Archive for May 6th, 2016

Martin Luther:
“Outward prayer must also go on, both individual prayer and corporate prayer. In the morning and in the evening, at table and whenever he has time, every individual should speak a benediction or the Our Father or the Creed or a psalm. And in assemblies the Word of God should be employed and thanks and petitions voiced to God for our general needs. This must necessarily be done in public, with a special time and place set aside for such assemblies. Such prayer is a precious thing and a powerful defense against the devil and his assaults. For in it, all Christendom combines its forces with one accord; and the harder it prays, the more effective it is and the sooner it is heard. At the present time, for example, it is of real benefit as a defense and a barrier against the many tricks which the devil might otherwise commit through the members of his body. Thus it is certain that whatever still stands and endures, whether it is in the spiritual or in the secular realm, is being preserved through prayer.
“But elsewhere I have often taken up and discussed the component parts and the characteristics which every real prayer has to possess, and therefore I shall only summarize them briefly here. They are as follows:
  • first, the urging of God’s commandment, who has strictly required us to pray;
  • second, His promise, in which He declares that He will hear us;
  • third, an examination of our own need and misery, which burden lies so heavily on our shoulders that we have to carry it to God immediately and pour it out before Him, in accordance with His order and commandment;
  • fourth, true faith, based on this word and promise of God, praying with the certainty and confidence that He will hear and help us-and all these things in the name of Christ, through whom our prayer is acceptable to the Father and for whose sake He gives us every grace and every good.” 
Martin Luther, Sermon on the Sermon on the Mount, 6.6

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