Prayer Should Flow From A Humble And Contrite Heart

Prayer Should Flow From A Humble And Contrite Heart
Photo by Ben White / Unsplash
“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.” – Hymn lyrics by Joseph M. Scriven (1820-1886)
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 New Living Translation

While it is true that we should feel comfortable in approaching God in prayer, it should always flow from a realization that God is holy and we are not. God is perfect in all His ways, and we, as humans, are deeply flawed due to our limitations, and in need of His forgiveness on a regular basis. However, our mistakes and sins are provided for in what Jesus has done for us in His death and resurrection, and we can now approach God with humble confidence that we have been forgiven for whatever has once separated us from God.

Jesus tells a story of two men who approached God in prayer (Luke 18:9-14). The one was superior in his attitude to the point of thanking God that he was not as bad as the other man next to him. The second man came with a broken and contrite heart, recognizing his frailties and sins in the presence of a holy God. Jesus taught that the second man’s prayers were heard by God, while the prayers of the first man went unanswered.

Today’s lesson aims to remind you that we should never have a superior or lackadaisical attitude when we approach God since He deserves our respect and reverence. Check out what the prophet Isaiah wrote about people who come to God with a humble and contrite heart:

“The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: ‘I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.’”Isaiah 57:15 New Living Translation

God wants to restore to you whatever may be lacking, and He wants to revive your weary soul, but it is vital that we come to Him with contrite and humble hearts.

Action Steps:

  1. Can you think of a time in which you talked to God in a flippant attitude, maybe not paying attention or not giving God your full attention?
  2. Can you see from the scriptures above that God rewards those who approach Him with the proper respect and awe?
  3. Let's agree that from now on we will talk to God, but that we will make sure to pay attention to the way in which we speak to Him. With God, your attitude is important.

Excerpted from The Daily Christian: Prayer by Iann Schonken: