Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)
by Stalking John Calvin
“Some say, ‘I would feel better about God hearing my prayer if I were more worthy and lived a better life.’ I simply answer: If you don’t want to pray before you feel that you are worthy or qualified, then you will never pray again. Prayer must not be based on or depend on your personal worthiness or the quality of the prayer itself; rather, it must be based on the unchanging truth of God’s promise. If the prayer is based on itself or on anything else besides God’s promise, then it’s a false prayer that deceives you—even if your heart is breaking with intense devotion and you are weeping drops of blood. We pray because we are unworthy to pray. Our prayers are heard precisely because we believe that we are unworthy. We become worthy to pray when we risk everything on God’s faithfulness alone. So go ahead and feel unworthy. But know in your heart that it’s a thousand times more important to honor God’s truthfulness. Yes, everything depends on this alone. Don’t turn his faithful promise into a lie by your doubts. For your worthiness doesn’t help you, and neither does your unworthiness hinder you. A lack of faith is what condemns you, but confidence in God is what makes you worthy.
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
– Luke 18:13