“O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner” (Luke 18:13 NLT).

Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee and tax collector who went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee thanked God for his superior position above others in this life. He compared his own righteousness to that of those around him and considered himself right with God. The tax collector confessed that he was a sinner and prayed for God’s mercy. Whose prayer was answered? Both. The tax collector received the mercy from God he requested and went home in a right relationship with God, his sins forgiven. The Pharisee who asked nothing from God, for he felt self-satisfied and self-justified, went home having received nothing from God.
We live in a world where people are like the Pharisee. They are self-satisfied and self-justified. They see no need for God’s mercy. For they consider themselves as good. Yet, to those who confess their sin and admit their need for a Savior, Jesus will hear and answer their simple yet powerful prayer for mercy.