"If we persist in prayer then we grow in character, faith, and hope."
We are to pray at all times and keep our petitions before God. We are also to believe that He will answer those prayers. Widows and orphans were some of the most vulnerable people in the bible, both Old and New Testament prophets said that we should take care of them. If an unjust judge can respond to constant pressure then how much more will God respond since His love is so great for us. This is sometimes hard to hear since there are many that are not delivered out of their situation right away or for many years. I do not have an answer to that. What I know is those that believe in God will be taken care of and have an eternal home one day. Our heartache here will turn into great love in Heaven. When Jesus says "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" I think how sad because there are so many who have this information in the bible and choose to have faith in other things. That is why I believe it is so important to have faith despite the persistent lack around the world.
v. 9- 14 There were those who were confident in their own righteousness and looked down on others. Jesus told this parable about them. "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself; 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'" Now it was the tax collectors turn. "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to Heaven, but beat his chest 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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
The people would go to pray at the temple so there were probably others around when they prayed. I think the majority of the Pharisees went to the temple to announce how holy they were instead of praying to God. The tax collectors were considered "sinners" back then so the Pharisees had a low opinion of them. Works of the flesh are dead works and have no meaning in God's economy.
The difference between these two men:
- he was proud and prayed about how good he was
- probably prayed loudly for all to hear
- said God's name for self recognition only
- pointed out how good he was compared to "sinners"
- proclaimed his good works of fasting and tithing
- he stood at a distance and would not even look up to heaven
- he was humble before God
- he beat his chest in agony
- he recognized his sin
- he asked God to have mercy on him
- he did not point out other sinners