Saturday, October 31, 2020

Luther’s Prayer at Worms

On the night of April 18, 1521, before his final stand at his heresy trial where he was asked to deny sola fides, Luther offered this humble prayer:

O almighty and everlasting God! How terrible is this world! Behold it openeth its mouth to swallow me up, and I have so little trust in Thee! How weak is the flesh and how powerful is Satan! If it is in the strength of this world only that I must put my trust, all is over! My last hour is come, my condemnation has been pronounced. O God! O God! O God! Do Thou help me against all the wisdom of the world! Do this; Thou shouldst do this; Thou alone, for this is not my work but Thine! I have nothing to do here, nothing to contend for with these great ones of the world! I should desire to see my days flow on peaceful and happy. But the cause is Thine, and it is a righteous and eternal cause, O Lord! Help me! Faithful and unchangeable God! In no man do I place my trust. It would be vain—all that is of man is uncertain, all that cometh of man fails. O God! My God, hearest Thou me not? My God, art Thou dead? No! No, Thou canst not die! Thou hidest Thyself only! Thou hast chosen me for this work. I know it well! Act then, O God, stand at my side, for the sake of Thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who is my defense, my shield, and my strong tower.

Lord, where stayest Thou? O my God, where art Thou? Come, come! I am ready to lay down my life for Thy truth, patient as a lamb. For it is the cause of justice—it is Thine! O I will never separate myself from Thee, neither now nor through eternity! And though the world may be filled with devils, though my body, which is still the work of Thy hands, should be slain, be stretched upon the pavement, be cut in pieces, reduced to ashes—my soul is Thine! Yes, I have the assurance of Thy word. My soul belongs to Thee! It shall abide forever with Thee. Amen. O God! Help me! Amen.