Pray With Confidence

Pentecost 14 Friday

Psalm 50:15

“Call upon me in trouble, and I will answer you, and you shall glorify me.”

The Lord’s Prayer and all prayers are the common possession of all Christians, be they preachers or hearers. Yet they especially belong to the preachers, as those who teach the Word and are to be the leaders. Yet many books have now richly taught how we are to pray, namely, that we by no means doubt in prayer, James 1:6. For let him who wants to doubt whether he is heard by God take a break and not be confused by God and prayer. For God cannot and will not put up with being considered, and being accused of being, a liar or an unfaithful God by us. Yet doubting is the same as saying: “Lord God, I do not believe, and I also do not know whether it is true, when you say: ‘Truly, truly, I tell you, I will do whatever you will pray in my name,'” John 14:13-14; 16:23-24, etc. Thus, if you want to pray, kneel or step forth boldly and impudently (so long as you have recognized that you are a sinner and want to improve) and talk to God like this:
“Lord God, heavenly Father, I ask, and will not be denied, that it should be and must be Yes and Amen–this and nothing else–otherwise, I will not pray or have prayed; not that I have the right to it or am worthy of it, because I know well and confess that I have not deserved anything but the hellish fire and your eternal wrath due to my many great sins, but so that I may be a little bit obedient in this matter where you command and force me to pray in the name of your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: in this defiance and based on the comfort of your free mercy, not based on my righteousness, I kneel or step before you and pray for XYZ.” Second, we have also sufficiently taught that we should not tempt God in prayer, that is, we should not dictate God the time, measure, goal, manner, or person of how, when, where, or by what means he should hear us. Rather, we should commend all this humbly to him who will accomplish all things well according to his divine incomprehensible wisdom. Meanwhile, even if it appears differently, we should not doubt that the
prayer is certainly heard, as the angel Gabriel says in Daniel 9:23: “When you began to pray, the command went out,”
etc. Daniel was given more than he had prayed for.

St. Louis ed., 20:2205-2206.

This entry was posted in Daily Devotions From the Writings of Martin Luther. Bookmark the permalink.