Monday, 10 December 2012

Martin Luther on Prayer

Martin Luther on Prayer:

But why should we make our prayers known to God? Doesn't he already know them, even before we begin to pray? Doesn't he himself come to us first, inspiring us to pray? Answer: St. Paul says this to teach us what a righteous prayer should be. Namely, that it should not be thrust into the wind, prayed onto some doubtful excursion, as those who do not consider whether God hears it or not, always remaining uncertain--in fact they think they will not be heard. That, however, is neither to pray nor to ask, but instead is to test and mock God. For, if someone asked me for a pfennig, but did not believe or think that I would actually give him one, then I would not listen. I would think he is mocking me, and is not being serious. Now then, how much more will God not listen to such howling! A prayer should be made known to God, that is, we should not doubt that God hears us and that it comes to his attention, we should be assured that they reach him. If we do not believe that God hears it or that it comes to his attention, then certainly it does not. As we believe, so it happens.

Church Postil (1522), Fourth Sunday in Advent 37

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