By Emily Barlean
Every day, 900,000 people in 120 countries take five minutes out of their day to open their copy of Portals of Prayer and read a quick devotion, according to Concordia Publishing House.
In fact, during the last 75 years the daily devotional has not only been a staple CPH product, but it also has become a favorite in households around the world.
“I’ve used Portals for years, as did my parents and grandparents,” says Gwen Dumas of Havre, Mont.
Another CPH customer, Christine E. Charman of Colebrook, N.H., says the devotional is “part of my morning devotions and prayer time,” and that her mornings would be “impossible” without it.
Since 1937, Portals of Prayer has offered readers brief, thought-provoking devotions written by a variety of LCMS authors including Synod presidents, pastors, professors and laypeople. Each devotional features a Bible reading, meditation and prayer in a format that’s designed for easy reading.
To celebrate the diamond anniversary of Portals in Lent 2012, CPH has released a commemorative book called Daily Devotions. The new 408-page book features 365 daily devotions — taken from Portals of Prayer issues from the past 75 years — as well as 20 “special occasion” devotions for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other special days.
“It was quite a labor of love for Editor Scot Kinnaman,” said CPH Periodicals Marketing Manager Bob Sexton. “For each day of the year, [Scot] had to look through each of the 75 years’ worth of past issues and pick a suitable devotion for the book. That means he had over 27,000 devotions to choose from!”
Kinnaman selected many of the passages based on significant dates in history, such as World War II events, the Challenger disaster and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At the bottom of each page in the new book is the date the devotion originally appeared.
“The wonderful thing about Scripture is that life application shows itself. That’s why Portals devotions are timeless,” said Kinnaman. “That timelessness became obvious as we put the book together. Yes, we updated older texts carefully to match our language today, but the themes and issues are absolutely still relevant.”
In fact, what started in 1937 has not only endured, but has grown. Portals of Prayer is available today worldwide and in nine different versions: LCMS regular print and large print, interdenominational regular and large print, digest size, armed forces edition, Web-based and “mobile” editions, and Spanish.
CPH editors say they hope the commemorative book, like the Portals of Prayer devotional, will remind people that Christ is the light of the world.
“That is why we chose a lighthouse to put on the front cover,” says Kinnaman. “Christ is the beacon calling people to safety, and we hope that Portals — as well as this book — can be a place where people can find hope.”
To order the new Daily Devotions ($24.99, item no. 061330WEB), call CPH at 1-800-325-3040 or click here.
Emily Barlean is marketing communications specialist at Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis.
Posted Nov. 10, 2011