Sermon by Alex Whitesell · Feb 04, 2024 · Year of Prayer Series

Often in life our attitude towards a situation will color our entire experience. There are times where you might think, “I’m too good for this, I would never do something like that”. Or maybe fear of failing keeps you from trying at all. Thinking, “I could never do that, it would never work”. Those same attitudes have an impact on how we approach God in prayer.

Jesus addresses both of these attitudes by teaching a parable about two different people. The first person comes to God explaining how good he is and by looking down at other people. The second person is so distraught that he is on his knees, unable to lift his head, and begging God for mercy.

Jesus explains that the second man leaves justified because he was humbled, he had nothing to offer God. Jesus is showing us that it is only the mercy of God that allows us to come to Him in prayer. Not our accomplishments, not our righteousness, not anything but the great mercy of God.

How wonderful is it that God’s mercy is what allows us to come to Him?! The psalmist said it well: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26. Because His mercy never fails, let us always come to Him in prayer!

“We do not give up with our sins still intact, since we have a God who forgives sin. We don’t settle for our brokenness, since we have a God who heals. We don’t quit with our heads hung low; our God lifts our heads and gives light to our eyes. Let us be constant in going to him when we see our sin. The smallest glimpse of our sin may humble us like the tax collector, and we may feel far off. Let us not linger far off. Close the distance with God by going to the Father through the sacrifice of Christ. Let us go confidently because God rewards those who seek him, even sinners needing mercy.” Thabiti Anyabwile