Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 30 March

Hands outstretched in prayer in Brazil

Hands outstretched in prayer

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Luke 18:9-14

The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who go into the temple to pray is very powerful.  

The Pharisee is filled with a sense of his own goodness, proud of how much better than others he is. His prayer praises himself rather than God. 

The tax collector, on the other hand, is humble. He is all too aware of his own failings and asks God for forgiveness. 

Only through God’s grace 

We can all be like the Pharisee at times. It is all too easy to judge ourselves in comparison with others and think that we are better.  

We think we are kind and compassionate and loving. We are doing our part to help others. We are hard-working. We are faithful Christians.  

But no matter who we are, there are also times when we need to be like the tax collector. We need to take time to recognise our faults and seek forgiveness for them.  

We need to see that we are nothing without God, and that it is only through God’s grace that we can achieve the things that we do.  

This Lent, let us take stock of our lives. Let us take the time to seek forgiveness for the things that we have done wrong. For the times when we have raised ourselves above others in our minds. For the times that we have judged others without really knowing them.  

And let us try to be more like the tax collector as we pray, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

Lent prayer

Forgiving God, pour out your mercy upon me, so that I may be merciful to others. Wash away my pride and clothe me with humility. Help me to recognise that all people, no matter who they are, are precious in your sight. Amen.


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