A Jagged Contention: Spirit of Prayer

“For the Spirit of prayer is joined to the  Spirit of grace. But it is the Spirit of grace who convinces one of sin (John 16:8) and gives instruction about the forgiveness of sins, who condemns idolatry and gives instruction about true worship of God and who condemns greed, lust, and oppression and teaches chastity,  patience, and charitableness….But when the Spirit has been  taken away, the Spirit of prayer has also been taken away. For one who does not have the Word cannot pray.”

– Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, vol. 2, pg. 19.


Luther vehemently grounds the whole of Christian life in the Word. What are the dangers of thinking about worship, devotion, prayer, and vocation apart from the Word?

Share your thoughts in the comments below


4 thoughts on “A Jagged Contention: Spirit of Prayer

  1. “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:6-7 ESV

    “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4 ESV

    Enough said. 🙂


  2. What could possibly convince anyone to pray at all, if the word didn’t suggest it was a good idea in the first place? Without word there is nothing spoken about forgiveness, nothing about the kindness or even power of God, nothing of prayer, or need, or anything else that is holy in God’s sight. Without the word, no one can hear God speak, the Spirit is mute to the one with no word from God. There is no desire or view of need for the sacraments. I’m with Luther on this.


  3. Oprah is telling millions of people to pray, but pray to whom (or what)? She might say to pray to whomever or whatever you feel like praying to. The big danger is that the non-believing pray-er will miss salvation. In our time, perhaps more than ever, the non-believing community prays quite a bit. Benefits of prayer are well documented and include increases in mental health and connection with something bigger (the substitution of ‘higher power’ for the name of God is a lie straight from the evil one). These benefits may seem satisfying enough, and the praying non-believer mostly sees no reason seek to Christ. The immediate satisfaction pushes the question of eternity and heaven/hell to the back-burner, or off the stove altogether. The devil would gladly give us prayer so long as that prayer is directed at anyone or anything other than Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


  4. The Word is our standard but I won’t put God in a box. Pray & meditate on the Word is my thing; but don’t think God can’t use Oprah, music, wildfires or rocks. HE IS WHO HE IS HE & DOES WHAT HE WILLS.Fear God & give Him Glory, Love one another, after all are we not brothers?


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