Summary: Humility is being totally consumed with glorifying God and not at all concerned with glorifying self. When I am totally consumed with glorifying God and not at all concerned with glorifying self, I pray as God wants me to pray.
PRAYER KEYS - HUMILITY
One Christmas afternoon, a pastor's wife dropped into a chair and said, “Boy! Am I ever tired!”
Her husband looked over at her and said, “I’ve been on my feet for most of two days. I led two special services last night, three today. I’ve preached a total of five sermons. Why are you so tired?”
“Dearest,” she replied, “I had to listen to all of them.” [SermonCentral.com]
A young woman met with her pastor to ask his help with a besetting sin. “Pastor, I have become aware of a sin in my life which I cannot control. It’s pride. Every time I am at church I begin to look around at the other women, and I realize that I am the prettiest one in the whole congregation. None of the others can compare with my beauty. What can I do about this sin?”
The pastor replied, “Mary, that's not a sin, that's just a mistake!” [SermonCentral.com]
A pastor finally got an invitation to preach at the annual associational meeting. When the associational secretary brought his check, he looked at it, smiled, and handed it back. “No, no. The honor of preaching was payment enough. Surely there is a better cause this can be used for.”
The associational secretary said there was a special fund it could go to. The pastor had to pressure him a bit to find out it was a fund to invite a better speaker in the future. [SermonCentral.com]
Well, with the quarterly business meeting and Vacation Bible School, it has been three weeks since our last prayer meeting Bible study. Has anyone kept up with where we are on the list of prayer keys? If not, from the stories just told, can you guess?
“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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Tonight, we are looking at the “humble themselves” phrase, we are looking at humility as a key to prayer.
Humility is not highly regarded in American society. Schools may have programs for building self-esteem, but not humility. We are to take pride in our work. Americans are to be self-reliant. Humility is something to joke about, like the imaginary book, “Perfect Humility and How I Attained It.”
There is a great misunderstanding about what humility is. Some people assume humility means being a doormat, letting people walk all over you.
To please a politician, Abraham Lincoln ordered certain army regiments transferred. Back then the Department of Defense was the War Department and the Secretary of War was Edwin Stanton. He refused to obey the order, saying, “The President is a fool.”
Gossip traveled as fast back then as it does now. It was inevitable that the President would hear about it. Lincoln said, “If Mr. Stanton said I’m a fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I’ll see for myself.” He talked with his secretary, realized the order was a mistake, and withdrew it. [SermonCentral.com] Do you think of Abraham Lincoln as a doormat?
Compare Abraham Lincoln to Fonzie. Do you remember Fonzie from “Happy Days?” In one episode, he tried to admit that he had made a mistake, but he could not say, “I was wrong.” He tried, but his ego would not let him. He said, “I was wrrrrrr... I was wrrrr... wrrrrr... wrrrr... I was not right.”
Humility admits mistakes and accepts correction without losing self-esteem, without becoming a doormat.
Some people seem to think humility means having no success, no accomplishment, nothing to brag about.
Mac Davis, a former country music entertainer of the year, had a top ten crossover song in 1980, for country and pop. It was all over the radio. Stations that didn’t normally play country music played this one. He had all the bookings he could handle. He was a star on variety shows. He even hosted “The Muppet Show” on TV. He was everywhere, and so was his song.
The next year, he hosted the country music awards show. He had no hits. He was nominated for nothing. On top of the world one year, nowhere the next.
Do you remember his 1980 hit? “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror. I get better looking each day. To know me is to love me. I must be... [some kind] of man. O Lord, it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doing the best that I can.”
The next year, he hosted the awards show. He had no hits. He was nominated for nothing. I didn’t watch it, but I read that his most memorable line of the evening was, “I guess it’s not so hard to be humble after all.”