I read the words of Martin Luther on Luke 18:13 – I feel I should share with you.
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Luke 18:13 NIV
Some say “I would feel better about God hearing my prayer if I were more worthy and lived a better life.” I simply answer: if you don’t want to pray before you feel that you are worthy or qualified, then you will never pray again. Prayer must not be based on or depend on your personal worthiness or the quality of the prayer itself; rather, it must be based on the unchanging truth of God’s promise. If the prayer is based on itself or on anything else beside God’s promise, then it’s a false prayer that deceives you – even if your heart is breaking with intense devotion and you are weeping drops of blood.
We pray because we are unworthy to pray. Our prayers are heard precisely because we believe that we are unworthy. We become worthy to pray when we risk everything on God’s faithfulness alone.
So go ahead and feel unworthy. But know in your heart that it’s a thousand times more important to honor God’s truthfulness. Yes, everything depends on this alone. Don’t turn his truthful promise into a lie by your doubts. For your worthiness doesn’t you, and neither does your unworthiness hinder you. A lack of faith is what condemns you, but confidence in God is what makes you worthy.
Are you discouraged to pray because of your current life situation? Do you feel you are unworthy to pray? It is alright to feel this way, but it is not alright to stop praying because of such feelings. God really want us to recognize our weakness and come to him for help. He gave us an open invitation in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, “says the Lord.” Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (NIV)
It is obvious; God is in the business of cleaning our mess. He is interested in our unworthiness only if we can trust his faithfulness, He is ever ready to answer our prayers. Because as Luther rightly mentioned; “A lack of faith is what condemns you, but confidence in God is what makes you worthy.” Let’s have confidence in God anytime we want to pray.
Martin H. Kamaidan
Saved by Grace