Preaching and prayer: two of the most common themes laced throughout the Christian life and two of the most misunderstood.
What promises are found in a “good sermon,” and is prayer really about a mental striving to get right with God? When we start asking questions like these, we’re knocking at the door of a freeing Lutheran perspective on these Christ-centered gifts.
Gifts—that’s preaching and prayer as God intended for them to be. “[A sermon] does not tell us to do good works to make us pious, but it announces to us the grace of God . . . and that He makes us pious and saves us through His work” (Luther’s Works, 30, Foreword). And in prayer, we are not dependent on our own pleading but on Jesus’ interceding for us. He is our Brother by faith, one who delights to petition the Father.
Dear preacher and hearer, find new joy in the preached proclamation of our Savior and a prayer life created by faith and repentance! This outline opens your eyes to the ways Scripture describes preaching and prayer and how Martin Luther treasured the theology of the cross that defines both.
Rev. Randall L. Golter
Special Assistant to the President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod