Home > Anfechtung, Prayer, Ransacking the Lost Treasures of the Lutheran Church > Prayer when caught in sin–God’s comfort for grieving sinners.

Prayer when caught in sin–God’s comfort for grieving sinners.


P1030931“Question: Which are repentant sinners?

Answer:

They are such men who are truly, likewise, conceived and born in sin; and they also are by nature sinners, who also commit sins more often than is good. But they know their nature and how evil sin is, they fear God’s wrath and punishment, which He threatens because of sin.  They also know that even without [those threats] it is unjust to insult God with disobedience, from Whom we have [received] body and soul and all things.  Repentant sinners on account of are in distress that they are sinners and commit sin, or have always done so.  … and therefore they  are wary of themselves with great seriousness.  They also believe that God for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ wants the remaining sins in the flesh, along with all others, to pardon and remit out of grace, and so a repentant sinner ascribes also all good to God his Lord and creator, hoping, trusting and relying on His grace alone, which has come to him.

Question: What does God say to such repentant sinners?

Answer:

In the 34th Psalm the Holy Ghost says, The Lord is near to them who are of a broken heart, and helps those who have a crushed soul.  And those are the sinners who (so) through the Law (which is a hammer which shatters the rocks/boulders–Jeremiah the 23rd.) are stricken and terrified so that they are truly of a broken heart and are forced to wail.  And the Lord wants to be near them because He does not want to extinguish the smoldering wick, neither to break the bruised reed.  Is. 42, Matt. 12.

 

But he saves and refreshes/quickens/renews only through His Word./  Psalm. 107  He sent His Word, and made them whole/ and delievered them/ that they might not die.  Psalm 119.  My soul lies in the dust; quicken me according to Your Word.  And again in the same Psalm–If Your commandment were not my comfort, I would have died in my affliction/adversity.  Jeremiah the 15th.  Your Word, Lord, is the joy and comfort of our hearts.  God the Lord says further about such sinners in Ezekiel the 18th chapter.  Where the godless is turned from all his sins which he has done and keeps all my laws and does what is right and good, so shall he live and not die.  His transgressions which he has committed will no more be remembered.  But instead shall he live for the sake of the righteousness which he does.

 

What do you mean, says God–that I have good pleasure at the death of the godless, and not much more that he is converted from his ways and lives?  Also Christ Himself said, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that does penance/ repents.  That is indeed truly altogether comforting, and so much said, that the sinner who thus does penance/ is converted and amends himself, is in God’s grace, and his prayers therefore will be heard.

That is why also the dear Luther comforted such sinners; because he knew that they are always afflicted by their sins and stupidly think that each time they fall into sin, they reckon immediately–“It is all over”, and in a flash they [think they?] no longer can pray.  And Luther said about the 16th chapter of John that whether they have just fallen, or now and again even get stuck in sin, just as long as the fear and terror, or the displeasure at the sins is there.  Since they hate their sins and mourn them, they should by no means despair of prayer and simply remain there, lying prostrate in their sin.  They should not let themselves be scared off by anything.  They should say to thoughts of quitting [praying], no, as I live! Instead only quickly ([Luther] says) begin to pray, even in the middle of the sin, even while you are still feeling tormented by the sin. What you have done only freshens the stream [of prayer].   Regarding worthiness and unworthiness, whether you just now fell, and just extricated yourself from the sin, or whether you are still stuck in the middle of it, always, even in the middle of the sin,  kneel and pray from the heart, Oh dear Father, forgive me, and help me out of this!”

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