Read: Luke 18:9-14
The clear image of praying to God is seen in Scripture where a Pharisee and a tax collector went to pray to God at the Jerusalem temple. The Pharisee was trying to impress God, to show how righteous he was and how different he was unlike the tax collector who stood nearby. Meanwhile the tax collector would not so much raise his eyes into heaven, but beat his breast saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
How do we pray? Are we self-righteous in our attitude? When we pray, do we tell God how better we are than those around us? Jesus said that the tax collector went down to his house justified rather than the Pharisee; “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).
When David realised that he had sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba. In Psalm 51:16-17, with a repentant heart he wrote “You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.”
God listens to the prayers of anyone who has a humble attitude. If you have had an unforgiving spirit towards someone, go seek forgiveness from that person. Only if you reconcile with that person, your prayers and offerings are acceptable to God (Matt. 5:24). Jesus taught His disciples how to pray (Matt. 6:9-13) and said to them, “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matt. 6:6). So, how are you praying?