A Humble Confidence
In him (Christ) and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
My youngest daughter approached me the other day with a request to eat dinner at her favorite restaurant. She began her entreaty with a syrupy string of “Mommy, I love you, I love you, I love you, and I love you and I LOVE you!” I guess she thought she needed to earn some points to entice me to comply. By the way, I said, “Sorry, no. Not tonight, honey. But I love you, too!”
It made me wonder, “God, do I ever do this to you? Do I try to impress you or try to win your favor and blessings?”
I do see this attitude subtly creep in to my thinking at times. God will hear and answer me when I’ve kept up with my Bible reading, prayer time, giving, serving…
This is wrong thinking! It places confidence in my efforts. As if I could add anything to Christ’s finished work! This is also pride. Pride seeks to make me the focus. Other people must come beneath us when we seek to elevate ourselves. It’s hypocrisy and deception to the fullest because we are fooled into thinking and acting as if we are superior. “I’m better than so and so…” Ha! What a joke! Only it’s not funny.
Christ Jesus became my righteousness when I received Him by faith. We don’t need to butter up or try to impress God! His loving work in and through our lives is based on being His adopted child!
Therefore, prayers to our loving and righteous God should be with an attitude of humble confidence. A humble confidence in prayer says, “Gracious Father, I am amazed by your great mercy and love for me! Thank you that I can boldly ask you to hear my requests!”
Did you notice how the humble confidence prayer’s focus was on God’s goodness? Living in feelings of guilt over our sin or pride in our good works will make our prayers about us. Our hope and confidence should be in Christ alone!
Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:9-14 was preached to people who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else.
“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
A self-righteous attitude won’t get you very far with God in prayer. Let’s seek to maintain an attitude of humble confidence through which God receives all the glory and praise!