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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Indeed, it is a reproach to Christ and a repeal of the gospel to believe that we obtain the forgiveness of sins because of the law, or in any other way than by faith in Christ. We spoke of this earlier in the article Concerning Justification, where we declared why we confess that men are justified by faith, not by love.
Pulling It Together: The law shows us who we really are: human beings in need of a savior. This is why the Father sent his Son, who redeemed us from sin and death. What an insult it is when people insist on saving themselves. Think for a moment how silly it would be for a person to look in the mirror and say, “You’ve been so good lately; I forgive you.” That is the picture of a sick, self-absorbed being. We cannot forgive ourselves, so we must turn to Christ, whom we confess provides the only way of salvation. Our works will never save us. But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, in whom is all righteousness—even yours.
Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, a poor sinner who loves you. Amen.
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In Prayer as Joy, Prayer as Struggle, Braaten explores many types of prayer, including thanksgiving, confession, praise, wrestling, petition, intercession, listening, and hope. He also explores what it means when the answer to prayer is "no" and how we experience prayer in times of doubt. In each chapter, he uses and extended biblical example of prayer and also provides the text of prayers we can use in our own practice. For all who seek joy in prayer, even as we struggle, Braaten offers an engaging personal and pastoral reflection on the ways we pray.