Sproul retells the historical account of Martin Luther’s trip to the barber shop. This was no ordinary visit. Luther was a wanted man. Nailing the 95 theses on the castle door at Wittenberg became more than public dispute. These nails sealed Luther’s fate – at least in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.
The barber who held a sharpened razor to Luther’s neck knew that in one movement, Luther would be a dead man. The barber could retire in the lap of luxury. But instead of cashing in his chips, the barber asked Luther a penetrating question: “Dr. Luther, can you teach me to pray?” The German Reformer was astonished and impressed with this request. He asked for some time to frame a response. Within days, he was back with an answer – an answer that the people of God can all benefit from.
Luther’s response to his barber was a simple approach to prayer – all based on the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Apostles’ Creed. He would eventually compile his answer into a valuable little book, entitled The Way to Pray. The essence of his method is to pray line by line, reflecting on the truth contained in the Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, and Apostles’ Creed.
On this Reformation Sunday, let us remember the accomplishments of Luther and the Protestant Reformers. But more importantly, let us marvel at the beauty of the gospel and the precious truth of justification by faith alone!
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1, ESV).