A well used phrase that we hear much of today is “my truth,” your truth”. I don’t think this is the same as the Truth.
I think of this when I hear the parable Jesus told of the two men who went up to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee was telling the truth in his prayer when he listed all the good things he did; his fasting and almsgiving. The Tax collector was also telling the truth; “Lord be merciful to me I am a sinner”. He knows that he is a sinner and in need of God’s mercy.
What does Jesus teach us about prayer here? Be simple and straight forward. As we pray we acknowledge God’s presence who loves us and sees our heart. He is not there to judge us. All he wants from us is our honesty and openness. Don’t begin to try and compare yourself with others.
As we ponder this parable we ask the Lord to cleanse us of all pride and the tendency to look down on others. We pray for people who are burdened with guilt that they feel God would not want them. May they understand that God is a God of mercy and is longing and waiting for them. We ask the God of mercy to teach us to pray with the humble simplicity of the tax collector.