A Jagged Contention: The Ears of God

[Luther on our cries of lament during trials] This faint sigh of ours does not seem to penetrate the clouds in such a way that it is the only thing to be heard by God and the angels in heaven. In fact, we suppose, especially as long as the trial continues, that the devil is roaring at us terribly, that heaven is bellowing, that the earth is quaking, that everything is about to collapse, that all the creatures are threatening us with evil, and that hell is opening up in order to swallow us. This feeling is in our hearts; we do not hear these terrible voices or see this frightening face. And this is what Paul says in 2 Cor. 12:9: that the power of Christ is made perfect in our weakness. For then Christ is truly almighty, and then He truly reigns and triumphs in us when we are so, to speak, so “all-weak” that we can scarcely emit a groan. But Paul says that in the ears of God the sigh is a might cry that fills all of heaven and earth.

– Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians: 1535, Chapters 1-4. Luther’s Works, vol. 26. Pg. 383


Question:

How does Luther’s view of prayer and lament differ from the ways prayer is typically spoken of in our churches?

One thought on “A Jagged Contention: The Ears of God

  1. Question: How does Luther’s view of prayer and lament differ from the ways prayer is typically spoken of in our churches?
    One man’s answer: Prayers said publicly by the pastor in church often reflect a “generic” and broad conventional approach, but within each row of pews are the silent, often secretly suffering members of the congregation. who are undergoing trials of their own. It could be a death in the family, a seriously ill child, news of cancer or loss of employment, and so forth. It is the intensity of the trials we face which brings prayer more earnestly upward to Heaven, because when we do not suffer, when our life for a time is prosperous and blessed, we tend to forget that God is present in the sunshine and the rain.
    May I share a song I wrote? John J Flanagan – Youtube – “The Meadow.” A Christian Folk Song.

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