“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.”
- Luke 18:10
When you talk to God, you are not speaking to Him as an equal. Nor is He inferior in any way. Rather, He is the glorious, all-powerful sin-hating sovereign Judge of the universe. He is God. Do your prayers reflect this? Do you pray humble prayers?
The Lord describes two men in the parable before us; one self-righteous and one humbled before God. We should strive to pattern our prayers after the man humbled before God.
First, his prayer is real. His prayer contains thanksgiving, profession, and petition. “Be merciful to me” is his request (vs. 13).
Second, his prayer is personal. He isn't there to talk to God about others; he is there to God to God about himself. There is no “we,” “ours,” or “us” in his vocabulary, only “I,” “my,” and “me.”
Third, it is a humble prayer. He knows his potion before God; his confession is true, “God, I am a sinner.”
Fourth, he keeps the main thing the main thing: mercy. If you want your day to go well, first and foremost, you need God's mercy. To not ask is to think too highly of yourself. Your daily plea should be “God have mercy on me.”
And lastly, he prayed from the heart. Beating on his chest, what was transpiring in his humbled spirit manifested itself in his bodily actions.
Honest, personal, direct, humble, heartfelt prayers mark a humble spirit. I'll ask again, “Do your prayers reflect this? Do you pray humble prayers?”