PrayNow — Treasury of Daily Prayer content for your iPhone

PrayNow, the application that brings Treasury of Daily Prayer content to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, is now available from the iTunes App Store.

Check it out here.

iTunes App Store Description:

PrayNow is the daily prayer app that places the Scriptures at the center of daily meditation and prayer.

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Daily prayer should be central to what we do as a Christians. Yet it is so easy for the pressures and stresses of daily life to crowd out the time for meaningful prayer.

PrayNow is designed to meet the needs of the Christian who wishes to follow a disciplined order of daily prayer centered in the Scriptures and to use the rich resources of the church’s ancient daily orders of prayers with writings from the Church Fathers.

PrayNow provides you with the following:

• Complete texts for each day:

o A reading from the Psalms

o An Old Testament reading

o A New Testament reading

o A selection from a writing by a church father

o A hymn stanza

o A prayer for the day

• Complete orders for daily prayer:

o Matins

o Vespers

o Compline

• Features the feasts, festivals, and commemorations of the Christian Church Year

• The full text of the Psalms is available with, or without, chant notation

• A full collection of prayers for the days of the week and for various aspects of your life in Christ

Technical Features

o Full texts for every day appear automatically according to the calendar

o Dynamic calendar allows you to display text for any day

o Choose between five different fonts

o Fully scalable font size

o Night reading mode

o Bookmarking capabilities

Summer Reading: Book of Concord

Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (CPH)

Pastor Johann Caauwe over at A Shepherd’s Story is starting a summer-read of the Book of Concord and invites us to read with him. For many, the more relaxed schedules of summer allow for adding some extra reading to a daily devotion, or for others, replacing the regular devotion with a project like reading of the Book of Concord over the Summer.

Pastor Caauwe offers some useful links:

The summer schedule using Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions here.

The summer schedule using other popular editions of the book of Concord: Triglot, Tappert, or KolbWengert or Die Bekenntnis-Schriften here.

You can read the Book of Concord on line right here.

And you can participate in a discussion of the daily readings here.

Luther’s Works–new volume now available


Luther's Works, #69

At the turn of the millennium Life magazine rated Martin Luther as the third most important person of the last 1,000 years. His confession of the Gospel of Christ has given direction and purpose to many both inside and outside the Lutheran Church. Still after nearly five hundred years since the Reformation began, the writings of Martin Luther continue to inform and inspire preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ arond the world. Therefore it is a shame, that while the fifty-five volumes of the American Edition is the most extensive collection of Luther’s works in English, it doesn’t contain even one half of all Luther’s writings.

But with the publishing of Luther’s Works, American Edition, Volume 69, that is all about to change. Concordia Publishing House has embarked on a historic project to translate and publish 20 new volumes of Luther’s Works that have never been translated into English. A team of scholars and translators have been at work. This first volume in the new series demonstrates that this team is committed to ensuring that the new editions of Luther meets the highest levels of scholarship and quality.

In announcing the publishing of this first volume in the Luther’s Works extension, my colleauge Dr. Benjamin Mayes writes:

Volumes 22–24 of Luther’s Works: American Edition did not give us all of Luther’s preaching on the Gospel of John. Now, in the new volume 69, we have Luther’s exposition of Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17, as well as his preached meditations on the entire passion and resurrection of our Lord according to John. In LW 69, Luther is an expert guide through the mysteries of Lent and Easter. Dr. Christopher Boyd Brown’s introductions and footnotes in many ways surpass the scholarly apparatus of the old series. Brown sets Luther’s commentary in the context of patristic, medieval, and contemporary Reformation commentaries on John in order to show what was most important to Luther as he preached on Christ’s passion.

The last part of our new volume is truly unique. For the first time, we have collected and translated all of Luther’s sermons on John 20:19–31, where Jesus breathes on His disciples, gives them the Holy Spirit, and bestows on them His authority to forgive and retain sins. This passage, which is quoted and explained in many editions of the Small Catechism, as well as in the twenty-eighth article of the Augsburg Confession, has been the center of not a little controversy over the years. The sermons here in LW 69 show in what ways Luther’s explanation of this passage changed through his career, and in what ways it stayed the same. In every sermon Luther’s concern to uphold the forgiveness of sins through the word of absolution is clear and heartening.

Whether, you are new to Luther, or whether you have been using the American Edition for years, I encourage you to check out this great collection of sermons.

You can order you copy of volume 69 at the website, or you can go here to find out more about the new series and even become a subscriber.

Treasury of Daily Prayer: It is Christmas morning!

The first two cases of Treasury of Daily Prayer have arrived by FedEx in advance of the main shipment coming by freight.

It is like Christmas morning! And I am both the toymaker who ultimately finds joy in the fact that other are enjoying his creation AND the child who eagerly tears open the wrapping and can’t wait to begin to play.

And what a playground it is. I turn it over in my hands, I carefully break in the binding, I flip through the pages stopping here, stopping there. There are certainly words on these pages, important words, God’s words. But I see so much more as I look at the pages, trail my fingers over the smooth surface, around one rounded corner and than another. I see on these pages my assisting editors, who through extended e-mails and phone calls “caught” the vision of what I hoped this resource would be, and then poured themselves into the project, loving it and caring for it every bit as much as I do. I see e-mails almost without number that flew between Dave Petersen, myself, and the numerous contributors of the writings from the Church fathers. Todd Peperkorn, whose own personal attachment and knowledge of the Psalms so wonderfully shaped the daily psalmody. The love for our hymnic heritage that is evident in Henry Gerike’s selection of hymnody. Nathan Higgins, a fan of the Book of Concord, who took the pencil-sketch idea for Lenten catechesis and crafted a masterpiece. Arthur Just, chairman of the LSB lectionary committee, drew upon his deep love and knowledge of the collects and matched them to the texts, and then wrote 157 new collects as well. I am humbled and very proud to call each of these men not only brothers in the Ministry, but my friends.

The indents, the paragraphs, the precisely placed punctuation and breathing marks, all stand as a testimony to Dawn Weinstock. Dawn invested, literally, hundreds of hours in manuscript preparation, copy editing, the securing of permissions, the assembly of the acknowledgments, and more. With care and dedication she followed behind straightening, correcting, and rejoicing in the details. She quite simply made me look better than I am.

The beautiful typography and the elegant layout of the Treasury come from the hand of artist Stacy Johnston, our designer extraordinare. She listened so carefully to my hopes and dreams; and then with her years of experience and her immense talent, she saw what 3,000+ pages of manuscript and notes could be. And it is.

There are so many more hands that assisted in making this dream, this effort, this obsession come to pass in the beautiful way that it has—in deep gratitude, I will always see and cherish each of them as part of the treasure that is the Treasury of Daily Prayer.

Behind the pages, yet as essential to the Treasury as is the spine to a book, is the Commission on Worship of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, especially the Lectionary Committee of what came to be know as Lutheran Service Book. It was these dedicated individuals who set out the first sketches for an all-in-one resource that would be centered on God’s Word and faithfully express the richness of our Lutheran heritage and understanding of prayer and meditation. Their work to establish the Daily Lectionary and the expanded sanctoral calendar is the beating heart of the Treasury.

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone be the Glory!

Treasury of Daily Prayer: A “father’s” pacing

This is the closest thing to fatherhood that I have experienced since the impending birth of my own children 29 years ago. We received samples of printed pages of Treasury of Daily Prayer from the printer. All the press marks are still on the edges and they certainly aren’t bound.

This is like getting the sonogram — you can tell it is “a boy” and that all the fingers and toes are accounted for. We can put together a visualization of the final result, but there are still several weeks before the delivery date. 
Check out today’s sonogram in the photo.
What do you think, Rick?

WHITE PAPER #3 part two: Concordia’s Treasury of Daily Prayer: The Psalms in Daily Prayer and the Practice of Daily Prayer

Dr. Stucwisch continues:

Now, then, in addition to being the Word of God—and, really, precisely as the Word of God—the Psalms also become the Church’s words of prayer (and a sacrifice of praise), when they are spoken back to God and confessed before the world as words of faith. Indeed, such “confession” (which, if one considers the Greek word for such confession, means “to say the same thing”) is the very voice of faith and thus the fountain out of which all faithful prayer flows; because, in order to “pray, praise, and give thanks,” as the Catechism and the Second Commandment teach, it is above all necessary that the Word of God be heard and received in its truth and purity, and that Christians do and speak all things in harmony with it. The people of God are thus given to say the same thing that God has said to them: the confession of sin (as in Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), and the confession of faith (as in Psalms 2, 96, 97, 98, 110, 148–150); in either case to say what is true and right, because it is what God has said. Such confession of the Word of God, and so also the confession of the Psalms, is a priestly-sacrificial service of God’s people—the sacrifice of repentance, of faith, of thanksgiving, and of intercession for others. To confess what God has done and said is the foremost sort of praise and thanksgiving; and it is on the firm foundation of what He has done and said that one petitions Him according to His promise for the future, not only for one’s self, but also for the Church and for the neighbor. In the case of the Psalms, in particular, all of them to some extent or another (some more than others) served the priestly worship of the Temple in the Old Testament; many of them, in fact, originated within that liturgical context, specifically for that purpose (especially Psalms 118–134). They are thus ideally suited for the Church’s priestly-sacrificial use as prayers of praise and petition, because they present the Word of God in a poetic and lyrical form that is most appropriate for and conducive to worship. Yet, for all that, the Psalms do not cease to be the Word of God, always speaking (liturgically) to His people. Continue reading