When his close friend Philipp Melanchthon became deathly ill, Luther prayed fervently for him:

“I wearied God’s ears with all his promises of hearing prayers.” Luther even threatened to question God’s faithfulness if God didn’t answer him! Melanchthon recovered, and Luther declared, “God, the dear Father, listens to our prayers.”

 Expanding Each Petition

Luther then advises that Peter repeat and elaborate on each petition. For example, here is how the second petition, “Thy kingdom come,” might be developed:

Say: “O dear Lord, God and Father, thou seest how worldly wisdom and reason not only profane thy name and ascribe the honor due to thee, to lies and to the Devil, but how they also take the power, might, wealth and glory which thou hast given them on earth for ruling the world, and thus serving thee, and use it in their own ambition to oppose thy kingdom. They are many and mighty; they plague and hinder the tiny flock of thy kingdom who are weak, despised, and few.”

“Convert them and defend us. Convert those who are still to become children and members of thy kingdom so that they with us and we with them may serve thee in thy kingdom in true faith and unfeigned love and that from thy kingdom which has begun, we may enter into thy eternal kingdom. Defend us against those who will not turn away their might and power from the destruction of thy kingdom, so that when they are cast down from their thrones and humbled, they will have to cease from their efforts. Amen.”

Or as another example, take the sixth petition, “And lead us not into temptation.” Say: “O dear Lord, Father and God, keep us fit and alert, eager and diligent in thy word and service, so that we do not become complacent, lazy, and slothful as though we had already achieved everything. In that way the fearful Devil cannot fall upon us, surprise us, and deprive us of thy precious word or stir up strife and factions among us and lead us into other sin and disgrace, both spiritually and physically; Rather grant us wisdom and strength through thy spirit that we may valiantly resist him and gain the victory. Amen.”

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