The most widely used of all Luther's hymns is "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word," a short hymn of prayer for God's care and protection.
In the original German, the second line of stanza one was written against the Pope and the Turks, who wanted to take over all of Europe. Over the years, the second line was changed to "Curb those who fain by craft and sword." Instead of a prayer against the threatening Turkish army, the hymn became a general prayer against all enemies of the Word of God and the Church.
The last chord of this hymn has a musical Picardy third. In the first two stanzas, the last chord commonly ends with a "G" natural. But in the third stanza, this chord ends with a "G" sharp, which makes the ending chord a major chord (with a Picardy third) rather than a minor chord. The brightness of the major chord in contrast to the preceding minor chord endings is fitting with the closign text, "And lead us out of death to life."
—Pastor Gordon Waterman
1. Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
Curb those who fain by craft and sword
Would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son
And set at naught all He hath done.
2. Lord Jesus Christ, Thy pow'r make known,
For Thou art Lord of lords alone;
Defend Thy Christendom that we
May evermore sing praise to Thee.
3. O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth.
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.
By Martin Luther, 1541
Based on John 8:31