Prayer is more a matter of the heart than words. Our words can be correct, but if they do not represent our hearts, then we go unheard. It is not that God does not know that we are praying or long to respond; but rather our approach toward God in self-righteousness, rather than through Christ’s righteousness, leaves us outside of His forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no heavenly intervention. I have said many times that forgiveness has been given to all humanity, but it still has to be received. To be accepted, there must become an awareness of the need.
Jesus used a parable to address those who trusted in themselves, and to show that they were righteous and despised others (Luke 18:9-14, NKJV). A Pharisee and tax collector went into the Temple to pray. The Pharisee prayed with himself, comparing himself against others who were known for their evil, and even thanking God that he was not like the tax collector who too was praying. The tax collector would not even lift his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and asked for mercy as a sinner. Jesus said that the tax collector went home justified rather than the Pharisee. Why? Humility.
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14, NKJV).
Humility in prayer is bowing our hearts (knees) and lifting our hands with an honest heart. Humility is seeking Christ’s face and turning toward Christ and away from our self-righteousness. Our dependence upon Him and returning to Him unlocks heaven’s response. The Lord hears, forgives our sin, and brings healing to our land.
Humility is the key. It is our recognition of complete dependency on Christ, our submission to His supremacy, and our trust in His all-sufficiency. His forgiveness to all men.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV).