Do you pray like the Pharisee or the tax collector?

PSALM 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

PSALM 91:1
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Do you pray like the Pharisee or the tax collector?

“The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t sin, I don’t commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.'”

Luke 18:11-13 NLT

The lesson of two prayers

These two prayers stand in sharp contrast to one another.

The Pharisee barely acknowledges God at all. He used his time in the Temple as an opportunity to justify himself. In the guise of thanking God, he cut down others and congratulated himself. There was no humility in him.

The tax collector, on the other hand, was rightfully aware of his sin before the most holy God. He made no claims for himself. He didn’t try to justify his action. He only admitted he was a sinner.

Jesus declared that it was the humble tax collector, not the proud Pharisee, whom God was willing to justify.

May God give us the courage to admit our true condition before him. Take time to meditate on God’s holiness, and give up justifying yourself. In humility, cast yourself on the Lord’s mercy.

A prayer for today

O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner…

From The One Year® Book of Bible Prayers edited by Bruce Barton (Tyndale) entry for March 8

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s