Luther's Model Prayer For Pastors

Tertiumquid

Well-known member
I sometimes come across liturgists who are convinced such models are compulsory, along with various incantations and religious repetitions

As I've read Luther over the years, I've found much of the opposite of what you are describing. For instance,

“But that we should institute masses, vigils and prayers to be repeated forever for the dead every year, as if God had not heard us the year before, is the work of Satan and is death itself, where God is mocked by unbelief, and such prayers are nothing but blasphemy of God. Therefore take warning and turn from these practices. God is not moved by these anniversary ceremonies, but by the prayer of the heart, of devotion and of faith; that will help the departed souls if anything will. Vigils, masses, indeed help the bellies of the priests, monks and nuns, but departed souls are not helped by them and God is thus mocked.”[Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:30.]

On the other hand, there is a place for repetition within a liturgy. Any church with a hymnbook will at some point sing the same song again (though probably not in the same service). To shrink it down even further, an order of worship in a church service is a positive use of repetition. For those of us who attend church, there is a pattern of how a service is laid out, and this is not a bad thing. To shrink it down even further: the very words of language being used in a church service sometimes repeat, like "praise the Lord" and "amen." To add yet another layer, the Bible itself presents repetition, the Hebrew language is filled with it, as well as the the gospels repeating the same events in the life of Jesus.
 

Arch Stanton

Well-known member
What do you think "vain repetition" refers to?
[me battalogesete] 'don't go stammering on' -- we should be persistent in prayer

Psalm 136 repeats “for his mercy endures forever

In Revelation 4:8Angels praising God, day and night… "The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.
 

Exeter

Active member
And in what way is he different from those who think that they have swallowed the Holy Spirit, feathers and all?

One twisting of God's word isn't better than another.
Feathers and all . . . more likely the kundalini spirit.

Spiritual pride and self-righteousness come in all sizes, shapes and forms, from which no denomination, movement, stream, persuasion, or doctrinal position is inherently exempt.
 

Exeter

Active member
As I've read Luther over the years, I've found much of the opposite of what you are describing. For instance,



On the other hand, there is a place for repetition within a liturgy. Any church with a hymnbook will at some point sing the same song again (though probably not in the same service). To shrink it down even further, an order of worship in a church service is a positive use of repetition. For those of us who attend church, there is a pattern of how a service is laid out, and this is not a bad thing. To shrink it down even further: the very words of language being used in a church service sometimes repeat, like "praise the Lord" and "amen." To add yet another layer, the Bible itself presents repetition, the Hebrew language is filled with it, as well as the the gospels repeating the same events in the life of Jesus.
Yes, good old Luther. My response to the OP is not anti-Luther, with whom I obviously agree on the subject, but rather a protest against dogmas, particularly when they are legislated as per the Church of England Act of Uniformity whereby clergy were dismissed if they didn't adhere to the prescribed order of service.

Some gain comfort from adherence to a familiar liturgical format, some even go into raptures about how exquisite the "polished prayers" of the authorised Book of Common Prayer are when they are reverently intoned by a professional cleric.

I believe it is a "better" spiritual option for me to pray my own prayers according to my need.
 

Nic

Well-known member
Feathers and all . . . more likely the kundalini spirit.

Spiritual pride and self-righteousness come in all sizes, shapes and forms, from which no denomination, movement, stream, persuasion, or doctrinal position is inherently exempt.
Oh how very gracious of you. (Sarcasm intended)
 

Nic

Well-known member
Feathers and all . . . more likely the kundalini spirit.

Spiritual pride and self-righteousness come in all sizes, shapes and forms, from which no denomination, movement, stream, persuasion, or doctrinal position is inherently exempt.
So are you guilty of any of what post? I suspect you're guilty of all of it.

Feathers and all . . . more likely the kundalini spirit.
Spiritual pride and self-righteousness come in all sizes, shapes and forms, from which no denomination, movement, stream, persuasion, or doctrinal position is inherently exempt.​
 

Nic

Well-known member
Do you mean pray like the Pharisee who prayed his own prayer from his heart, 'God, I thank thee that I am not like other men..." Luke 18:11ff
I had the heart narrative on radar, for a lot of fundamentalists that's a very important component, if not the chief component. Then add that to the repetitive praise songs with almost no doctrine and its like mass hypnosis.
 

Nic

Well-known member
You would be better praying your own prayer.
Isn't that what Luther is doing?
I see later you refine your comment as a prayer model? Is that practice really so terrible? Have you ever been to a non-liturgical setting where the method is almost exclusively modeled? Oh sure it starts with the touchy-feely heart subjectiveness and even that can be viewed as modeled and understood compulsory in front of peers for some sort of proper inclusive format or maybe acceptance within the group. But after that there's a high degree of predictability that follows. You will also likely have that sense that you said a good or a poor prayer by attempting to cover all your bases. Self-righteousness, self-importance and a wrong-headed emphasis all flowing from a self-agrandizing wicked heart.
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
I had the heart narrative on radar, for a lot of fundamentalists that's a very important component, if not the chief component. Then add that to the repetitive praise songs with almost no doctrine and its like mass hypnosis.
Good point. Another thing that stands out to me is that those who usually pit from the heart against a modeled or set prayer assume that a set prayer isn't or can't be heartfelt or from the heart.
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
Feathers and all . . . more likely the kundalini spirit.

Spiritual pride and self-righteousness come in all sizes, shapes and forms, from which no denomination, movement, stream, persuasion, or doctrinal position is inherently exempt.
Sure, it is sometimes manifested through prayers from the heart and modeled prayers.

It remains that you haven't provided any verifiable evidence from Scripture or reason that one is better off praying from the heart rather than a modeled or set prayer.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
As I've read Luther over the years, I've found much of the opposite of what you are describing. For instance,



On the other hand, there is a place for repetition within a liturgy. Any church with a hymnbook will at some point sing the same song again (though probably not in the same service). To shrink it down even further, an order of worship in a church service is a positive use of repetition. For those of us who attend church, there is a pattern of how a service is laid out, and this is not a bad thing. To shrink it down even further: the very words of language being used in a church service sometimes repeat, like "praise the Lord" and "amen." To add yet another layer, the Bible itself presents repetition, the Hebrew language is filled with it, as well as the the gospels repeating the same events in the life of Jesus.
Ja, what you said.

A curiosity question: Which version or edition of Luther's Sermons did you quote from? Thanks.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Yes, good old Luther. My response to the OP is not anti-Luther, with whom I obviously agree on the subject, but rather a protest against dogmas, particularly when they are legislated as per the Church of England Act of Uniformity whereby clergy were dismissed if they didn't adhere to the prescribed order of service.
Luther would not agree that you are in a agreement with him in this regard since he amended the liturgy rather than discard it.
I believe it is a "better" spiritual option for me to pray my own prayers according to my need.
Faith is extra nos, outside of us, rather than an experience. We preach the faith, Christ for us, rather than preach the experience, the feeling.
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
You would be better praying your own prayer.
I think the prayer is just a guide. No pastor needs to pray this exact prayer all the time. Good pastors know that without Jesus' help, they would not be able to do their calling as called and ordained servants of the word. And this sort of prayer reminds them of that, and helps to keep them humble.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Luther would not agree that you are in a agreement with him in this regard since he amended the liturgy rather than discard it.

Faith is extra nos, outside of us, rather than an experience. We preach the faith, Christ for us, rather than preach the experience, the feeling.
Yes, we preach the theology of the Cross, rather than the theology of glory.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Aha. Context.

Mat 6:5-8 "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (6) But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (7) And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
We pray the Lord's Prayer every Sunday in church....is that "vain repetition"?
 
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Tertiumquid

Well-known member
Ja, what you said.

A curiosity question: Which version or edition of Luther's Sermons did you quote from? Thanks.
Martin Luther, The Sermons of Martin Luther Volumes 1-7 (Michigan: Baker Books, 2000). If I recall, it's a combination reprint set of the church postil and house postil's from Lenker. As I just checked now, the set is more expensive than when I bought it 20 or so years ago... must be inflation, because the price now is ridiculous. Amazon wants $200 for a used set, while eBay and Abe Books want around $270 for a used set.

LW recently finished up reprinting the Church Postil in like.... 5 big volumes, but I don't think they're working on the House Postil... at all.
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
Martin Luther, The Sermons of Martin Luther Volumes 1-7 (Michigan: Baker Books, 2000). If I recall, it's a combination reprint set of the church postil and house postil's from Lenker.
Thanks. I was curious because I found a copy of Lenker online that followed the numbering of a Baker reprint and both Lenker and the Baker used a different sequence of indentification.

As I just checked now, the set is more expensive than when I bought it 20 or so years ago... must be inflation, because the price now is ridiculous. Amazon wants $200 for a used set, while eBay and Abe Books want around $270 for a used set.
Yes, the financial wizards :rolleyes: in charge of the economy aren't doing anything helpful for the American people. CBD or CDB used to advertise or sell the Lenker at a ridiculously low price ($40.00?). I tried twice to order it but they were out of stock both times.

The usual online retailers have had exorbitant prices for a while on what might be considered low volume books. When I first started learning Korean I was going to use a Bible, but the online prices changed my mind. Later, I bought one from a local retailer at about one third the price of the online sources. Go figure.
LW recently finished up reprinting the Church Postil in like.... 5 big volumes, but I don't think they're working on the House Postil... at all.
Thanks.
 
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