2012-10-13 - Jesus' Second Parable on Prayer
In Luke 18:9-14 we find Jesus' second parable on prayer. Jesus started by saying, "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector." (verse 9, NIV) The Pharisee, a teacher and expert of the Mosaic law, stood up and talked in a loud voice and prayed about himself. He explained what a good man he was, because he was not like the evildoers, and because he fasted and tithed. On the other hand, the tax collector, a despised official, couldn't even look up toward Heaven. He "beat his breast" and begged for God's mercy because he was a sinner. Jesus then explained that the tax collector had been justified - rather than the self-righteous Pharisee. Jesus then said, "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (verse 14, NIV)
What can we learn from this parable? First, Jesus wants us to pray. He is telling us that we need to talk to Him regularly. Next, Jesus wants us to be humble when we pray. We are to be honest and open about our faults. We should confess our sins. Finally, our attitude toward Him matters more than the wordiness of our prayer.
Have you talked to God today?