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Summary: As we keep on praying faith is developed so as our integrity.

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“Prayer Impacts our Integrity”

Introduction:

Good morning praying people of MMIM. How is your prayer life now? How is your attitude in prayer today? Now, get a partner (not a member of your family) and pray for that person without asking any of his/her prayer requests…

What can you say about the prayer for you? Are they sincere?

The reason why I ask is because some people just pray without sincerity. They do it out of duty or part of the routine of life.

I remember a story of Jesus about the two different persons who prayed to God. Let’s all stand and read Luke 18:10-14 10 "Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, and the other a cheating tax collector. 11 The proud Pharisee 'prayed' this prayer: 'Thank God, I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't commit adultery, 12 I go without food twice a week, and I give to God a tenth of everything I earn.' 13 "But the corrupt tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home forgiven! For the proud shall be humbled, but the humble shall be honored." TLB

What can we learn about praying with integrity in the story?

Simple, let’s observe the way each character prayed… the first character is very proud and the other is down to earth.

Here’s what I learned from the story…

The first character speaks about most people who practice…

I. Pseudo Integrity in Prayer

Luke 18:11-12

“The proud Pharisee 'prayed' this prayer: 'Thank God, I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't commit adultery, 12 I go without food twice a week, and I give to God a tenth of everything I earn.”

A. Focus on Self

- Don’t be a proud Pharisee in approaching the throne of God.

- There’s no need for us to recite all of the good things we have done in prayer because He knew it already. In fact He knew everything.

- Don’t try to build yourself up in order to appear right before the Lord.

- Pseudo integrity in prayer is praying centers on no other than your self.

- This is a kind of prayer that says “I”, “Me”, “My”, and “My Self”

B. False Speculations

- Why did I say false speculations? Because the Pharisee is expecting that God will favor him because he is better than the tax collector.

- By citing all the good things he has done… he is expecting that the Lord will be pleased on him.

- Praying with false speculation is based on a wrong motive and at the end it will achieve nothing.

The second character speaks about very few people who practice…

II. Pure Integrity in Prayer

Luke 18:13

"But the corrupt tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”


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