Prayer Thought: How’s Your Posture?
“Every instance of prayer is a confession in which I own my condition and embrace my need. Prayer decimates my independent self-surety; it puts my utter dependency before my eyes and calls me to cry out for the help that I am so often tempted to deny I need.”
-Paul David Tripp
How often are we tempted to go at this life on our own terms and without anyone’s help? How often are we able to justify our independence and self-sufficiency, regardless of how much of a mess we make of our lives? If we buy into the lies of self-sufficiency and complete autonomy, what does that do to our prayer life? Do we trust God and His sovereignty to handle our cares and the cares of those we love, if we expend every ounce of energy we can muster to work things out on our own terms? Read what Jesus said about these questions in His parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector:
“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ‘“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 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!’ 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 (Lk 18:9-14)”’
Which one are you? Which one can you relate to the most? The Pharisee or the tax collector? One who holds a true posture of prayer, recognizes their complete need and dependence on God in every aspect of life; even the filthiest parts that you don’t want anyone else to see or know about. Go to the Lord today with this humble confession: “Lord, there have been so many times in my life that I have acted like I didn’t want You or Your help. But now I realize how much I desperately need You. Please help me cast ALL my cares on You because I know I can’t handle the burden, but You can. Give me strength to trust and not doubt Your perfect plan for me. Thank You, Father. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen!”
Pray this week identifying all the things for which you depend on the Lord. Write them down on 3 X 5 notecards and praise Him for the list of things you come up with.
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer