Luther on the Lord's Prayer


"AFTER HAVING DENOUNCED showy and meaningless prayers, Christ introduced a splendid short prayer of his own. With it, he instructed us on how to pray and what we should pray for. He gave us a prayer that touches upon a variety of needs. By themselves, these needs should compel us to approach God daily with these few easily remembered words. No one can excuse himself by saying he doesn't know how to pray or what to pray for.

Praying the Lord's Prayer every day is certainly a worthwhile habit, especially for ordinary people and children. We can pray it in the morning, in the evening, and at the dinner table - at any time for that matter. As we pray this prayer together, we bring our needs before God.

As has been said many times before, the Lord's Prayer is the finest prayer that anyone could have ever thought up or that was ever sent from heaven. Because God the Father gave his Son the words for the prayer and sent him to introduce it, we know beyond a doubt that this prayer pleases the Father immensely.

Right at the beginning of the prayer, with the words, "Our Father," Jesus reminds us of what God demands and promises. God insists that we give him the respect, honor, and reverence he deserves, just as earthly fathers expect this from their children. Also, God the Father wants us to trust that he will meet our needs. We are overjoyed to be his children through Christ. And so, because we trust that he will give us what he promised, we can pray to him with confidence, in the name of Christ, our Lord."

Martin Luther, By Faith Alone, World Bible Publishers, Inc., entry for June 28 (copyright 1998). This is presented here for religious and educational purposes only. This one page of text out of a book of over 365 pages is used in reliance on the Fair Use Doctrine of the United States Code, 17 USC 107. Martin Luther was born in 1483 and began the reformation. [For more you can see Catholic Encyclopedia on Luther, however this was published in 1913 and is more critical of Luther than is true today. For example, see the 1999 Joint Declaration on Justification by the Catholic and Lutheran Churches. Note the report by the Episcopal News Service on this declaration. See also The Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 838 and 818 which says: "All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."]