Unanswered Prayer: Pride

Pride is a common topic in both the Old and New Testaments. It is a human characteristic found in both the believing and non-believing and affects one's walk with God.

1. Look up the definition of pride: 1) search "studylight holman," 2) select "Holman Bible Dictionary," 3) select the letter "p," and 4) locate the word "pride."

2. Job has lost his wealth, health, and family. As the discussion revolves around suffering and God's justice and righteousness between Job and his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, a young man, Elihu, listens. Elihu is upset at the three friends, who only judge Job and don't explain his suffering, and at Job, who defends himself self righteously and questions God's justice and goodness. What do you observe of Elihu's perspective of God and prayer? What does Elihu's name mean?

But no one says, "Where is God my Maker,
Who gives songs in the night,
Who teaches us more than the animals of the earth
And makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?"
There they cry out, but He does not answer
Because of the pride of evil people.
God certainly will not listen to an empty cry,
Nor will the Almighty regard it. (Job 35:10-13, NASB)

3. A parable is a story that is recognizable and something the audience can identify with to illustrate and make a point. It is paramount to understand the original content / context of the story or the intended meaning of the parable is lost. How would the Pharisee and tax collector be viewed in the first century? What do you observe about the Pharisee's prayer? What do you observe of the tax collector's prayer?

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: "God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get." But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14, NASB)

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