Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Prayer for protection against temptation

Temptation is a battle that all Christians face. This is not an exaggeration. The following prayer was written by the great 16th Century reformer Martin Luther. Read this prayer and be strengthened by God's power to fight the good fight.

Dear Father,
Grant us grace that we may have control over the lust of the flesh. Help us to resist its desire to eat, to drink, to sleep overmuch, to be idle, to be slothful. Help us by fasting, by moderation in food and dress and sleep and work, by watching and labor, to bring the flesh into subjection and fit it for good works.

Help us to fasten its evil, unchaste inclination and all its desires and incitements with Christ upon the Cross, and to slay them so that we may not consent to any of its allurements, nor follow them. Help us when we see a beautiful person, or image or any other creature, that it may not be be a temptation, but an occasion for love of chastity and for praising Thee in Thy creatures. When we hear sweet sounds and feel things that please the senses, help us to seek therein not lust, but Thy praise and honor.

Preserve us from the great vice of avarice and the desire for the riches of this world. Keep us, that we may not seek this world's honor and power, nor consent to the desire for them.Preserve us, that the world's deceit, presences, and false promises may not move us to walk in its ways.

Preserve us, that the wickedness and the adversities of the world may not lead us to impatience, revenge, wrath, or other vices. Help us to renounce the world's lies and deceits, its promises and unfaithfulness, and all its good and evil (as we have already promised in baptism to do), to abide firmly in this renunciation, and to grow therein from day to day.

Preserve us from the suggestions of the devil, that we may not consent to pride, become self-satisfied, and despise others for the sake of riches, rank, power, knowledge, beauty, or other good gifts of Thine. Preserve us, that we fall not into hatred or envy for any cause. Preserve us, that we yield not to despair, that great temptation of our faith, neither now nor at our last hour.

Have in Thy keeping, heavenly Father, all who strive and labor against these great and manifold temptations. Strengthen those who are yet standing; raise up all those who have fallen and are overcome; and to all of us grant Thy grace, that in this miserable and uncertain life, incessantly surrounded by so many enemies, we may fight with constancy, and with a firm and kinghtly faith, and win the everlasting crown.