– Martin Luther
The Chief Cornerstone
The Bible says that our God is a mighty fortress, as the psalmist wrote, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2), similar to what the Apostle Peter wrote, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6). So “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22). The church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:120-21), so we need to pray for the members of the church, as we are all part of this divine building.
Staying Near the Shepherd
One time when Jesus “went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34). Jesus was that Shepherd they needed, as He said that “he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep,” and “the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:2-3). Only Jesus can say, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The only thing the sheep must do (that would be us!) is to make sure we stay near the Shepherd because there will be many “false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
Supporting One Another
We need one another, and we should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), including praying for the members of the church. Paul wrote, “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9), so we should be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Martin Luther experienced a lot of spiritual attacks. This explains why he knew that prayer was a strong wall and fortress of the church, and we are part of that building. We need to make sure we stay near the Shepherd so that He can keep us from ravenous wolves who pretend to be shepherds but only want to fleece the flock, and we need to be praying for one another at all times.