Sunday, February 27, 2011

Martin Luther--Praying in Faith

Michael recently had some class work to do that involved reading through some writings of some pretty cool men and (short devotional like stuff) and answering some questions in response. We decided it would be a cool thing to do together each night after Sk went to bed. I really enjoyed the reading and thought I would share a bit of what I highlighted through it:

There is no Christian who does not have time to pray without ceasing. But I mean the spiritual praying, that is: no one is so heavily burdened with his labor, but that if he will he can, while working, speak with God in his heart, lay before Him his need nad that of other men, ask for help, make petition, and in all this exercise and strengthen his faith.
Prayer is a special exercise of faith. Faith makes the prayer acceptable because it believes that either the prayer will be answered, or that something better will be given instead.
From this it follows that the one who prays correctly never doubts that the prayer will be answered, even if the very thing for which one prays is not given. For we are to lay our need before God in prayer but not prescribe to God a measure, manner, time, or place. We must leave that to God, for he may wish to give it to us in another, perhaps better, way than we think is best.
God sometimes delays, but He always comes.
It is amazing that a poor human creature is able to speak with God's high Majesty in heaven and not be afraid. When we pray, the heart and the conscience must not pull away from God because of our sins and our unworthiness, or stand in doubt, or be scared away. When we pray we must hold fast and believe that God has heard our prayer. It was for this reason that the ancients defined prayer as an Ascensus mentis ad Deum, "a climbing up of the heart unto God."

I find myself so many times as the prescriber of the problem. I want to tell God how I think things should be handled, and I know what is best for my life. Or on the other hand, I pray for things not really believing that God will give it or bless me with it. I have such a messed up heart, but it is amazing the things I am learning. I pray that I continue to learn and grow. I pray that I continue to learn what it means in submiting and leaning on the Lord's strength, not mine.

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