Praying Luther's Small Catechism

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Beyond its purpose as a handbook and outline of Christian teachings, Luther’s Small Catechism is, above all, a prayer book for every age.
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That little book called Luther’s Small Catechism is the one you see stacked in church classrooms and tucked under teenage arms, filled with their scribbles and spiritual growth. Decades later, the same small book is often collecting dust on shelves in Christian homes around the world.

Praying Luther’s Small Catechism
 invites you, your family, and the church to return to the riches of this treasure. Beyond its purpose as a handbook and outline of Christian teachings, Luther’s Small Catechism is also a prayer book for every age. Not a textbook, a homework assignment, or a friend for children only.

Far from limiting and restricting your prayer life, Luther’s Small Catechism anchors you in God’s Word where the expansive skies of His mercy in Christ are wide and wonderfully never-ending. The carefully written words of the catechism offer both depth and simplicity for your meditation, accessible to the beginner learning the ABCs and valuable for stirring the hearts and minds of the wisest.

Journey through the Six Chief Parts of Luther’s Small Catechism as well as the Daily Prayers and Table of Duties, and discover how these scripturally sound words (2 Timothy 1:13) shape our praying for a lifetime.


“What a wonderful treasure chest John Pless has given us! This little book is filled with rich reflections on Luther’s Small Catechism, drawn from wide reading and also from Pless’s own wise reflections. It is a book that is not only to be read, but also to be used—and used not merely in private devotions, but also in instruction within the church. It is a fantastic resource. I hope and expect that it will capture the hearts of many and bear its fruit there.”

—Mark A. Seifrid, Professor of Exegetical Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO

“Giving voice that the Catechism not only teaches true doctrine but also Christ-centered spirituality, John Pless reminds us that the Catechism was designed not only to be taught but also to be prayed. Many find prayer challenging because they have a hard time focusing. This book not only offers model prayers grounded in the Catechism, but shows how the Catechism itself can structure the life of prayer and so help those who are easily distracted in prayer. Sound doctrine, consistent practice, pastoral wisdom, all held together by a passion for the Gospel, constitute the richness of this book.”

—Mark Mattes, Grand View University, Des Moines, IA

“Few theologians and pastors have reflected on and meditated upon Luther’s catechisms over the past few decades as deeply as John Pless. Few are also as well acquainted with the scholarship on these Reformation treasures as is John. He picks up Luther’s proposal for using the catechetical texts for meditation and prayer and models it for us with brief meditations and prayers that go to the heart of Luther’s insights. This book can admirably serve those who are simply looking for a readable text that can help them teach the catechism. But even more, it can serve as springboard for developing a life-long devotional practice with the catechism that will deepen one’s faith in the Triune God who has given himself and all his gifts to us.”

—Charles Arand, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
Professor of Systematic Theology; Dean of Theological Research and Publications; Director at the Center for Care of Creation

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