Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

The power of short, honest, and humble prayers

Here is the conclusion of  a wonderful parable by Jesus for our benefit.

Luke 18:13–14 (ESV)
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Compare it with the longer prayer of the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-12. One prayer was short, honest and humble, and God answered it. The other was long, dishonest, and prideful, and God ignored it. 

To paraphrase Peter Kreeft (see the above graphic), coming to God in prayer with a posture of humility knowing that God knows everything about us and our situation is a powerful experience. Often our short, honest, and humble prayers are the best and all that is needed.  God knows our situation, and hearts, and our needs. We don't have to pretend with God, and His love for us is eternal.

In times of struggle and failure, I am not ashamed to pray as the tax collector did for I know when I pray it honestly and humbly, God answers.


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