It Wouldn’t Sell Today

I came across this prayer book my husband Tom’s parents gave him at Confirmation many years ago. Tom had underlined several of the lines in the prayers in key places. These are the old ways, the simple, non-flashy truths of Christianity. These kinds of prayer books wouldn’t sell well today.  Publishers know  the evangelical  public isn’t looking for this kind of thing. But the state of churches and what passes for Christianity in general is a sad reflection of that.

8 thoughts on “It Wouldn’t Sell Today

  1. Lorrie says:

    I love this!! I took a photo of your photo, as a reminder of how to behave! 🙂 What is the name of the book?

  2. Ingrid says:

    Hi Lorrie, it’s called My Prayer Book, published by Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis. copyright 1957. I just did a search with that title and copyright date and several used copies came up very inexpensively. It really has beautiful things in it. Here’s a little blurb from the Preface:

    “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man” that “availeth much” is more than a striking sentence of a beautifully phrased paragraph. Faith in God, to whom we pray, is more important than the wording of the prayer. “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord” James 1:6,7)

    “Words, however, give expression to what is in our hearts…”

    In adding My Prayer Book to the abundance of devotional and prayer books published in recent years, it is our hope not only to have provided acceptable, prepared prayers, but also to have offered suitable prayer patters to aid those who do not seem to know how to give expression to what is in their hearts as they face the problems and temptations, the joys and sorrows, the successes and disappointments of life.

    It concludes, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16.)

  3. Denise says:

    Ingrid, I have that exact same prayer book from Concordia copyright 1957! My father used it faithfully along with a similar book called the Lutheran Book of Prayer, published by Concordia in 1941. I turned to page 163, and there’s the passage you underlined. Prayers coming from a place of humility. Dad was not articulate, but he was a faithful Bible reader and these prayer books were a great help to him. I’ve heard some fundamental pastors mock those who use prayer books, stating that if you had any faith, you wouldn’t need a prayer book. Still trying to come out from under that type of teaching. Thank you for sharing this! My heart leaped when I saw this post!

  4. Ingrid says:

    Denise, that is wonderful! Also, if you can do a search on Johann Habermann – a German Lutheran pastor from the 16th Century, Reformation era. He wrote a book of beautiful prayers, morning and evening prayers for each day of the week, among others. I have a little black book with that title someone gave me. But I’m sure a search on Morning and Evening Prayers by Johann Habermann would find something. Here is one such prayer he wrote. Prayer of a school child. Just thorough, biblical always. Drenched in the Scriptures. (As for any “pastor” mocking prayers such as these that are in writing, I would question whether they have ever met the Jesus of Scripture.)

    https://deovivendiperchristum.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/johann-habermann-1516-1590-prayer-of-a-school-child-for-the-holy-spirit/

  5. Denise says:

    Thanks for sharing that link. A lovely prayer. I will read more about him and look for more writings. These are the worshipful things I remember growing up in the Lutheran church. Several Baptist pastors I know have made fun of those who use prayer books. Their argument is that if you’re really saved, you don’t need someone else’s words. Why does it have to be one or the other? As long as the words don’t contradict scripture, and are prayed with a humble spirit, God knows what we’re saying. If we’re not careful, pride can creep into our prayer life and we’ll be praying within ourselves to ourselves. Thanks again for sharing this precious book.

  6. Beverley says:

    Thank you for posting this Ingrid. When Christ saved me I also encountered many church leaders who frowned upon ‘prayer books’ and yet as the years have passed I find myself finding such comfort in them.

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