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Summary: A message addressing the condition of the heart during prayer. This message is based on the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

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Luke 18:9 (NLT)

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else:

Sunday 11AM – The Most Segregated Hour in America

 The proud and the broken

 The haves and have nots

 Those with agendas and those with needs

 Rich and poor

 Black and white

 The self-righteous and the humble

Luke 18:10 (NLT)

"Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector.

Many Come to the Temple

 Every week our churches are filled with a variety of different people

– Sinners

– Saints

 A house of prayer

– The church is intended to be a place of intimate fellowship with God

Matthew 21:13a

Matthew 21:13a (NLT)

He said, "The Scriptures declare, ’My Temple will be called a place of prayer...”

Luke 18:11 (NLT)

The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ’I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t sin, I don’t commit adultery,

Who Is That Prayer for Anyway?

 The Pharisee was praying to boost his own ego

– The Pharisee was praying to impress those within earshot

– The Pharisee raised his standing at the expense of another

 The Pharisee was not seeking to connect with God

Luke 18:12 (NLT)

I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

God Is Not Interested in Your Resume’

 The Pharisee thought he was earning God’s favor by his good deeds

Ephesians 2:8-9

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. [9] Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

God Is Not Interested in Your Resume’

 The Pharisee thought he was earning God’s favor by his good deeds

Ephesians 2:8-9

 The Pharisee put his religious resume’ on display for everyone to admire

Matthew 6:1

Matthew 6:5

Matthew 6:1 (NLT)

"Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:5 (NLT)

"And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get.

Luke 18:13 (NLT)

"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.’

Putting Things into Perspective

 The tax collector recognized his true condition

– A sinful man

– In need of God’s mercy and grace

Romans 3:23

Isaiah 6:5

Romans 3:23 (NLT)

For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)

Then I said, "My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!"

Putting Things into Perspective

 The tax collector recognized his true condition

– A sinful man

– In need of God’s mercy and grace

Romans 3:23

Isaiah 6:5

 The tax collector approached God’s throne with humility

– Brokenness

– Repentance

Luke 18:14 (NLT)

I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."

Prayer...A matter of the Heart

 God looks upon the soul of a man, not the exterior

– The Pharisee had a heart that was sinful

Matthew 23:27-28

Psalm 7:9

Matthew 23:27-28 (NLT)

"How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. [28] You try to look like upright people outwardly, but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Psalm 7:9 (NLT)

End the wickedness of the ungodly, but help all those who obey you.

For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God.

Prayer...A matter of the Heart

 God looks upon the soul of a man, not the exterior

– The Pharisee had a heart that was sinful

Matthew 23:27-28

Psalm 7:9

 Prayer is a time of intimate communion between you and God

Matthew 6:6

Matthew 6:6 (NLT)

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Are You Praying for an Audience of One?

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