Luther’s fourfold prayer garland

lutherI’ve been enjoying reading Tim Keller’s book on prayer recently. Inspired by his bibliography I’ve picked up a couple of other books on prayer from some of the masters. One of those is Martin Luther’s A Simple Way to Pray. It’s only 45 pages long (with generous font and spacing) and is his instruction to a friend on how to begin to pray.

In essence Luther advises working through the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles Creed. I particularly like Luther’s advice on using the Ten Commandments. Taking one commandment at a time and then dwelling in prayer on that commandment as instruction, thanksgiving, confession, and prayer – thus turning the commandments into a fourfold garland of grace. So for example you might take the first commandment and spend some time thinking on what it means, how it is good for us, where we’ve failed and where we hope to make progress.

Of course it’s not the only thing that can be said about prayer but it strikes me as containing some good ideas in discipling others to pray.

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