A wonderful resource in times of trial and murkiness for me at least has been, wait for it; the Large and Small Catechisms of Luther. Luther understands that when threats are perceived and confronted the church often comes up with plans and procedures and all of these are of course necessary and prudent but sometimes the essential thing is missing and that is prayer. Luther was adamant that prayer was not something that we piously add on to planning and reacting to outside forces through human enterprise. It was an absolutely essential first step and a continual action based on promises made by God in Christ. Luther wrote that prayer of supplication was nothing more than to say: “ Dear Father, we ask you first to give us your Word, so that the gospel may be properly preached throughout the world and then that it may also be received in faith and may work and dwell in us, so
that your kingdom may pervade among us through the Word and the power
of the Holy Spirit and the devil’s kingdom may be destroyed so that he
may have no right or power over us until finally his kingdom is utterly
eradicated and sin, death, and hell wiped out, that we may live forever
in perfect righteousness and blessedness (LC III, 54).