“But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” // Luke 18:13
I remember a cold night when I was pacing the floors with a small baby who needed movement from me—and only me—in order to keep her from screaming all night long. My body ached from exhaustion; my head felt thick and muddy from so many hours awake. I couldn’t think much or form complete thoughts. The idea of tomorrow, or the future, seemed so far away and impossible. There was only exhaustion and screaming babies for as far as my mind’s eye could see.
The only prayer I could muster was, “Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I swear I could not concentrate long enough to say a Hail Mary.
There was nothing I felt I could offer God. My body was attached to a very small miserable person so many hours of the day I didn’t have time to eat or sweep the floor. My mind was useless; I could not compose heartfelt prayers or contemplate theological ideas that I studied in college. I was humbled by my inability to do practically anything else other than take care of my child.
Jesus reminds us today that humility is the entire point of faith. We can be closest to God through humility, when circumstances leave us feeling at sea, when we have nothing to offer, and no action to take other than crying out to the Lord.
Instead of trying to “figure out” your life in prayer today, simply ask God for His mercy in whatever circumstance you need help in.