I have said in this blog that I appreciated the statements made to me that I “was being kept in prayer”. It is appreciated for more than one reason. I appreciate that someone cares and wants to participate in my trouble by praying for me. I am thankful for knowing that there are folks that believe that prayer is effectual and “availeth much”. There are folks that actually have lists of folks that pop up on their computers in the morning that they pray for. Luther’s morning prayer and a list of folks in trouble is the content of their prayer and I don’t consider that to be platitudes.
I also appreciate it because it is a sign of faith. Troubles and difficulties and temptations and persecutions show that we are in the middle of the battle against Satan. Prayer shows that faith is present since God is being sought for help. Luther was worried about the absence of prayer, not because prayer was a means of grace and if people don’t pray they didn’t get grace, but rather because the lack of prayer showed that the devil was winning in the fight against the Christian.
Professor David Scaer has written, “The Christian must be concerned about every disinclination to pray. Luther is forever the practical theologian and lays down a procedure for the Christian who has no interest in prayer. First he should pray the Lord’s Prayer and then he should be prepared to throw every possible slander against Satan. Where there is no desire to pray, “there the heart is hardened against God.”
David Scaer, “Luther on Prayer”, CTQ October 1983