June 9, 2009

“I am Yours; save me!” Martin Luther’s Prayer, Psalm 119:94

Posted in Devotionals, Hymns / Songs / Lyrics, Poetry, Stories tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:45 am by Sarah Bosse

This simple yet profound advice given to Martin Luther has the power to shape the way we view God and our Salvation. Psalm 119:94 reads, “I am Yours; save me…”.

“The young monk Luther, tormented by his inability to feel that he was accepted by God, learned from Stauptiz [his “closest friend”] to rely on Christ, quoting Psalm 119:94: “I am Yours; save me”…” excerpt from 1

Stauptiz: “Martin, what is it you seek?”
Luther: “A merciful God: A God whom I can love. A God who loves me.”
Stauptiz: “Then look to Christ. Bind yourself to Christ and you will know God’s love. Say to Him, “I’m yours. Save me.””
Luther: “I am yours. Save me. I am yours. Save me. I am yours. Save me.” 2

In times of darkness, when I cannot see the Lord and when situations seem so bleak, I know one thing by faith – I am the Lord’s and He wills that I be saved through Christ alone. I know nothing else. Nothing else, when all is lost, will bring me the comfort of knowing that I am the Lord’s and that He saving me. IS NOT EVERY OTHER GOOD THING, EVERY OTHER PROMISE OF GOD, WRAPPED UP IN THIS ONE CONFESSION?

The Scripture, “I am Yours; save me!” implies:
1 God is good.
2 God is loving.
3 God is sovereign.
4 God is all-powerful.
5 I am not able to save myself.
6 I’m not worthy of salvation; it’s a free gift.
7 The aim and sole purpose of my life is that God is glorified.
8 Whom have I in heaven but you, Lord? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

Psalm 73:23b-26, 28
23b I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever….
28 …for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Martin Luther himself penned these words in his first hymn written for congregational worship:

My own good works all came to naught,
No grace or merit gaining;
Free will against God’s judgment fought,
Dead to all good remaining.
My fears increased till sheer despair
Left only death to my share;
The pangs of hell I suffered.

But God had seen my wretched state
Before the world’s foundation,
And mindful of his mercies great,
He planned for my salvation.
He turned to me a father’s heart;
He did not choose easy part
But gave his dearest treasure.

To me he said: “Stay close to me,
I am your rock and castle.
Your ransom I myself will be;
For you I strive and wrestle;
For I am yours, and you are mine,
And where I am you may remain;
The foe shall not divide us.

“Though he will shed my precious blood,
Of life me thus bereaving,
All this I suffer for your good;
Be steadfast and believing.
Life will from death the victory win;
My innocence shall bear your sin;
And you are blest forever.
excerpts from 3

Perhaps even Luther would have nodded a hint of agreement to the lyrics of Tracy Chapman’s “I am yours” (with my editing!):

When all my hopes and dreams
Have [fallen through]
I stand before you
My hands are empty

I am yours
…you are mine

When I fall and stumble
Flat on my face
When I’m shamed and humbled
In disgrace

I am yours
…you are mine

When voices call me
To question my faith
When [doubt and sin]
Taints my love with hate

I am yours
…you are mine
excerpts from 4

Sources:
1 The Word made flesh: a history of Christian thought
By Margaret Ruth Miles
Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2005
ISBN 1405108460, 9781405108461

2 http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/l/luther-script-transcript-joseph-fiennes.html
http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles_ca/2004-3-NewFilmOnLuther.htm

3
Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice by Martin Luther, 1523
http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/hymns/rejoice.txt

4
http://www.tracychapman.com/

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3 Comments »

  1. very cool correlation between the two. thanks for posting!

  2. […] if I fear, I can call out, “I am yours, save me!” [Psalm […]

  3. […] belong to God. We call upon Him to save us. Even as Martin Luther repeatedly quoted Psalm 119:94, likewise we call out: “I am Yours! Save […]


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