Sunday, September 09, 2007

Terrified by Prayer Martin Luther

"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name ... Matthew 6:9

The Lord's Prayer teaches you to recognize your great misery and corruption before God. In other words, if you think about what you are praying, you will soon notice you're blaspheming God. You will become terrified by your own prayer. For you certainly haven't kept God's name holy. And whoever isn't keeping God's name holy is dishonoring his name. Moreover, dishonoring God's name is a serious sin, and you would deserve the punishment of eternal fire if God were to judge you. Where, then, will you turn? Your own prayer punishes you and works against you. It accuses and deplores you. You're stuck, lying there. Who will help you?

After you have sincerely repented and are humbled by recognizing the miserable position you're in, then the comforting teaching will come and lift you up again.

The Lord's Prayer teaches you not to despair, but instead to ask for God's kindness and help. For you must firmly believe that he will hear you because he is the one who taught you to pray this way. The result of your prayer will be that God won't credit your sin to you or deal with you harshly.

God approves of only those who seriously confess that they have dishonored his name and sincerely want to keep it holy at all times. However, it isn't possible for people to be saved if they trust in their conscience and don't think they're dishonoring God¹s name, for these people are still too confident, secure, arrogant, and irreverent.

They're not the kind of people Christ speaks about in Matthew: "Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28}. They don't understand the Lord's Prayer and don't know what they're praying.


Wm Mallory said...

Yep, Luther is right on the $$$ here.. What a different perspective then that of Bruce Wilkinson's Prayer of Jabez!!! I myself prefer the prayer of Jesus...

Thanks for another great post.

donsands said...

I always love to read Luther.

"God approves of only those who seriously confess that they have dishonored his name and sincerely want to keep it holy at all times."


It's His grace alone that allows us to approach His thone.

It's the precious blood of Christ that allows us to be confident in the presence of the Holy God of the universe.

And when we pray, the Holy Spirit helps us, for we cannot pray in and of ourselves.
Once again, it's His grace that takes our fleshy words, and blends them with His Spirit's holy and good words, and lays them before the Father.

Have a blessed day.