Genuine prayer is powerful

by Mike Ratliff

Why do we pray? Don’t we pray because we have been instructed to do so in the Bible? Sadly, most Christians probably aren’t praying in a way that honors God or builds faith. Martin Luther wrote much on prayer. In his chapter “Of Prayer” from Table Talk, we learn the Biblical concept of prayer rather than one from Man’s reason. The following lesson is numbered CCCXXVIII.

by Martin Luther

None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience. It is a great matter when in extreme need, to take hold on prayer. I know, whenever I have earnestly prayed, I have been amply heard, and have obtained more than I prayed for; God, indeed, sometimes delayed, but at last he came.Ecclesiasticus says: “The prayer of a good and godly Christian availeth more to health, than the physician’s physic.”

O how great a thing, how marvellous, a godly Christian’s prayer is! how powerful with God; that a poor human creature should speak with God’s high Majesty in heaven, and not be affrighted, but, on the contrary, know that God smiles upon him for Christ’s sake, his dearly beloved Son. The heart and conscience, in this act of praying, must not fly and recoil backwards by reason of our sins and unworthiness, or stand in doubt, or be scared away. We must not do as the Bavarian did, who, with great devotion, called upon St Leonard, an idol set up in a church in Bavaria, behind which idol stood one who answered the Bavarian, and said: Fie on thee, Bavarian; and in that sort often repulsed and would not hear him, till at last, the Bavarian went away, and said: Fie on thee, Leonard.

When we pray, we must not let it come to: Fie upon thee; but certainly hold and believe, that we are already heard in that for which we pray, with faith in Christ. Therefore the ancients ably defined prayer an Accensus mentis ad Deum, a climbing up of the heart unto God.

Let’s remember that God’s beloved can come boldly unto the throne of grace to pour out their hearts to their Lord who only wants their best.

Soli Deo Gloria!

3 thoughts on “Genuine prayer is powerful

  1. How would you contrast Luther’s thoughts to what some well known popular mega teachers spin today? Check out

    I don’t plan on reading Batterson.

    But then again who am I to say……..maybe the reviewer is just wrong and we should all get on this train.

    Lonely here on the Left Coast.

    A bit old, but Batterson has a new book out.


  2. Well, said, Mike (in your response to Ron). Batterson and those like him are seeking extra-biblical revelation. If I want to “hear from God,” I’ll read His written Word.

    Having just finished a study on the Pauline prayers, I can say unequivocally that if God had wanted us to learn how to “hear His voice,” Paul would have been glad to instruct us. But he doesn’t.

    It is my prayer that my brothers and sisters would be more than satisfied with all that God has already spoken.

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