A Little Help from Bonhoeffer on Prayer
|Photo by Andreas Steinhoff, |
via Wikimedia Commons
Why should you pray?
Because I can take nothing for myself and must instead ask everything of God; because I want to thank God for all his gifts.
Why are you permitted to pray?
Because my Lord Jesus Christ has commanded me to do so and wants to be my intercessor.
For what should you pray?
For all things necessary for the body and soul, which the child asks of its father.
Which prayers are pleasing to God?
I should call on God alone in my prayer. For everything I ask, I should do so for Christ’s sake. I should believe with assurance that God hears me. I should pray with my heart rather than only with my mouth (Matt. 6: 5– 8). I should pray several times each day (in the morning, at midday, and in the evening). (1 Thess. 5: 17; Rom. 12: 12.) [—] John 15: 7; 16: 23– 24; Ps. 119.
How does God answer prayers?
By relieving us of and bearing all our care, trouble, and sin. All our prayers have been answered in the cross of Jesus Christ.
What does Christ instruct you to pray?
The Lord’s Prayer.
What gift does God give you in prayer?
God gives me the assurance that through Jesus Christ I am and will remain God’s own. [—] Rom. 8: 15– 16.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works. Vol. 14, Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935-1937. Translated by Douglas W. Stott. Edited by H. Gaylon Barker and Mark Brocker. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013. Kindle Edition.
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