“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 18:9-14)
Jesus tells this parable about those that believe in their own righteousness and think they are better than those around them. There is a vast difference between someone being confident in their relationship with God and believing he/she is better than someone else.
As we come before God in prayer, it should not be with pride and self-absorption about our own perceived “goodness.” Instead, it should be with humility, knowing what our relationship with God cost through the blood of Christ and recognizing without his grace and mercy we would have nothing.
So as you come before God in prayer, which example are you? Are you the one who comes before him with pride as though God needs you more than you need him? Or do you come before him with humility, knowing how much you need him and the price that was paid for you?