The Lord spoke this parable: “Two men went into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
1. In this parable, who was praying?
2. Why do you think the Lord said the Pharisee was “praying with himself”? How did he pray?
3. What does the Pharisee’s prayer (and the way that he prayed) say about him?
4. Which prayer was pleasing to God? Why?
5. What kind of prayer would you like to say? Why?
6. What would your prayer tell God about who you are?