Martin Luther’s Sacristy Prayer

I came across this prayer from Martin Luther in my devotional reading yesterday. While it’s not directly about church websites, it’s a great prayer for anyone serving in the church.

Although he died in 1546, 443 years before the invention of the Web, I suspect Luther would have been in favor of churches effectively using websites and other new media. Just look at what he was able to accomplish with the new media of his day, the printing press!

Martin Luther's Sacristy Prayer

Lord God, you have placed me in your church. You know how unsuitable I am. Were it not for your guidance I would long since have brought everything to destruction. I wish to give my heart and mouth to your service. I desire to teach your people, and long to be taught your work. Use me as your workman, dear Lord. Do not forsake me; for if I am alone, I shall bring all to naught. Amen.
-Martin Luther

I can’t find an exact citation of when Luther wrote this prayer. In my devotional book, the reference is to Devotions and Prayers of Martin Luther, translated by Andrew Kosten, 1956.

Here’s another of Luther’s sacristy prayers, possibly a variation of the same one. This one is better attested, found here.

Lord God, You have appointed me as a Bishop and Pastor in Your Church, but you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task. If I had lacked Your help, I would have ruined everything long ago. Therefore, I call upon You: I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you; I shall teach the people. I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon Your Word. Use me as Your instrument — but do not forsake me, for if ever I should be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.

I’m not much of a graphic designer, but I enjoy practicing and learning more! The photo is from Lightstock – learn more about their non-cheesy, faith-focused stock photos in my interview with their founder.

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