Understanding How to Pray in Accordance With the Lord’s Will From 2 Biblical Stories

How-to-Pray (2)

1. The Prayer of a Pharisee and That of a Publican

Let’s look at a parable told by the Lord Jesus about the prayer of a Pharisee and that of a publican in the Bible. The Lord Jesus said, “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 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” (Luke 18:10–14). From these verses, we can see that God approved of the publican’s prayer and detested the Pharisee’s prayer. This is because in his prayer the publican spoke the words of his true heart with a humble attitude and sincerely confessed to God and begged for His mercy. The Pharisee, however, acted very arrogantly and deceived God when he prayed to God. He always bragged about what good deeds he had done and which rules he was able to keep, while covering up his own evil deeds. He never acknowledged that he often devoured widows’ property, placed onerous burdens on others and bore witness to himself instead of God in the synagogue, nor did he ever reflect on all of this. Therefore, his prayer was not approved by God at all.

2. Solomon’s Prayer

Here is another biblical story, which is about Solomon’s prayer. Back then, Solomon prayed to Jehovah God, “And now, O Jehovah my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the middle of Your people which You have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Your so great a people? And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life; neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies; but have asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to your words: see, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like to you. And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like to you all your days” (1 Kings 3:7–13).

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