For this second Sunday in October we post two more prayers from the book Prayers of the Reformers, compiled by Clyde Manschreck and published by Muhlenberg Press (1958).
These are both prayers of Martin Luther and are taken from the section “Prayers of Obedience” (I have slightly edited them). Both are fitting for our worship today as well as for our work and walk in the week to come.
For Christian living – Martin Luther
Dear God and Father,
We thank Thee for Thine infinite goodness and love to us. Thou dost continually keep us in the Word, in faith, and in prayer that we may know how to walk before Thee in humility and in fear, and that we may not pride ourselves on our own wisdom and righteousness, skill and strength, but glory alone in Thy power, who art strong when we are weak and dost through us weaklings daily prevail and gain the victory.
We pray Thee so to nurture us that we may please Thee willingly, …that many people may enjoy our fruits and be attracted by us to all godliness. Write into our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit what is so abundantly found in Scripture and let us constantly keep it in mind and permit it to become far more precious to us than our own life and whatever else we cherish on earth. Help us to live and act accordingly.
To Thee be praise and thanks in eternity. Amen.
Obedience to the command to pray – Martin Luther
Thou knowest that I do not presume to come before Thee of myself nor on account of my worthiness. Were I to rely on my merits, I could not lift up mine eyes unto Thee, and would not know how to begin to pray.
But I come because Thou Thyself hast commanded and dost earnestly request that we should call upon Thee, and hast promised to hear us. Thou hast also sent Thine only Son who has taught us what we shall pray and has even spoken the words we shall say. Hence, I know that this prayer is pleasing to Thee.
However great my boldness to consider myself a child of God in Thy presence may seem to be, I must yield to Thee for Thou wilt have it thus. I would not accuse Thee of falsehood and thus, adding to my sins, offend Thee still more by despising Thy command and doubting Thy promise. Amen.