Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

[caption id=”attachment_5012” align=”alignleft” width=”250” caption=”Praying Hands, by Albrecht Dürer. Public domain.”][/caption]

Martin Luther offers some excellent advice for what to do when you just don’t feel like praying, when you think you don’t have time, when the cares and worries of life are so great they crowd out your prayers.

When I feel that I have become cool and joyless in prayer because of other tasks or thoughts (for the flesh and the devil always impede and obstruct prayer), I take my little psalter, hurry to my room, or if it be the day and hour for it, to the church where a congregation is assembled and, as time permits, I say quietly to myself and word-for-word the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and if I have time, some words of Christ or of Paul, or some psalms, just as a child might do. It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night. Guard yourself carefully against those false, deluding ideas which tell you, “Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this or that.” Such thoughts get you away from prayer into other affairs which so hold your attention and involve you that nothing comes of prayer for that day.

[Source: Treasury of Daily Prayer pg. 1087. Original Source: Martin Luther, “A Simple Way to Pray”, pg. 193 - Vol. 43 of Luther’s Works (American Edition). Augsburg Fortress: 1968. Also available as a A Simple Way to Pray from Northwestern Publishing House] HT: Pastor Gumm

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles