05/03/19 Long Prayers and Ego

READING: 1 Samuel 25-26, Luke 20:27-21:4

It’s easy to do sometimes. None of us wants to be like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, but at times we’re remarkably like them.

Maybe our temptations are not exactly the same as the scribes of Jesus’ day—and yet they are. Perhaps we want the most powerful positions in the church. Maybe we secretly crave the recognition that others get. Who among us isn’t at least tempted when we’re offered “places of honor at banquets” (Luke 20:46)? Isn’t there a tiny part of us that likes it when people greet us by our titles rather than by our names? And, how many of us have prayed long prayers when we find ourselves around particular people or within a particular context – when we pray more to be heard by man than we do to be heard by God?  One would hope that none of us would go in these directions, but many of us can likely think of times when we’ve been the guilty ones.

The lure of pride is so subtle that we too often fall into its trap without even recognizing that it’s happening. That’s one reason we must live out our Christianity with others walking beside us: we need people to help us see the ego in us that we’re too blind to see in ourselves.

PRAYER: “God, forgive me when I want position, power, and prestige.”  

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 27-31, Luke 21:5-38