Have Mercy on Me, A Sinner

James 4:6 says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

A thorough study of what the Bible says about pride reveals that God not only hates pride, but He promises destruction for the proud in heart (Proverbs 16:18–19).

If God is opposed to what is in our hearts, then we can never develop intimacy with Him. In Luke 18:9–14 Jesus tells a parable of two men who went to pray. God honored the prayer of one of the men, but He would have nothing to do with the prayer of the other man. One prayed to himself. He was a proud, religious man. He was not like others who committed adultery and cheated people out of their money. He tried to tell God how great he was. But God had nothing to do with this man. This man trusted in himself and prayed to himself, and his prayers only reached the ceiling.

The other man was different. He was broken over his sinful condition.  He beat his breast and wept as he said, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” God heard this man’s prayer and answered it. Jesus concludes the parable in verse 14 by saying, “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” God honors the prayer spoken from a heart of humility.

Pride compares us to others to find someone that has not lived up to our standards. But humility does not look upon men. It looks only upon God. Therefore a praying heart will always be a humble heart. There is no room in the inner chamber of prayer for pride.

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippitt

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”  Let this prayer sink deeply into your spirit as you consider what God through Christ has done for you and how His grace has covered your sin. 

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who rescues and saves (Dan. 4:27). Give thanks for specific ways he is caring for you right now. Confess any areas in which you are worrying instead of praying and accepting his loving care (Phil. 4:6-7). Commit a concern to God, thanking him for his care for you. Ask him to help you believe in his willingness to handle it.

Pray that your family and friends may be rooted and established in love and may have “power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that [they] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18-19).

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend

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