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Translator’s Preface

This little manual of prayers herewith offered to English speaking Christians in their own language, has long been one of the treasures of the German people. With the exception of a few prayers, as hereinafter noted, it was originally written by one of God’s noblemen, by one who “lived and moved and had his being” in the things of the Kingdom of God. Dr. John Habermann (known also as Avenarius, Latinized form of Habermann) died 1590 as superintendent at Zeitz, was a famous preacher and a distinguished scholar of his day. He was noted for his profound knowledge of oriental languages especially of the Hebrew. Still it is not this but the fact of his little prayer book that has endeared him to his fellow Christians. And this manual of prayers is the mature product of an inner 4 life rich in the grace of God. On every page it bears the stamp of one for whom the communion with the eternal Father in heaven through the faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior, is a blessed reality. Nothing more natural therefore also than that he should “live and move and have his being” in the language of the Word of God. And this is quite apparent in his prayer language. God’s Word give him the terms to express his thoughts. Especially the Psalter, the prayer and hymn book of Israel, proves a veritable thesaurus of prayer terms and of these he makes a copious use.

The present little volume presents the Englished edition of “Wachet und Betet,” as issued by the Synod of Iowa and other States. Owing to the exigencies of the times, with the great world war raging in all its fury, a special set of prayers for times of war has been added by the translator, in the hope that they will add to the usefulness of the book. These are found on pages 131-138. The hymns as far as possible 5 are given in the form as found in the new Common Service Book with Hymnal. Many of them however are new translations that here appear in print for the first time. For these we are indebted especially to Prof. Alfred Ramsey of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Maywood, Chicago, and the Rev. H. Brueckner of Iowa City, Iowa, a fact which is here gratefully acknowledged.

The labor of clothing these little gems of prayer into the language of the land has been done as a labor of love, albeit the stress of other work often precluded the continued effort. The work was done a bit at a time. This little volume is herewith issued with the fervent hope and prayer, that it may long continue on its course of blessing, and lead many lives into the closer communion with God, through Jesus Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!

E. H. R.

Waverly, Iowa, during the blessed season of Epiphany, 1918.

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