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Martin Luther's "A Simple Way to Pray"

On July 16th, a group of men gathered at St. Paul’s to discuss prayer. Part of the discussion surrounded Martin Luther’s layout of “A Simple Way to Pray”. Here is a summary of Dr. Luther’s insights and advice as to how to pray. The chief takeaway is that Dr. Luther believed the Christian ought to start prayer with God speaking first through the Holy Scriptures and allow God’s Word to shape our prayer life.

  1. Listen to God’s Word. There is only one place that God’s speaks and that is the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Before Luther prayed, Luther read the Word.
  2. Speak God’s Word back to Him. Begin your prayer by telling God what you learned from Him today in His Word.
  3. Thank God for what He’s done. Thank God for what He says He’s done for you in the passage you’ve read.
  4. Confess how you’ve failed Him. Because the Scriptures speak to us in Law and Gospel, you’re bound to find something that convicts you. Confess freely. He wants to forgive you. He already knows what is on your heart.
  5. Ask Him for His Blessings.

Prayer is a gift from God to the Christian, an opportunity to call upon God in every trouble. May you turn to your Lord in prayer, knowing with full confidence He hears you, not because of how worthy you are but rather because of Christ’s death and resurrection for you. Praying in “Jesus’ name” is praying with a firm trust that God hears you for Christ’s sake.