Luther and Lutherans aren’t exactly known for being bold or fervent prayer warriors, which is unfortunate. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We are scorned by many Evangelicals for our prepared collects and carefully crafted prayers…though clearly the Holy Spirit is more glorified by extemporaneous prayers, right? Sarcasm aside, Luther was a bold warrior in prayer, and he has much to teach us if we will only listen. It is well known that he wrestled constantly against the Devil, but he was one also to wrestle with God in prayer…boldly. As he says:
We should pray with confidence, knowing that God will answer our requests without delay. It’s impossible for sincere, persistent prayer to remain unheard. But because we don’t believe, we aren’t persistent enough and don’t experience God’s goodness and help. So we must become more enthusiastic about faith and prayer, knowing that God is pleased when we persevere. In fact, God ordered us to be persistent in prayer: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Mt 7.7).
Our prayers are answered much differently–actually, more generously–than we could ever ask or imagine (Eph 3.20). Paul says, “In the same way…” (Rom 8.26-27).
We always ask for less than we should and don’t even think God is willing to give us what we ask for. We don’t ask the right way. We don’t understand that what we pray about is more important than we can comprehend. We think small, but the Lord is great and powerful. He expects us to ask for great things. He wants to give them to us to demonstrate his almighty power.
(from Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional /LW 6:158)
Let our own prayers be emboldened, and “let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most!” (Heb 4.16 NLT).