God’s favorite prayer
Scripture Text Luke 18 :14 b “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”.
Luke chapter 18: 9-13 Jesus tells a story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One of the men was a Pharisee, a religious person and the other was a tax collector who was a sinner.
The Pharisee prayed about himself: "I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like this tax collector. I don’t cheat, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of all my income.”
The tax collector stood at a distance and would not even lift his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and prayed "Oh God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner."
Jesus said, "The tax collector, not the Pharisee returned home justified before God”.
Why did God answer the prayer of the tax collector and not the pharisee?
The Pharisee exalted himself before God. The pharisee was very proud of his self righteousness. In his pride he looked down on others and failed to display his humbleness before God. He trusted that his religious duties were sufficient enough to gain God's favor.
The tax collector felt that he was unworthy to come near to God. He lifted up his heart to God. He prayed with a broken heart. Unlike the pharisee, the tax collector was dependent upon God's mercy. He confessed that he was a sinner and humbled himself in prayer.
What is humility?
True humility is broken spirit, repentance, sense of emptiness, helplessness - submitting to God is humility.
You may be a sincere believer but without humility.
You may work hard for the kingdom of God but without humility.
You may have zeal for God but no humbleness.
We see the outside of a man but God sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)
The attitude of prayer is more important than words.
Promises to the humble
James 4 :6 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble”
Matthew 18 :4 “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Psalms 34 :18 says "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
- Let us seek God's mercy everyday.
- Let us ask God to give us a humble heart.
- Let us learn to love and accept the people around us.