The Humble Prayer

Free hands praying in church

Our theme this year is God First. This quarter’s focus is on God and you. As children of God, we can’t talk about our relationship with God without focusing on prayer. Prayer is vital to our faith, spiritual health, and for building our relationship with God. Without prayer, we have no communication with God. Jesus showed the importance of prayer in the garden when he said to Peter, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41 ESV).

When God established the Temple as his house, he told Solomon that he will tune his ear to the people who humbly pray and seek his face: “. . . if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). God promises that “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place” (vs. 15).

Over and over God is calling his people to repent, pray, and seek him. God always says that he heals them when they seek and pray. A case-in-point is when Hezekiah prayed for the Israelites when they repented but celebrated the Passover in a way that was not commanded. Hezekiah poured over the people in prayer “And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people” (2 Chronicles 30:20).

A Humble and Contrite Spirit


Isaiah called out oppression and the mistreatment of the poor. There is a definite theme of repentance that runs throughout the entire book of Isaiah. God is calling out the unrighteous, the oppressors, and those who mistreat their neighbors. In chapter 66, God is saying what Jesus often repeated–that sacrifices are an abomination to God if the hearts are corrupt.

God says, “I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight” (Isaiah 66:4 ESV).

God reminds the people that He is the one who made the heavens and earth, and that the earth is his footstool. Our destiny is in God’s hands. He also reminds us that being humble, ashamed of our sins, and faithful to his word will get his eye: “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).

Jesus Christ had the same message. He preached repentance and called people to humble themselves. When people are humble and contrite, God looks upon them. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love!

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash