Martin Luther was asked by his barber how to improve his prayer life. Luther was stirred by the simple question. As authors are sometimes prone to do, he gathered his best thoughts on the topic and eventually produced a booklet length “letter” of over 20 pages in response.
Luther had some great thoughts that have been discussed much over the past several centuries, but it is Luther’s practices that are more valuable to me.
Brother Martin was famous for his statement on his daily prayer practice. “I need prayer to survive considering how strategic what I am assigned by God to do is. On a normal day I spend two hours before God. On a particularly busy day – make that three hours.”
In so saying Luther was revealing numerous things about his way of thinking we are wise to pick up on.
1. Live free from the fear of not enough.
When we don’t have the time to invest, we make the time and – shazam – God provides more time somehow.
This is a biblical principle that is present throughout the Old and New Testaments.
This is also thoroughly antithetical to human nature and thinking.
It doesn’t take much history developed in the Church scene to discover that the greatest levels of fear found on the planet are typically around church (yes, small “c”) people. For many reasons, fear is today at an all-time high in the western church. Thus, the idea of taking a risk is seen as a negative concept except in rare circumstances. Only those who are downright “nutty” live on the edge. The watchword of the day is “steady as she goes” – maintain at all costs – but don’t take a real risk that might actually lay your future, your comfort on the line…
Luther for one joined up with that idea “normal” from day one when he discovered grace born out of his utter brokenness. I say, “Come Holy Spirit – lay us open in your presence that we may all see our utter lack apart from you – thus the sense that it makes to take a ‘I have nothing to lose and everything to gain’ by risking it all constantly attitude on your kingdom” attitude.