THE POWER AND MIRACLE OF PRAYER
Part 14: Jesus Teaches About Praying: Humility & Repentance (Luke 18: 9-14)
In the name of God Master, of the Universe, Ruler of the earth
Editors Note: I pray not for self but for all of humankind as I call out the name of self as a willing and humble servant. In an earnest and humble posture we seek repentance from sin for this is the way to Peace and Paradise.
Peace be unto you. To the Church and believing Christians everywhere. To those that believe in the Bible as the supreme authority that governs all of humankind. In this we give thanks to God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us the straightway.
As we continue in the 18th Division of Luke we now note the parable by Jesus of the two men who prayed. These men came to prayer in repentance and humility. Meanwhile some have come to prayer with a pompous attitude that is not pleasing to God.
Luke 18: 9: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:”
These people “trusted in themselves” because they considered themselves to be righteous as they boasted about their great deeds. Meanwhile they came to despise others who could not boast of the great things they had done. Now follow us over to Romans for an additional scripture reference on this point.
Romans 14: 10: In this Chapter the Apostle Paul teaches the brethren about weak and strong believers. Strong believers do not boast and put down other believers nor do they come with malice toward the nonbelievers. However we hate sin. “But why dost thou judge thou brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
10: “Two men went up in the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”
The two men although of different perspectives were both acting normal as they went into the temple to pray. (See Isaiah 56:7 and Matthew 21: 13 for more on this thought).
11: “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”(The outward actions of the Jews are noted at Isaiah 58: 2 also see Matthew 6: 5). Now follow us to Revelation for a powerful scripture reference on the main points in verse 11.
Revelation 3: 17: Here John writes about the church that was lukewarm. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
John the writer here in this verse attempts to show us just how much a church can become deceived about its real condition. This can also happen to an individual. Temporal things are just temporary. Meanwhile we see that often material possessions can mis-lead the church or an individual into thinking they are independent or self-sufficient. There is nothing wrong with independence and doing for self. However when one thinks they don’t need God and Christ there is a problem.
12: “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”
Verses 11 and 12 reveal the prayer of the Pharisee. Here he did not include a single request from God. Even if his claims were true his prayer is still not acceptable to God. Because he only boasts about his great deeds. Prayer is not the place for boasting. It is written that God already knows of all of our deeds. Thus we need not remind God of these things. But making requests in faith are honorable in prayer.
13: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Also see Psalms 40: 12 also see Acts 3:1 where we see a further indication of the many people in the temple during the hour of prayer).
Meanwhile the publican in modesty stood away from the crowd. He realizes the feelings the Pharisees had for his people. However he classed himself with the sinners and prayed for mercy.
14: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Also see James 4: 6 and I Peter 5: 5-6).
Those that are justified humble themselves to God. Therefore if the publican was not justified no one in the verse was exalted. Follow us over to Job for an additional thought on those that humble themselves before the Lord.
Job 22: 29: “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.”
The acknowledgement of sins in verses 24-30 renders a blessing from God. We thus are taught to confess our sins in prayer and remain humble in prayer thus pleasing God.
At Matthew 23: 12 we see another scripture that relates to our discussion. We also note that a similar scriptural passage is found at Luke 14: 11. “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
Those that strive for humility and to serve others as we come this way realize that service and work for the Lord is honorable. Meanwhile those that strive and desire the things of the world will be brought down by the Lord. Thus those that humble themselves will get a blessing. We look to God in adoration and supplication confessing our sins in reverence and in faith.
Peace and Golden Paradise, Carl A. Patton a willing slave and servant of Almighty God and Christ Jesus writing for the FreedomJournal Press a God Fearing Free Press 27 July 2009 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
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