Martin Luther on Prayer

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask;  yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.”

Martin Luther

More about prayer from Martin Luther:

A Good Prayer to Start the Day by Martin Luther

A Prayer by Martin Luther

Martin Luther on Praying for One Another

Martin Luther –Relax a Little!

“Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.”
Martin Luther

Sin Boldly?

I found this quote by Jean Nicolas Grou in my devotional reading.  Grou was a Roman Catholic mystic and writer.  Do you think this is what Martin Luther meant when he said, “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and trust in Christ even more boldly”?  We should never hold back from doing good

“If God requires anything of us, we have no right to draw back under the pretext that we are liable to commit some fault in obeying.  It is better to obey imperfectly than not at all.  Perhaps you ought to rebuke some one dependent on you, but you are silent for fear of giving way to vehemence;–or you avoid the society of certain persons, because they make you cross and impatient.  How are you to attain self-control, if you shun all occasions or practicing it?  Is not such self-choosing a greater fault than those into which you fear to fall?  Aim at a steady mind to do right, go ahead wherever duty calls you, and believe firmly that God will forgive the faults that take our weakness by surprise in spite of our sincere desire to please Him.

For other posts on the topic of duty follow these links:

What is My Duty?

Old Tale– New Take

 

Martin Luther on Sin

“The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands.”

Martin Luther

For more posts on sin, follow these links:

What is Sin?

Saint and Sinner? Really?

How Do We Know Our Sins are Forgiven?

12 Steps for Sinners

Sin Has Consequences

What Does the World Want?

The world doesn’t want to be punished. It wants to remain in darkness. It doesn’t want to be told that what it believes is false. If you also don’t want to be corrected, then you might as well leave the church and spend your time at the bar and brothel. But if you want to be saved-and remember that there’s another life after this one-you must accept correction.

MARTIN LUTHER

If you would like to read more Martin Luther quotes, see these posts:

A Quote from Martin Luther

A Thought From Martin Luther

What Martin Luther Said About Women

Martin Luther on Love

A Book of Questions — Luther’s Catechism

“The common person, especially in the villages, has no knowledge whatever of Christian doctrine. And unfortunately, many pastors are completely unable and unqualified to teach… Yet, everyone says they are Christians, have been baptized, and receive the holy Sacraments, even though they cannot even recite the Lord’s Prayer or the Creed or the Ten Commandments. They live like dumb brutes and irrational hogs… O bishops! What answer will you ever give to Christ for having so shamefully neglected the people and never for a moment fulfilled your office [James 3:1]?”

So says Martin Luther in the preface to his small catechism published in 1529.         Luther was appalled at the ignorance of most people about the faith they claimed to profess.  In response, he wrote the Large and Small Lutheran catechisms which are still used today (although additions have been made).  The idea of a catechism was not new, so Luther was building on an existing heritage.

The Large Catechism was designed to be used by pastors for study; it reads like a series of sermons.  The Small Catechism was meant for fathers to use in instructing their families.  It is in the form of a set of questions and answers, and was meant to be memorized. Both cover the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, basics of the faith.  If you were confirmed in the Lutheran Church, you probably own a copy of the Small Catechism, which you used during your confirmation classes.

Luther believed strongly that all Christians should know and understand these fundamentals of the church.  He led by example, saying:

“But for myself I say this: I am also a doctor and preacher; yes, as learned and experienced as all the people. ..Yet I act as a child who is being taught the catechism. Every morning—and whenever I have time—I read and say, word for word, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Psalms, and such. I must still read and study them daily. Yet I cannot master the catechism as I wish. But I must remain a child and pupil of the catechism, and am glad to remain so.”

Martin Luther on the Psalms

In case you don’t know, Psalms was one of Martin Luther’s favorite books of the Bible …. possibly because he was a musician.  I gave my husband a copy of The New International Commentary on the Book of Psalms for his birthday.  The preface included this quote by Martin Luther:

” (the Psalter) …. might well be called a little Bible.  In it is comprehended most beautifully and briefly everything that is in the entire Bible.  It is a really fine enchiridion or handbook.  In fact, I have a notion that the Holy Spirit wanted to take the trouble himself to compile a short Bible and book of examples of all Christendom or all saints, so that anyone who could not read the whole Bible would have anyway almost an entire summary of it, comprised in one little book.”

It is comforting to me to think that as I age and become less able to read and comprehend some portions of the Scripture, I will still have the Psalms — short bursts of insight and emotion to pray and meditate with every day.

For more quotes from Martin Luther on the Psalms, refer to these previous posts:

Martin Luther and the Book of Psalms

Martin Luther Quote on the Psalms #2