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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
We also wonder what our adversaries do in prayer, if indeed, the profane men ever ask anything of God. If they declare that they are worthy because they have love and good works, and ask for grace as if they had earned it, then they pray precisely like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11, who says, “I am not like other men.” He who prays for grace without relying upon God's mercy, dishonors Christ, who intercedes for us as our High Priest. Therefore, prayer relies upon God's mercy when we believe that we are heard for the sake of Christ, the High Priest, as he himself says, “ If you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name” (John 16:23). He says, “In my name,” because without this High Priest we cannot approach the Father.
Pulling It Together
If we come to God, expecting that we deserve his grace, then we are thieves of grace. When we think that we have earned God’s mercy and may therefore demand it, we rob God of the glory that belongs to him alone. We need a mediator, someone to go between us and God. Christ alone has earned this authority by ransoming himself for all people (1 Tim 2:5-6). If we imagine that we have attained such a high position, we steal the grace that the Father would freely give us through the Son whom he loves (Eph 1:6). We must therefore, always pray through Christ, expecting nothing because of ourselves or because of our deeds, yet expecting all good things of the Father because of his Son.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for making a way to the Father of grace. Amen.
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Learning the Lord's Prayer teaches the Lord's Prayer according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Second Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story which illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture and Luther's Small Catechism - Children's Version.