-Kellermann, author of Seasons of Faith and Conscience: Explorations in Liturgical Direct Action

Worship leaders will not want to miss this marvelous collection of prayers. —E. Glenn Hinson, author of A Serious Call to a Contemplative Lifestyle