9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
- This Pharisee went to the temple not to pray to God but to show off his own good conduct. On the other hand, the tax collector went to confess and to ask for mercy. Which person’s prayer is more like my prayer?
- Repentance does not happen on our own. It is a gift from God and He delights to give to all who ask. We pray this sinner’s prayer constantly to ask for the grace of repentance. This is the prayer of tears. It will lead us to receive God’s gift of forgiveness, cleansing and healing.
- This sinner’s prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner” is widely known as the Eastern Orthodox spiritual tradition. In fact, the prayer itself doesn’t have any magic power. Asking God’s mercy shows our poverty and helplessness. This is a stark contrast to our modern thinking for we are too self-sufficient and satisfied. We don’t feel the need for God’s mercy. We’ve lost the hunger and humility for God. Yet, this prayer reminds us that we desperately need God’s mercy for our lives.
- To conclude the QT today, pray this short prayer repeatedly. Practice to pray this prayer often for a spirit of repentance in your heart.
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: Compare the attitude of the Pharisee with that of the tax collector? Why did God accept the “bad” tax collector rather than the “good” Pharisee? How would people in your church classify your family? How would Jesus classify you?
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 8:17-21
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. 18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, 21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.