Praying with Luther: The Earnest Prayer

“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6

Where there is to be true prayer, there must be utter earnestness. We must feel our need, the distress that drives and impels us to cry out. Then prayer will come spontaneously, as it should, and no one will need to be taught how to prepare for it or how to create the proper devotion. God wants you to lament and express your needs and concerns, not because he is unaware of them, but in order that you may kindle your heart to stronger and greater desires and open and spread your apron wide to receive many things.

(from Martin Luther’s Works, Vol. 43)


Thanks to You, Lord Jesus, for planting Your Gospel at this place, and gathering a Church that continues in Your Word. Drive far from us the indifference and apathy of these latter evil days. Cause our hearts to burn with zeal for the truth of Your Word, and preserve Your doctrine true at this place, that our children after us may be still praising You. Amen.(from Martin Luther’s Commentary on Psalm 76)