A Mighty Fortress

Words and Music: Martin Luther 1483-1546

“The Lord Almighty is with us; The God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:7

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Saxony, Germany. After his graduation from Erfurt University, he became an Augustinian monk, teaching philosophy and theology at Wittenberg University. He did not agree with some teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, so he nailed his famous ninety-five page theses to the door on October 31, 1517. Luther was officially excommunicated in 1520. In 1529 Luther wrote this great hymn, which became the most powerful hymn of the Protestant Reformation Movement. One great benefit of the Reformation was the rediscovery of congregational singing. Luther emphasized the power of sacred music. He wrote, “The Devil, the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God.” Again he wrote, “I wish to compose sacred hymns so that the Word of God may dwell among the people also by means of songs.” Luther also wrote, “I would allow no man to preach or teach God’s people without a proper knowledge of the use and power of sacred song.”

Prayer Focus: This hymn is based on Psalm 46. Let us read this and the words of this song and then be prepared to pray.