Christians in the past, though, often prayed “with” a text that would direct, inspire, and be a catalyst for their prayers. The Lord’s Prayer was not just repeated verbatim, though that was part of it. Each petition of the prayer sparked personal prayer–how can I do God’s will? What “daily bread” do I need? What temptations do I need to be delivered from?
Scriptures such as the Ten Commandments would also be prayed. Luther suggested finding in each commandment, an instruction (“I must honor my father and my mother”), a thanksgiving (“Thank you, God, for giving me my parents”), a confession (“I have been neglecting my mother”), and a petition (“Lord, help my parents with their health and money problems. . . .”).
Luther also advocated praying the Creed, and in doing so, addressing the Triune God and receiving His promises of grace.
The Catechism itself is not just an educational handbook for the instruction of children. Rather, it is an inexhaustible source book for prayer, meditation, and the richest, deepest devotions.