This is a sweet book. It captures many of my interests at once. First, I appreciate Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings in general. These letters and papers are especially edifying because I can see what is “behind” some of his other works, so to speak. Second, I love reading about the tough issues: What does it mean to be a Christian (or a church) under intense pressure? You’ll find answers to this question in this book, Letters & Papers from Prison. Third, having read many volumes of WWII history, these letters/papers fascinate me from a historical perspective.
Here are a few of Bonhoeffer’s prayers that are quite moving, especially considering he penned them from a Nazi prison. I recommend reading these out loud.
“In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me.”
“Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
And in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
When all men fail me;
You remember and seek me;
It is your will that I should know you
And turn to you.
Lord, I hear your call and follow;
“I remember in your presence all my loved ones,
my fellow-prisoners, and all who in this house perform their hard service;
Lord, have mercy.”