The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Luther and the Lord's Prayer

“To this day, I nurse at the Lord’s Prayer like a child, as an old man eat and drink from it and never get my fill. It is the very best prayer, even better than the Psalter, which is so very dear to me” (Martin Luther, “A Simple Way to Pray,” 1535).

Martin Luther composed his classic exposition of Christian prayer as an open letter responding to a question posed by his barber. In doing so, he shows specifically how the reformation of the church he envisioned expressed itself in conscious, intentional prayer. Luther recommends that his friend Peter—and by extension, all Christians—do what he does: use the Lord’s Prayer creatively as a guide for prayer.

At the outset, he writes: “It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night.” He is convinced we need a regular diet of prayer to nourish us for living the daily Christian life.

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Embracing diversity