9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9 – 14)
As reminder, the theme for our 40 days journey this year is Our Identity. Last week we had a blessed time considering how the Disciplines of Bible Study and Spiritual Warfare relate to our identity. This week we focus on the Disciplines of Prayer and Fasting, starting with Prayer.
In the passage above, Jesus uses a parable to provide a stinging rebuke to self-righteous and judgmental people. Interestingly, the parable illuminates the power of a humble and honest conversation about identity when praying.
Please prayerfully reflect on the Bible verses above.
Something to think about:
When you pray, how honest are you with God about who you are? Why does this matter?
February 26, 2018 at 5:35 am
I am 100% honest with God when I pray. He knows me better than I do anyway. Going to Him with all honesty is important. In being true to myself and to God, and acknowledge and accept all my faults and sins, when I ask for His forgiveness and I repent of my sins, I’ll feel like there is no lie or deception that will hinder His forgiveness.
February 26, 2018 at 7:51 am
There is no point being untruthful in prayer or talking to God. He won’t laugh but it is totally senseless and what I consider 100% more a sin. We have to ask for forgiveness and protection against such foolish behaviour. Be truthful, honest and inward searching, not always easy for us sinners. Love ourselves as He loves us.
February 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm
It is easy at time to be like the Pharisee. When I look at what is happening in the world I can say what I am not and become puffed up. But thank God for the Holy Spirit who reminds me, in love, how far away I am from the identity God calls me to. I can’t fool God. He knows my heart.
February 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm
Humilty and Repentance stand out to me. I was humbled when I read the passage. I pray that the Lord will continuously search my heart, mind and thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me – anything that even slightly resembles what He rebuked in the Pharisee – and draw me to repentance and lead me in His way everlasting. May He reveal my wicked ways to me so that even as I repent I can draw closer to Him and further away from those things. Hear my prayer oh Lord and answer me. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
February 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm
It makes no sense but to be totally honest when talking to God. I would be a fool as he knows everything anyway.
February 26, 2018 at 9:08 pm
God knows everything about me, the day i was conceived and the day i will die. He even knows how i will respond in every situation. It is impossible to lie to God. However, our prayers and our requests will only be answered if we are 100% honest.
February 28, 2018 at 3:13 am
I am 100% honest as He knows me “inside out” anyway! He even knows my thoughts before I think them.
February 28, 2018 at 6:30 am
My honesty will be based on the true knowledge of my identity before Christ and after Christ. Let the brother of humble circumstances boast in his exaltation, but let the rich boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field.
James 1:9-10 Bible study and exposure to the preaching and teaching of the word of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit is critical to knowledge and understanding of my identity.