Luke 18:11-12 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
We have the blessed promise in God’s Word that He will honor prayer, but the fact is that not all prayers are honorable such as the Pharisee’s prayer.
The Pharisee’s had a high standard, they believed the law to the letter, they were generous for they tithed their garden fruits, and they were dedicated to the temple in their fasting and prayers.
Clovis Chappell was talking once to a man who said they were decent men. He replied back to the man, “yes they are decent alright, they were decent devils?”
Jesus said, on the outside, they looked like whitewashed tombs but on the inside, they looked like dead men bones. When this man began to pray, he gave himself away for he revealed his inward self; his true identify. Let us notice what his prayer reveal about his attitudes.
I-NOTICE IT WAS A DISHONORABLE PRAYER:
A-Because He Was Self-Centered:
1-In verse 11, he is praying with himself. He is not praying to God but simply boasting to others about the good things he was doing. He had “I” trouble.
2-Jesus said, they loved to stand praying in the market place that men might hear them.
3-It is not the purpose of prayer to show off before men, but to pour out our heart to God.
4-D.L. Moody said, “I can always tell when a man is a long way from God for he is always talking about himself.”
5- Corrie Ten Boom used to tell the story about a proud woodpecker who was tapping away at a dead tree when the sky unexpectedly turned black and the thunder began to roll. Undaunted, he went right on working. Suddenly a bolt of lightning struck the old tree, splintering it into hundreds of pieces. Startled but unhurt, the haughty bird flew off, screeching to his feathered friends, "Hey, everyone, look what I did! Look what I did!" This old woodpecker reminds me of people who think more highly of themselves than they should. Usually they are so busy bragging about their achievements and their greatness that they fail to recognize God as the source of all their abilities. They are suffering from spiritual delusions of grandeur. Without the Lord no one amounts to anything, and in our own strength we cannot please Him. 1
6-During the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War, Union general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. At one point he came to a parapet, over which he gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers suggested that this was unwise and perhaps he ought to duck while passing the parapet. "Nonsense," snapped the general. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--." A moment later Sedgwick fell to the ground, fatally wounded. 2
B-Because He Was Scornful:
1-He counted others as nothing. He thought that God couldn’t possibly love them. He was good and everybody else was bad.
2-He was trying to elevate himself by downing others.
3-He had forgotten that the Bible says, your love for God is measured by your love for others.