Hello again! I know, two posts in one week! That’s because yesterday’s was a bonus post and I already had this one planned so…You either benefit or suffer more, however you want to look at it 😊
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 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. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 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. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
We’ve all read the story of the Pharisee and the Publican. We would all like to believe we are like the publican, acknowledging our fault and pleading for the mercy of God. But how many times do we act more like the Pharisee?
We are so concerned with sins of others that we forget to examine our own. And could it be that we are allowing this attitude into our prayers? We pray for others and we should; there is nothing wrong with that. But are we forgetting to pray for our own spiritual growth? That we would draw closer to God?
Pride is listed as one of the abominations that God hates in the Bible and an attitude of “At least I’m not like them,” is certainly pride. And God cannot hear a prayer prayed in pride…so when we fall into this snare, who are we praying to?
According to our text, we are praying with ourselves! What a horrible thought! Our prayers are not heard and we are praying with only ourselves to hear it. What a sobering idea. While we “know” this simple truth, I wonder how many really know it. For if we really took it to heart, I think we’d see a change in our prayer life!
Of course, all our prayers are not prayed in pride, I know that. When we sincerely pray as the publican did, we have the blessed assurance that God hears our prayers. What a consolation! He hears and finds pleasure in the prayer given by a humble heart.
Keep this in mind next time you go to pray…perhaps we should begin our prayer asking God to protect us from the sin of pride!
Have a blessed day!
P.S. As many of you know, the Gettysburg portion of my story took me the longest to write/revise/edit. One of my original storylines included Seth being chased across a field (in the dark) on horseback by Union pickets…who may or may not have injured him in their eagerness to catch a spy…😉 Another story line had two family members meeting up on the field of battle…only one of them didn’t realize the other was there until it was too late (don’t worry, nobody died, just got hurt a little ☹) Who do you think they were? Tune in next time for another WIP snippet!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.