Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- May 16, 2013
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable… The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people— Luke 18:9,11
Unacceptable prayers come from a proud heart. The self-righteous look down on others different from themselves and find pleasure in publicly praying about their moral inferiority. Yes, those who use their prayers to “preach” at others are conceited in their own high mindedness. Prayer is not meant to flaunt a person’s faith, but to model the need for mercy from the Almighty! Proud prayers focus on mankind, not on Mankind’s Maker. However, humility qualifies quality prayers.
We first prepare our hearts with humble submission to Almighty God. Our Heavenly Father looks for humility as an indicator of good and acceptable prayers. Time constraints push us to transactional prayers, while our Lord and Savior Jesus longs for relational prayers. Humble prayers engage in conversation with Christ, which listens most of the time if not the entire time. Our patient prayers enable us to remain in the presence of Jesus until we get to know Jesus.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6
The Righteous One reminds us that our righteous acts outside of Christ are like filthy rags. Only to the Cross do we cling, as we bring ourselves into the presence of Holy God. He is the object of our worship. He is who we bow to in awe and adoration. He is who we cry out to for mercy, grace and forgiveness. He is who we petition in our pain. He is who we sit with silently in sweet surrender and trust. He is who loves and comforts us, so we can love and comfort others.
You may feel distant from God in your sorrow, but He invites you to come closer and feel His comforting presence. Moreover, sin doesn’t disqualify you for prayer, it qualifies you. It’s out of your weakness that He makes you strong. It is out of your despair that He repairs your mind, will and emotions. Bring your successes and failures to the feet of Jesus as an offering of praise. He takes what is dedicated to Him and multiplies it for His glory. Humility prays acceptable prayers!
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my prayers be humble and acceptable to you.
Related Readings: Isaiah 66:2; Jeremiah 31:19; Psalm 18:27; Luke 1:52; 1 Timothy 1:15
Post/Tweet today: Sin does not disqualify us for prayer, it qualifies us. It is out of our weakness that He makes us strong. #prayer
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