The Storyteller: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
And he said to certain people who considered in themselves that they were righteous and despised others… Luke 18:9
Dr. Kenneth Bailey translation
Luke prepares us for another story from Jesus about prayer by putting the spotlight on attitudes.
Righteous is a word that runs through the Old Testament. It can be viewed as proper behavior as these people seemed to think. “We have behaved properly. You obviously have misbehaved… and whose prayers do you think God will hear?”
Let’s consider another understanding of that righteous word. Remember Queen Esther coming into the King’s presence without previous permission? (Esther 4&5) The King must grant even the Queen the gift of a relationship, righteousness, that will be honored with a response to the request being presented. Without relationship, daring to even make a request can result in death.
Don’t bring requests to God because he owes you for your behavior. Open your prayer with a confident “Heavenly Father” or “Brother Jesus” or “Loving Savior” greeting. Give thanks for your relationship as a child of God and make your requests trusting the love God has for you.
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