June 16

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 1 Peter 4:7

If it were possible to see into a person’s heart, nothing would be more ridiculous than seeing the thoughts of a cold, undevoted heart in prayer.  When someone forgets what they just said, they aren’t praying a good prayer.  Praise God that I now understand this clearly.  In true prayer, one remembers all the words and thoughts from the beginning to the end of the prayer.

To illustrate, a good barber must keep his thoughts, mind, and eyes on the razor and on the hair he’s cutting.  He can’t forget where his is.  If he starts chatting away, thinking about something else, or looking somewhere else, he might cut his customer’s mouth, nose or throat.  So doing anything well requires total concentration of the whole person.  As the saying goes, “Whoever thinks about many things thinks about nothing and doesn’t do anything right.”  Praying a good prayer requires even more concentration than this. It demands the whole heart.

This is how I pray the Lord’s Prayer. For even today I keep on eating and drinking from the Lord’s Prayer as if I were a hungry baby or a famished adult who can never get enough.  It’s the best prayer of all.

Martin Luther, Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional

Edited by James C. Galvin

Timeless insights from one of the most important people in church history. Resounding across the centuries, Martin Luther’s prolific writings as a pastor, theologian, scholar, Bible translator, father, and more, remain powerful and richly relevant. Faith Alone is a treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Luther’s best writings and sermons from the years 1513 through 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works such as this gem:

Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. Faith should be first. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone. —Martin Luther

Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith.

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