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Martin Luther Quote

"...the ministry requires a hunger and thirst for righteousness...despising everything that hinders this end. If you cannot make the world completely pious, then do what you can. It is enough that you have done your duty and have helped a few, even if there be only one or two. If others will not follow, then in God's name let them go." - Martin Luther

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(The book is "Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers: Exploring Christian Faith" by Martin Marty.)

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Lenten Devotion, Lent Questions, Week Four

    We have covered some of the important questions we need to ask ourselves during Lent. But we have not yet touched on all of them. We have asked about our relation to God’s judgment and grace, about the real details of our lives. We have reflected on the questions we need to learn to ask as we read the Scriptures. And we have thought about the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives—how far does it reach? Prayer is our concern this week.

    Prayer is the most basic and direct exercise of our faith. Prayer is the one thing that all Christians are called to do all of the time. It is part of the Christian “job description.” If you are a Christian, you pray. But in the modern era we have not done a good job of teaching Christians to pray. In the mainstream church at present there are many who do not pray, or who pray but feel frustrated, or bored, or as if their praying is useless and it would be better for them to take some sort of action instead—to do something.

    The most cursory glance through the book of Acts reveals that the earliest Christians prayed at the three times during the day when Jews prayed. It also shows them praying when good things happen and when burdens come upon them. They prayed when confronted with a sick person and when they needed direction. They were a praying people! And when they prayed they expected the living God, their holy conversation partner, to answer them.

    So the basic questions before us this week are: Do you pray? Do you pray daily, or at least regularly during the week? What is the content of your prayer? Is it about you, or is it about God and God’s kingly rule? Do you use the psalms? Do you daily offer thanksgiving and praise to God in your prayer? Do you pray the concerns and petitions of the Lord’s prayer? And do you expect the Lord God to answer you? Do you wait in anticipation for God to act?