Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

What Luther Did When He Was Desperate

Faith Is A Fight

It’s a take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil — and we need all the weapons we can get.

But one weapon we often neglect is other people praying for us.

Why the neglect?  For me, it’s because I’m too proud to share my need, too insecure about what others will think of me, or because I don’t think more people praying will make any difference.

Why Fight By Yourself?

Imagine Satan is attacking you with a platoon of his soldiers.

Wouldn’t it make sense to call for reinforcements?

Wouldn’t it be tragic to try and fight Satan’s platoon all by yourself?

But that’s what we do when we don’t ask others to pray for us.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was known for his faithfulness to Christ, his courage in the face of danger, and his zeal for the Gospel.

But in 1521 he found himself struggling.  He was tempted by the flesh, lazy in his devotion, and lukewarm towards Christ.  So what did he do?

He asked his friend to pray for him.

We see that in this letter he wrote to his friend Melanchthon —

“I sit here at ease, hardened and unfeeling — alas!  praying little, grieving little for the Church of God, burning rather in the fierce fires of my untamed flesh.

“It comes to this: I should be afire in the spirit; in reality I am afire in the flesh, with lust, laziness, idleness, sleepiness.

“It is perhaps because you have all ceased praying for me that God has turned away from me …

“For the past eight days I have written nothing, nor prayed nor studied, partly from self-indulgence, partly from another vexatious handicap …

“I really cannot stand it any longer … Pray for me, I beg you, for in my seclusion here I am submerged in sins.”

(Quoted in John Piper’s The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, p.105.)

How About You?

Do you share your struggles with others, and ask them to pray for you?

God’s Word promises that your own prayers will powerfully bring God’s help.  But since God’s Word encourages us to ask others to pray, that must mean their prayers will bring even more of God’s help.

So don’t neglect your own prayer.  But be sure to ask for prayer from others.

Satan’s platoon is attacking.  Call for reinforcements.

Comments?  Questions?

I’d love to hear them.  Leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture by robbot on wikipedia.)

Category: Stories about Other People


5 Responses

  1. Jack says:

    Even an Annabaptist, like myself, appreciates much of Luther’s work and teachings. However, in leaving Rome, he brought some of its baggage with him. He just could not accept the simplicity of Christ, and the New Testament pattern of a non formal local church. He was truly an enlightened man, but, like most of the “reformers”, was never completely rid of the smell of Rome.

  2. mba chiemeka says:

    I sincerely need the martin luther kind of help(prayer)

  3. James says:

    I need prayer help today….I have lost all hope. Please pray for me.

  4. oceanlovingmom says:

    I just want to thank you for this incredible site. I am a believer going through such a deep battle with anxiety, dark thoughts and fear of the enemy. On top of that, I’m a mom of six children! It seems this battle descended on me during a time of great anxiety over a hoped-for move, which has since been shelved until we have more peace about it. However, the battle with the enemy rages in my mind in anxiety, fear, OCD, etc., which I have not battled much before. So, I go to the Lord with this and read many puritan writers for deeper encouragement as well, but your site has been such a “modern day” blessing since it features stories of those who have experienced God’s blessings after trials and temptations. Thank you for your transparency in sharing how God is at work in the brokenness and weakness that we all experience for a season (or off an on) in our walk through this world. I long to have my eyes opened to the glory of Christ in a life-transforming way, more than I long for anything on this earth! It is truly my greatest desire, and I’m impatient to know that kind of peace! I could have never, ever said this just months ago. I struggled to have any fire in my spirit, but now I long for intimate walking with the Holy Spirit more than anything.

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