Summary: It is in our weakness God's strength shines through. Only in humility we see our prayers answered.
The Prayer of the Sinner or the Prayer of the (self)-Righteous
Video: I’m Perfect (sermoncentral.com)
A logician saves the life of a space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she has knowledge of the whole universe, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
When paramedics arrived at the scene of the accident on April 24, (2013) the 50-year-old man was determined not to be taken to hospital. After checking him over, police did not notice any serious wounds and so allowed the man to return home untreated, recording the incident as a traffic accident resulting in minor property damage.
As an act of courtesy, the driver . . . escorted the man home and urged him to go to the hospital for a medical examination just in case.
However, while the man claimed to be fine at the time, on June 5 at around 1 p.m., police received reports of an unpleasant smell coming from the 50-year-old’s apartment. Upon entering the premises, police discovered his decaying body. Autopsy results suggest that the man died of a functional disorder of the brain which was caused by a serious blow to the head, and was directly linked to the accident. It was also concluded that due to the severity of his injuries, the probability that the man had died within 24 hours of the accident was extremely high. www.Japantoday.com
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12
When you think you are alright, you can be in a very dangerous place.
18 9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Prayer that justifies
The people who think they are righteous-people like us-people who go to church, who look good, who fast, and pray, and give faithfully and avoid sin.
The Pharisee is the hero of the audience-the man who is most-likely-to-go-to-heaven in the eyes of most of the common observers. He had vast portions of the Bible memorized. He lived a life of comparative discipline and ascetic fervor-a priest of priests. He’s the super-saint, the spiritual super-hero.