The Original Sinners Prayer

 Daily God Walk for Tuesday, May 3, 2011

  Two men went up to the temple to pray, on a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: “God, I thank you that I am not life other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” 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.” – Luke 18:10-13

 This is a parable of two men who were both sinners; one who didn’t think he was and another who knew he was.

The first, a Pharisee, was thought to be righteous because of his position in the religious community, and thus he had a reputation to uphold. He felt that it was important to list his acts of righteousness in a loud voice so others would know what a holy man he was. At another time Jesus told the people, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees you will have no part in the kingdom of heaven.”

The second man, a tax collector, one despised by the rest of the community because of how he made his living, knew as everyone else in the community knew, he was a sinner. This man did not come tooting his own horn. He did not stand in the center of the house to gain the attention of all who were there, neither did he cry in a loud voice. No, he humbly stood back, perhaps in a corner, and quietly cried out to God, “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Jesus went on to say, “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.”

God is not too interested in prayers recited from memory but he is greatly impressed by the impassioned plea of the heart. When we cry out to him from a heart made humble by the realization of our need for his mercy, he will hear us.

 Prayer: Lord, I am a sinner and like the tax collector I can only appeal to your mercy. May your grace ever rest on me. Amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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