This Week’s Main Idea:
Humility in prayer recognizes God’s power and provision, and also our weakness and need.
What sorts of things do you find yourself praying for on a regular basis?
Our prayers not only reveal what we desire from God, but also reveal what we believe about God. We may claim to believe certain things about God, but when we are on our knees, our true theology shines through. By looking at the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector, we will be challenged to acknowledge God’s immeasurable power and grace and our own sinfulness. We will see what it means to approach God humbly in prayer.
Read Luke 18:9-14
1. What point was Jesus making with this parable (v. 9)?
2. It’s been said that those who trust in themselves make an idol of themselves. What does this look like in our culture? How do people in our community tend to make idols of themselves?
3. How might trusting in yourself result in treating others with contempt?
4. What characteristics dominated the Pharisee’s heart (vv. 11-12)?
5. On the other hand, what characteristics dominated the tax collector’s heart (v. 13)?
6. According to Jesus, which of the two men praying at the temple left in a right relationship with God (v. 14)?
7. If you were one of the people listening to Jesus that day, what impact do you think the parable would have had on you? How would your thinking about God and righteousness have changed?
8. How is your view of God, prayer, yourself, and others impacted by this parable? How is your appreciation for the gospel strengthened?
9. In what areas of your life are you most tempted to be “falsely confident”? What would it look like God to bring brokenness in that area of your life?
10. When have you been most aware of your need for God and your spiritual helplessness? How was your faith affected through that experience?
11. How does your prayer life need to change in order to better reflect God’s holiness and grace?
12. How might your prayer life need to change to more accurately reflect your need for God?
Suggested prayer request:
Thank you, God, for revealing yourself to us in your Word and through the person and work of Christ. I pray that You would humble me and help me to see my desperate need for Christ. Help me to repent from trusting in myself and help me to humbly rely on Christ in all that I do.
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
Colossians 3:12-14. Philippians 3:8-10, Proverbs3:28-35, Proverbs 11:1-7, Matthew 16:24-26