1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
From the Reformer
This in short is the way I use the Lord’s Prayer when I pray it. To this day I suckle at the Lord’s Prayer like a child, and as an old man eat and drink from it and never get my fill. It is the very best prayer, even better than the psalter, which is so very dear to me. It is surely evident that a real master composed and taught it. What a great pity that the prayer of such a master is prattled and chattered so irreverently all over the world! and thus preserve the peace, all to the praise and glory of God for our own benefit and for the prosperity of all. Grant that we may acknowledge these his gifts and be thankful for them.
—Martin Luther, A Simple Way to Pray (…for Master Peter the Barber)
Pulling It Together
The young pastor hardly ever listened to his radio. Driving in to town was an occasion for prayer and the radio would just interfere with his conversation with God. In fact, he often seemed to others to be talking to himself but he was just discussing with God the day ahead of him. Luther too, when he knew he would be particularly busy, would start the day with a few hours of prayer just to be sure he would be effective that day.
So many people wait for the crisis to pray. Surely they should pray when they need healing or some other critical moment arrives! Yet real, heartfelt prayer covers the spectrum of suffering to joy. Both should elicit prayers, as should all the needs and experiences between these extremes, as God would be involved in all your experiences. Let all prayers begin with praise and end with thanks and the extremes are brought together in God; even the sufferer is cheered in the thankful praise of her Maker.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers