“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” Matthew 15:8-9
Everyone who feels burdened should pray the Lord’s Prayer. Even those who don’t know the meaning of the words may pray it from their hearts. That type of prayer is the best, because the heart is saying more than the lips.
On the other hand, other people may stand in church, turning the pages and counting the prayer beads – almost rattling. Meanwhile, their hearts are far from what their lips are praying. That is not prayer. For God describes these kinds of people through the prophet Isaiah: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13). We also find some religious people who blabber the prayers for each day without any inner feeling. Then they say without shame, “Oh, I feel happy. I have now paid back our Lord.” They think they have satisfied God through their prayers.
Although some might praise them for their efforts, God will say, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” What’s frightening is that these people rely on these kinds pf prayers and never send up any other prayer to God. So those who appear to pray the least pray the most. And those who appear to pray the most pray the least.
Barnas Sears, D.D.
Controversial and visionary, Luther’s life is revealed in this rare presentation of his work as an educator and church leader. From his birth and childhood, to his religious education, and the events leading up to the Protestant Reformation, you will discover the views and experiences that led to his excommunication by the Pope in 1520. Correspondence and accounts shed further light on Luther’s defiant translation of the Bible from Latin to the language of the common man.
This unique biography is reproduced from an 1850 American Sunday School Union original, and in it you will be introduced to the pivotal life of this enigmatic man before, during, and after one of Christianity’s defining events.