Rite 13, Martin Luther, and the Lord’s Prayer
Five hundred years ago on Tuesday, October 31, 1517, Martin Luther presented his 95 Theses to the archbishop, listing his criticisms of the church’s selling indulgences to shorten the time that one had to spend in purgatory. (Continue Reading…) Only the grace of God, he held, could do such a thing. Prayer as well, for Luther, was about God’s grace, rather than anything we might have to offer of our own. We pray because God commanded it, not out of a response to God’s goodness. He says, “We adore the true majesty in God’s awful wonders and incomprehensible judgments, and say: ‘Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” For Luther, it was more important that hearts be stirred than all the words be said. Of the six petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, he writes, “It may happen occasionally that I may get lost among so many ideas in one petition that I forgo the other six. If such an abundance of good thoughts comes to us, we ought to disregard the other petitions, make room for such thoughts, listen in silence, and under no circumstances obstruct them. The Holy Spirit preaches here, and one word of his sermon is far better than a thousand of our prayers.”
For me, I like the sweetness of the candy hearts, hearts stirred in prayer, the greatest sweetness of God’s goodness and the Spirit’s sermon!