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What is True Prayer?

May 29th, 2010
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People are to be diligently shown from God’s word what a true prayer is. In true prayer, God alone is implored. And not only the mouth prays, but prayer happens in the Spirit and in truth, John 4[24], in true repentance, Is. 1[16f.]; John 9[31], and in correct faith, Mark 11[23-25]; Js. 1[6], and that God is implored for something expressly in spiritual or temporal matters, for ourselves or for others, which is not contrary to his will. Thus the first and most important thing in prayer has to do with spiritual, heavenly and eternal benefits. After prayer for temporal matters the little clause is always added, “Father, Your will be done,” Mt. 6[10]; John 16[23]; I John 4[1f.]. And the confidence that the prayer will be heard is placed only upon Christ and for his sake, John 16[23]. Along with the doctrine [of prayer] there is to be diligent admonition that it is God’s will and command that we ought pray constantly and without ceasing, Luke 18[1-8]; I Thess. 5[17]. Our need and the dear promises of God, and all the beautiful examples of Christ and of all saints in the scriptures ought stir us to this. And every Christian ought accustom himself and his household, to pray in the morning when he rises, in the evening when he goes to sleep, when he sits down to eat or leaves the table, when he commences something, etc. And a Christian shall pray above all where the community of God is gathered about the word and sacraments. For there he prays not only individually, but also helps intercede in the common prayer for community and particular needs.

Braunschweig-Woelfenbuettel Church Order 1569

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  1. May 29th, 2010 at 09:48 | #1

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful historic exposition – as fresh today as then!

  2. May 31st, 2010 at 10:06 | #2

    It’s nice to see and encouragement to prayer that is focused on the power of God instead of the “power of prayer” and on the will of God rather than the will of man.

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