Bonhoeffer’s prayer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, a participant in the German resistance movement against Nazism and a founding member of the Confessing Church. He was involved in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and executed by hanging in April 1945, 23 days before the Nazis’ surrender. His view of Christianity’s role in the secular world has become very influential.

Bonhoeffer wrote the prayer below while incarcerated in a Nazi prison, uncertain of what his future would hold.

MORNING PRAYER
O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray And to concentrate my thoughts on you: I cannot do this alone. In me there is darkness, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me… Restore me to liberty, and enable me to live now, that I may answer before you and before me. Lord, whatever this day may bring, Your name be praised.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It’s a new day and most of us are likely enjoying freedom outside the walls of a prison. We may be facing a variety of events and issues; some big and some small; some tough and some easy. But few of us are facing execution.

In the midst of his darkness, Bonhoeffer asked God for the liberty and strength to live in such a way that he could one day stand before God unashamed.

When we pray today, what will we ask of God?

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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6 Comments

Filed under Courage, God, Humility, Inspiration, Persecution, Prayer, Trusting God

6 responses to “Bonhoeffer’s prayer

  1. Chris Jordan

    Thanks for sharing Bonhoeffer’s prayer… that really encouraged my heart today! My simply prayer today is to be close to Jesus, and to know Him more. Bless you today Rick…

  2. This prayer shows his faith and how faithful God is. And puts my life into perspective. Thank you for sharing. I needed it this week.

  3. Awesome words by an awesome servant of God. This man’s life leaves me humbled. ‘The cost of discipleship’ is truly great… for all who are in Christ Jesus. But some are called to endure much more than many of us can imagine. Thanks for sharing this, friend. God bless.

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