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.’ Luke 18:11
Jesus told a parable of two men going into the temple to pray. One of them, a Pharisee, prayed with great pride. The other, a tax collector, prayed with extreme humility. Jesus commended the tax collector.
Pharisees were considered the holy men and leaders of the temple during the biblical times. They were supposed to be the people closest to God. While tax collectors were considered the scum of the earth. Very few people were considered as less than the hated tax collector.
Although when a person prays to God, there is no hard command on how to pray, there are some things that show up in how a person prays. One of the things that can show up is humility.
One common way some people pray is as though they are God’s gift to this world and to God. They feel as though God owes them everything, because they are such a ‘good’ person. There is very little humility in their lives.
Although the Pharisee may have been correct in that he was not same as some of those others in his outward actions, he was still the same and worse in other ways. Every person has sinned, and in his own being does not deserve a right to stand before God.
The right to stand before God has nothing to do with what a person has or has not done. It has to do with the heart. When a person has repented of his sins and is following Jesus, he, then, has the right to stand before God. At that point he has been made a child of God.
This is unlike the Pharisee, who thought he had the right to stand before God, without Christ.
You, nor anyone else, has a right to stand before God without the forgiveness and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
When you take time to pray, you must ask yourself how you pray. Do you demand God listen to you? Do you feel you are a better believer than others?
Or do you allow God to be ruler over your life and humble yourself before Him?
During times of prayer, humble yourself before God. Allow God to be the king of your life.
I pray today that you will know who you are in Christ Jesus; that you will know true humility before God; that you will allow God to rule your life; and that God will help you remove all pride in your life.