When Martin Luther’s barber (and friend) asked him how to pray, Martin Luther responded with a brief treatise published in the spring of 1535 under the title A Simple Way to Pray, for a Good Friend. Luther explained his own practices of prayer.
The following are some of the suggestions Luther gave to his barber:
There is a sequence of prayer
Luther writes “. . .kneel or stand with your hands folded and your eyes toward heaven and speak or think as briefly as you can. . .” (p.20). Offer a brief prayer “O Heavenly Father, dear God, I am a poor unworthy sinner, I do not deserve to raise my eyes or hands toward thee or to pray. . .” (p. 21) Begin to pray one petition of the Lord’s Prayer or one of the Ten Commandments. Never doubt you are alone in your prayer. “Do not leave your prayer without having said or thought, ‘Very well, God has heard my prayer, this I know as a certainty and a truth.’ This is what Amen means” (p. 29).
The heart must be ready for prayer
Keep prayers meaningful. Unclutter your mind by focusing on one thought, perhaps one petition of the Lord’s Prayer or one of the Ten Commandments.
From Evangelical Lutheran Worship Morning Prayer (p. 304)
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.