Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Concluding Thoughts

"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
"A Simple Way to Pray": Blogging Through Luther - Concluding Thoughts


For a book on prayer that is only 32 pages, Martin Luther manages to pack a lot in it. Every Christian is commanded and expected to pray yet in my experience most are poor at it. For whatever the reasons, Christians do not pray as they ought. Luther offers a great introduction and guide to help such Christians in developing a robust prayer life.

In conclusion to this blog series, I offer a few thoughts.

1. This is a Pastoral Work

Remember the context of this book. Luther is writing to his barber, not to a faculty member at the university. This makes it a rich resource for everyday Christians. This book is not about the theology or theory of prayer, but the practice of prayer.


2. Prayer Must Be Intentional

I am guilty of simply closing my eyes and saying the first thing that comes to mind masking it in religious rhetoric. To speak in King James English only makes it sound more spiritual. Luther does the opposite it. He shows us that prayer should be intentional and purposeful. Get prepared to pray. Be ready to pray. Be free from any distractions when you pray.


3. Don't Neglect Scripture in Your Prayer Life

Of the three sections, two of them require meditating on Scripture - the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6) and the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). That is no accident. The Bible itself commands we meditate on Scripture (see Joshua 1 for example) and meditation should not be divorced from prayer. How much richer would our prayer life be if we did so with our Bible's open?


4. Don't Neglect Sound Theology In Your Prayer Life

As we just said, two of the three sections of Luther's book focused on Scripture, the other focused on a theological creed. Sound theology produces doxology and prayer is part of worship. To meditate on the truths of God, his Word, and the gospel should bring us to our knees.


5. Prayer is Important

Luther is clear in this work that in any given day, we will have many things demanding our attention. Yet nothing is more important than prayer. To love God first and foremost is to make prayer a priority.


For more:
How to Pray in a World of Terrorism
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