And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Praying is the path for us to commune with God and build a normal relationship with God. Only if we pray to God with heart and honesty will God listen to our prayers and can we gain God’s guidance.
The Bible says, “The publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast.” From these actions, we can see that the publican prayed and confessed his sins because he had some knowledge of himself and he felt that he was unworthy to pray to God, and that he needed God’s salvation and God’s mercy. Although he said just a few words in his, he prayed to God from his heart. So the praised his prayer and called him righteous. It can be seen from this, true prayer matters not how long or how flowery our prayers are; what matters is whether we speak the words within our heart and speak honestly to God. Rather, if we always pray to God with insincerity, show off ourselves, deceive God using nice-sounding words, or take credit from God in prayers, these prayers will not please God. So, how should we enter into true prayer? God says, “Whilst praying, your heart must be at peace before God, and it must be sincere. You are truly communing and praying with God; you must not deceive God using nice-sounding words. Prayer must be centered around that which God wishes to complete today. Ask God to bring you greater enlightenment and illumination, and bring your actual state and troubles before God to pray, and make resolution before God. Prayer is not the following of procedure, but the seeking of God using your true heart. Ask that God protect your heart, making it able to often be at peace before God, making you able to know yourself, and despise yourself, and forsake yourself in the environment that God has set for you, thus allowing you to have a normal relationship with God and making you someone who truly loves God.” These words of God tell us how to pray. We should be first quiet before God and speak the words of our true heart to God. Our prayer should be centered around the actual facts and troubles we come up against. We should sincerely come before God, and seek the truth and the way to practice. Only if we do so, will we gain the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, have a deeper knowledge of ourselves, and understand for the salvation of man even more. We believe that if we pray according to God’s requirements, our prayers will be approved by God like that of the publican.
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