Tag Archives: daily prayer

Forward Today: The world changes one life at a time

Dear friends in Christ,

Lately when people ask me how I’m doing, I say something like, “Well, other than a deadly pandemic and a political dumpster fire, I’m fine!” We laugh. It’s funny because it’s true.

I don’t intend that as a knock on any political party. Whether you’re conservative or liberal, and whatever nation you live in, I think we can all agree that we wish our political leadership were…better.

I tend to engage in gallows humor. Laughter helps me get through tough times. Not everything is funny, of course, but little bursts of joy surely help me when life is challenging. But laughter isn’t the only way or the best way to survive when we face challenges.

The longer I’ve served at Forward Movement—in conversation with lay people and clergy from all over the church—I have become more and more convinced that daily prayer and regular scripture reading are the foundations of discipleship. Tending to our relationship with God in prayer keeps us focused on who we serve, and steeping ourselves in scripture reminds us that we are part of God’s great love for us and all creation.

If you’ve been reading Forward Today for a while, you’ve heard this before. And you’ll hear it again. Partly this is because I need the reminder myself. And partly it’s because there is always someone who hasn’t yet begun this ancient and life-giving practice.

So I want to encourage you all to do something that I try to do myself. Pray daily. Maybe you pray the daily office. Maybe you just talk to God. Maybe you have a favorite prayer resource you enjoy. There’s no right or wrong way to pray, but do pray.

And read your Bible. Read your way through a whole book of the Bible. Find a resource that takes you through a theme of the Bible, such as trust or forgiveness or mercy. Use the daily office lectionary to read much of scripture. Or just open up a Bible and start reading.

One of the greatest treasures of Forward Movement is Forward Day by Day. There’s a reason it has been beloved since it started in 1935. Each day, you get a snippet of scripture, a devotional reflection, and an invitation to pray. We do sell print subscriptions, of course. But I’m happy to say that we now offer a daily email with Forward Day by Day for free. If you want a regular invitation to read scripture and pray right in your inbox, you can sign up for free today.

Whether you use something from Forward Movement or just grab a Bible, I hope you’ll commit (or recommit) to reading and praying regularly. And consider inviting a friend to do the same.

Can I fix the pandemic? Can I fix our politics? No, but I can fix my heart. And the world changes one life at a time.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director



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Photo: Pixabay

Tune in!

Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!


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Smart Speakers Now Offering Episcopal Prayers

Both Alexa and Google Assistant have learned some Episcopal prayers. Thanks to a partnership between TryTank Experimental Lab and Forward Movement, you can now say, “Alexa, open Episcopal Prayer” or “Google, talk to Episcopal Prayer” and your device will begin playing the morning or evening prayer podcasts of Forward Movement.

“Whether people are at home or on the go, these options for moving through the daily office will be both useful and inspiring,” said the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement. “As a bit of a geek, I’m excited about this marriage of technology and Anglican tradition to equip disciples for daily prayer.”

Depending on the time of day, Alexa or Google Assistant will play either the morning prayer or evening prayer podcasts, which include the full liturgy of the daily office along with the assigned psalms and readings for the day.

“We are eager to see how this initiative catches on, so that we can learn more about how to bring spiritual practices and technology together,” said the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, director of TryTank. “Our early tests show that it quickly became a regular part of people’s daily routine.”

The podcasts themselves are the brainchild of the Rev. Canon Wiley Ammons, rector of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville, Florida, who co-hosts the episodes with the Rev. Lisa Meirow, curate at All Saints Episcopal Church, also in Jacksonville. A Morning at the Office and An Evening at Prayer are available on all major podcast platforms.


Forward Movement’s work of discipleship has used contemporary methods since its founding. “In the 1930s, pamphlets were an excellent use of technology to reach people, and now we use all the latest digital platforms and technologies. Reaching the smart home device market is another frontier to explore,” Gunn said.

TryTank Experimental Laboratory for Church Growth and Innovation is a joint project between Virginia Theological Seminary and the General Theological Seminary. TryTank offers inventive approaches to the challenges facing the Episcopal Church. Visit www.trytank.org to learn more.

Forward Movement is a ministry of the Episcopal Church that inspires disciples and empowers evangelists. With offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, Forward Movement has been serving the Episcopal Church since 1935 by producing resources such as Forward Day by Day, books, apps, pamphlets, conferences, podcasts, and courses. Visit www.forwardmovement.org to learn more.

Forward Today: Sustained by prayer

Dear friends in Christ,

As I write to you in what feels like the tenth year of being stuck at home, I suspect you are experiencing much of the same swirl of emotions that I feel. Sometimes I am enjoying this time at home, especially since I usually spend so much time traveling. Sometimes I am bored. Sometimes I long for a return to normalcy, even as I know that “normal” will probably be different now. And sometimes I grieve the things I cannot do because of the coronavirus crisis.

I have good days and bad days, and maybe you do, too. Several things keep me going, and one of them is regular prayer.

If you have an abundant prayer life, wonderful. Maybe you wish you had a deeper life of prayer. Or maybe you have been in the habit of daily prayer in the past, but it just hasn’t seemed to work these days. We all wax and wane on our journey as disciples. There’s no shame in admitting we’ve wandered into the desert and we need to find our way to the oasis.

Someone years ago gave me good advice on prayer. Don’t wait to feel like praying. Start praying, and the feeling will come along later. We might imagine that next week we’ll feel holier or have more time. But the reality is that today is the day we can change. So let’s change today. It’s never too late or too soon to start praying.

Forward Movement has lots of resources to help you along the way. We have morning prayer and evening prayer podcasts. We have an app for Android or Apple that offers Forward Day by Day and the daily office. We have a whole website devoted to daily prayer resources. And of course, there’s our flagship offering, Forward Day by Day.

If you’re used to getting Forward Day by Day at your church, maybe they’ll be getting you your own copy at home. You can also subscribe and receive Forward Day by Day in your own mailbox or by email. If you end up with an extra, you can always give it to a friend.

And, of course, we don’t need anything to pray, really. We can just talk to God. If you talk to God regularly, I hope you’ll share your joy in prayer with others. And if you don’t, give it a try. God is always ready to hear our prayers, even when we’re not so sure we’re ready to offer them.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director



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Introducing Matthew
With Vicki Garvey

For six weeks this Easter, meet with other students from around the world for a free, live, online class on the Gospel of Matthew with Vicki Garvey, a respected teacher and author and former Canon for Lifelong Education at the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

In this class, Vicki will teach us about the author, origin, setting, and message of the Gospel of Matthew. Classes will meet live on Thursday nights via zoom from April 23-May 28, 2020, and they will last an hour.

This class is ideal for people participating in the Good Book Club 2020, and for anyone interested in learning more about the Gospel of Matthew.

Tune in!

Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!

New Release:
Come & See: Reflections on the Life of Jesus

Each day since 1935, Forward Day by Day has offered daily devotions rooted in the Word of God and love of Jesus. Now, for the first time, some of the best meditations from the past three decades are collected into one volume and arranged chronologically, from Jesus’ birth to resurrection. Although the devotions were written in different contexts by a variety of authors, this collection offers a rich tapestry of reflections, some poignant, others pointed, but all committed to a way of love.

Come & See is curated by Sanford Smith, a pastor from Omaha, Nebraska, who began reading and collecting his favorite Forward Day by Day meditations in 1985. Today, at age ninety-five, he still volunteers four days a week as a hospital chaplain but every morning, he puts first things first and opens Forward Day by Day to read and pray.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the printing of this title has been delayed until late summer. Pre-order your print copy today, but also know that we’ve made the e-book version available early. You can find it on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and at the iTunes store.

In case you missed it…

New ChurchNext course: A Covid-19 Spiritual Survival Kit | ChurchNext

Held by Baptism: Life Everlasting in the Midst of a Pandemic | Earth & Altar

Keeping our Community: spiritual connection and physical distance | Grow Christians

Virtual Evangelism | Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices

Free Shipping on orders of $50 throughout April | Forward Movement