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DEVOTION// Lutheran on Prayer

DEVOTION// Lutheran on Prayer

Describe what your prayer life has been like so far today.

  • A refreshing, long conversation with your Father.
  • A few quick minutes running through your prayer list.
  • Prayer???

Here is what Martin Luther describes as his solution to poor prayer days.

When I feel that I have become cool and joyless in prayer because of other tasks or thoughts (for the flesh and the devil always impede and obstruct prayer), I take my little psalter, hurry to my room, or, if it be the day and hour for it, to the church where a congregation is assembled and, as time permits, I say quietly to myself and word-for-word the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and, if I have time, some words of Christ or of Paul, or some psalms, just as a child might do.

It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night.

Guard yourself carefully against those false, deluding ideas which tell you, “Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this or that.” Such thoughts get you away from prayer into other affairs which so hold your attention and involve you that nothing comes of prayer for that day.…

Finally, mark this, that you must always speak the Amen firmly.

Never doubt that God in his mercy will surely hear you and say “yes” to your prayers. Never think that you are kneeling or standing alone, rather think that the whole of Christendom, all devout Christians, are standing there beside you and you are standing among them in a common, united petition which God cannot disdain.

Do not leave your prayer without having said or thought, “Very well, God has heard my prayer; this I know as a certainty and a truth.” That is what amen means.

But as important as bringing structure to our prayer life is, staying focused on the grace that invites us to pray is more important.  Our sin-forgiving Savior urges us to pray when he says, "I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you" (John 15:16).