Fortress Press

Minister's Prayer Book: An Order of Prayers and Readings, Revised Edition

Since it first appeared in print in 1959, John Doberstein's Minister's Prayer Book has been a devotional classic among Lutheran pastors. Written by a pastor for other pastors, Doberstein's work recognizes the need for the pastor to drink from a well of rich resources to sustain the spiritual vitality needed to serve faithfully in parish ministry. The fact that this manual of devotion is still available more than fifty years later is a testament to the timelessness of the collection Doberstein gathered, as well as to his own pastoral acumen. Other than a minor revision made in 1986 by Philip Pfatteicher to update the propers, there has been no attempt to bring fresh material to Doberstein's work, no attempt to update it for a new generation. Until now. This revised edition recognizes the increasingly diverse face of clergy. New resources--prayers and readings written by women, people of color, and Christians from around the world--give the collection a broader appeal. The beauty of the Minister's Prayer Book is its intentional re-centering of the pastor's calling on word and sacrament, on pastoral care, and on being fully present and engaged in the lives of God's people.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506454528
  • eBook ISBN 9781506454535
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 500
  • Publication Date February 4, 2020


A faithful companion.

“Ministers, like all Christians, need to pray. Yet they often need help to pray as they yearn to do. Generations have found this classic a faithful companion through each week, through the Christian year, and through the dimensions of pastoral vocation—all in conversation with Scripture and the church’s wisdom. This affectionate update freshens language and expands sources to reflect ministry in our time, when ministers are more diverse but prayer is as urgent as ever.”

Elizabeth Eaton | presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

A reclaimed treasure.

Minister’s Prayer Book has supported me and countless others for many years. Its organizing principle of Scripture, prayer, and meditation is fundamentally right. This pastoral guide now reappears in a thoughtfully updated version, its classical structure intact but with the addition of new prayers and contemporary voices. It is a reclaimed treasure. I will be using it again on a daily basis. It belongs in every minister’s hands—and heart.” 

Richard Lischer | Duke Divinity School

A treasure trove for pastors, deacons, and all Christians.

“After four decades in ministry, I still find that one simple practice has grounded me on both the best days and the most challenging days. Reading a daily devotion, drawn from Holy Scripture and a rich array of theological writings and prayers, has been my practice for many years. This revised version of Doberstein’s Minister’s Prayer Book, enhanced by new selections and fresher language, holds a treasure trove for pastors, deacons, and all Christians. Open it and see.”

Patricia J. Lull | Bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod, ELCA

A gift to a new generation.

“Here, prayer and preaching are grounded in God’s down-to-earth gospel, not in mystical flights of the soul. With Luther and Bonhoeffer, Doberstein guides the minister ‘to know the blessings of God’s word, heard personally in all its severity and love.’ This revised edition is a gift to a new generation.”

David L. Tiede | Luther Seminary

This book is for you.

"If you find prayer difficult, this book is for you. If you find prayer easy, this book is for you. If you are dry in prayer, you will find this book a font. If your prayer flows, you will find fresh streams. New, old, and ancient prayers have been carefully selected and brilliantly arranged, well-suited for both rookie and veteran ministers as a resource in their service to others and even more so in the enrichment of their own prayer life."

Matthew Riegel | Bishop of West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, ELCA

I heartily recommend it.

“As a young pastor, I searched in vain for a faithful and effective devotional book compatible with Lutheran theology, liturgical rhythms, and the fast pace of ministry. This resource fulfills that ministry-long search. Updated with contemporary writers and the introduction of women’s voices, this revision of a classic provides adaptable methods and materials that support today’s demanding, uncharted ministries in mission. It engages a foundational gift of the Reformation: spirituality solidly grounded in God’s word. I heartily recommend it and will use it for pastoral formation with the seminarians I teach.”

Mary Sue Dreier | Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

Rich spiritual resources of every age—including our own.

“This revised edition makes a devotional classic available to a new generation of ministers. Those of us who have found the riches of the Minister’s Prayer Book to be helpful in all phases of our vocation will find it now has been coordinated with the Common Lectionary and has brought new voices into its collection of readings. It meets the many challenges specific to ministry with the rich spiritual resources of every age—including our own.” 

H. George Anderson | Presiding Bishop emeritus, ELCA