Most Christians desire a powerful prayer life. Most of us realize that sin hinders our prayer life. Though sin is not ranked in order of severity, “sin is sin,” the consequences of some sins are more severe than others. I think that PRIDE, POSSIBLY HAS THE MOST SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.
Charles Spurgeon wrote: “There is nothing into which the heart of man so easily falls as pride. And yet there is no vice which is more frequently, more emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture.”
“Pride” is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as: “the state or quality of being haughty or self-serving; having too high an opinion of one’s self.”
The Pharisee’s prayer was concerned with “telling” God what a good man (the Pharisee) he was. He had kept the law by fasting and tithing… and that to the smallest detail. The Pharisee also considered himself better than other people because he was using people as his standard of righteousness.
On the other hand, the Publican used God as his standard of righteousness and realized he must throw himself on the mercy of God for forgiveness. His only prayer was “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
“Pride goeth before destruction.” And Spurgeon adds, “No matter how dear you are to God, if pride be harbored in your spirit, he will whip it out of you. They that go up in their own estimation must come down again by His discipline.”
Could it be that the sin of pride is THE sin that most cripples our prayer lives? If so, what can we do about it?