pastor 2517

 

 


Prayer

 

 

In Luther’s explanation of the Lord’s Prayer, in the Small Catechism, we are directed to God’s Word which shows us our need for a life lived in prayer. Luther says, God commands and invites believers in Jesus Christ to pray. And then uses the following scripture verses to show us this truth. (174)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt 7:7-8

“Be Joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18

But having a life lived in prayer can be an exceedingly difficult thing if the only two prayers we know are the Lord’s Prayer and the one line, one time, prayer of trouble, “Oh Lord, Help me.” The Lord continuously invites us to talk to him about everything that is going on in our lives, both the good and bad. But how do we do it? How do we pray for ourselves, for our loved ones and even our enemies?

First, we can learn the Lord’s Prayer. Not just memorizing it but understanding what Jesus is telling us in that prayer. So break out your catechisms and dive into the fullness of the Lord’s Prayer. How wonderful it is that we have been given this prayer by God Himself.

Second, the Lord has blessed His church with people who have written prayer books. Two of my favorites are the “Lutheran Book of Prayer” and “Meditations on Divine” by Johann Gerhard. Books like these give us examples of how to pray. Especially prayers for struggling with sickness, hardship, addictions, fear, life changes, jobs, school, joy, peace, hope, mercy, reconciliation…prayer examples far exceed what I have mentioned here. Another good prayer book is The Lutheran Hymnal. There are several prayers in the front portion but you can also use the hymns themselves for prayers and praises.

Not many are just given the gift of prayer from birth, no, nearly everyone learns to pray; some learn from parents, some from pastors, some from friends, but everyone will benefit from a prayer book or two or ten! Remember, prayer is our talking to God about everything and Him hearing our prayers and answering them according to His good and gracious will. May God strengthen your prayer life and your faith in Him through the gift of prayer.

Pastor Mat

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