Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Apostle's Creed

"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Introduction
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - To Master Peter
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - The Lord's Prayer
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Pray Like a Barber
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - The Ten Commandments
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Sabbath Day
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Why the Family Matters to the State
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Pray For Your Children"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Apostle's Creed


The final section of Luther's short book on prayer (entitled A Simple Way to Pray) covers briefly the Apostle's Creed. Some evangelical traditions will be familiar with this ancient creed, but many likely are not. I will reproduce it below:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
When praying through the Creed, Luther follows a similar pattern as he does with the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments.
First, I read and consider what God is teaching me.
Second, I turn to thanksgiving on account of what God has done.
Third, I confess my sin based upon the text.
Fourth, I use the text to say a prayer for strong faith. (28)
For those new to the Apostle's Creed (or any creed), I would not begin my prayer life here. But certainly I would work my way here. The Apostle's Creed reflects the very basics of historic Christianity rooted in the Trinity. Every Christian should be familiar with its content and Luther offers a very brief and helpful guide on praying through it here.


* Traditionally, the creed includes a reference to Jesus' descension into hell. Some early copies of the creed omit this detail.


For more:
How to Pray in a World of Terrorism
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