Prayer is always an opportunity to return to God. No matter what we've done, what we're doing, or what is yet to be done; God will always listen to those who call upon him in a moment of turning. Jesus echoes the sentiments of this section of Jonah when he tells us that God listens to the swift prayers of the repentant over the confident prayers of the righteous.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“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.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” - Luke 18:9-14
As you pray this week, remember that God always receives those who seek him. When we bring our whole selves to God in an attitude of repentance, he is always ready to receive, restore, revive, and renew us.
About the Author
Isaac Gaff is the Managing Director of Worship and Creative Arts at Calvary UMC