799) Prayers When One is Suffering

By Martin Luther (1483-1546), adapted from Luther’s Prayers, translated by Charles Kistler (1917)

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Lord Jesus, misery and misfortune annoy and oppress me.  I long to be relieved of them.  You have said, “Ask, and you shall receive.”  Lord, I am asking.  But Lord, my longing is so great that I cannot express it in words.  I don’t even know how to ask.  You, O Lord, can see into my heart.  What can I say?  My suffering is greater than my complaint can be.  I cannot counsel myself with my own reason, nor comfort myself with my own courage.  Comfortless, helpless, and forsaken, I am altogether undone.  My God, I know you will not leave me hopeless.  You will hear my prayer and comfort me.  It is for me to pray and await your grace.  It is for you to hear me and give me hope.  Amen. (#17 and #18)

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Dear Father, you may rightfully scourge and punish me, for alas, I fully deserve it.  Nevertheless, let it be the discipline of a loving Father, as you chastise all your children whom you love.  If you do not reprove me for my sins, I am like an abandoned child, and I pray that may never be.  Therefore, correct and strike and punish me, O righteous Judge.  But merciful Father, do not turn your Father’s heart away from me, for I want to praise and glorify you forever, in this world and the next.  Amen.  (#178)

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Dear God, you have overwhelmed me with many adversities and have enabled me to clearly see your wrath.  But cease now in afflicting me, O Lord, for you have troubled me enough, and have sufficiently pressed, burdened and humiliated me.  Graciously turn to me again in mercy, and show me how gentle you are, so that you may bring comfort to my troubled heart.  Amen. (#179)

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Dear Lord Jesus, I am hemmed in by Satan, grievously tormented by my sins, and constantly surrounded by death.  You came to earth to destroy the works of the devil.  You have abolished death and have brought to light the promise of eternal life.  Come to me now, for you bring forgiveness and life.  Help me to withstand the works of the devil by which he would cast me from life into death.  O Christ, who has overcome the devil, help me also to overcome him.  Amen.  (#9)

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O Father and God of all comfort, grant us by your Word, a firm, happy, and grateful faith, by which we may readily overcome this and every trial, and at length realize that it is the truth when your Son, Jesus Christ says:  “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  Amen. (#174)

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O Father of all mercy and God of all comfort, strengthen and uphold me by your Spirit, until you reveal to me the purpose of my tribulations.  For it is your will that we, at times, be troubled and grieved.  Indeed, you do not permit any evil to be done, unless you can make it serve a good purpose.  You see my distress and weakness.  I pray that you help and deliver me.  Amen. (#180)

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Dear God, give us peaceful hearts, and a right courage in our strife against the devil, so that we may not only endure and finally triumph, but also have peace in the midst of the struggle, praising you and giving you thanks without complaining against your divine will.  Let peace rule in our hearts, so that we may never through impatience undertake anything against you, our God, or against our fellowman.  Rather, may we remain both inwardly and outwardly quiet and peaceable toward God and all people, until the final and eternal peace shall come.  Amen.  (#169)

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Matthew 7:7-8  —  (Jesus said), “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

John 16:33  —  (Jesus said), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

Hosea 6:1  —  Come, let us return to the Lord.  He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us, but he will bind up our wounds.

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