July 23: The prayers of Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer
Hugh Latimer

Daniel Whittle records the prayers of Hugh Latimer, a leading figure in the English Church.

Hugh Latimer was a religious scholar. He was a Cambridge man, and was university chaplain. Thanks to Thomas Bilney his eyes were opened to the truths of the Reformation, Justification by faith alone!

Under King Edward VI, he was a preacher to the royal family. But when Bloody Queen Mary came to the throne, he was among the first to be tried for what was now heresy.

During this time, Whittle records the three main prayer requests of Latimer.

The prayers of the martyr, Latimer, were very remarkable for their faith. There were three principal matters for which he prayed:

1. That God would give him grace to stand to his doctrine until death.

2. That God would of His mercy restore His gospel to England once again, repeating and insisting on these words “once again,” as though he had seen God before him, and spoken to Him face to face.

3. That God would preserve [future Queen] Elizabeth; with many tears, desiring God to make her a comfort to this comfortless realm of England. All these requests were most fully and graciously answered.

Daniel Whittle

Yet these requests were not granted in his lifetime – nor did his life consist of ease. He was burned at the stake for his faith. As he burned he called out to his fellow preacher Nicholas Ridely:

Be of good comfort, Mr. Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace, in England, as I trust never shall be put out.

Hugh Latimer
Foxes Book of Martyrs' woodcut of the burning of Latimer & Ridley
Foxes Book of Martyrs’ woodcut of the burning of Latimer & Ridley

Prayers may not be answered on our timetable – but God will answer our prayers!

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