Below is Peter Martyr’s second and final prayer from Psalm 3. Notice what is now becoming a pattern in these prayers: Peter Martyr, when approaching God, regularly calls to mind the sins of those who pray, and their utter lack of right to ask anything of God, while also and nevertheless regularly giving voice to his confidence that God will hear and answer. His prayer often reenact the fundamental movement of the Christian life, from man’s helplessness and insufficiency before his adversaries, and before God himself, to God’s mighty arm and overabundant sufficiency on behalf of his people. “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Although, Almighty God, there seems to increase day by day the strength of Satan and of all the powers that oppose you, which desire to obstruct the Kingdom of your Son to our hurt and attempt to drive us to despair, as if no salvation awaits us any longer in you:
Nevertheless, although we perceive ourselves to be altogether weighed down by our sins, we lift up our head and our hands to you who are our shield and our glory, and we beseech you that, by the mercy that belongs to you, you forgive the wrongs that we have done, and answer kindly to the entreaties and prayers that we pour out before you:
In order that we, roused from our dead works and rightly relying on your grace, may not dread the infinite myriads of the enemies of your name, whom already by faith we have understood to have been struck by you on the jaw and shattered.
Grant us, o Best Father, to perceive the richness of your kindness over us, and let us be persuaded that our salvation hangs upon you alone.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 1
E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.
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