Guided Prayer Exercise: Confession and Mercy
Settle into your chair or a comfortable position and take a deep breath–in and out. Spend a few moments breathing. Notice your body’s rhythm; sense where you might be holding tension. Breathe in and breathe out, releasing those muscles. Release that tension, stress, or worry to Jesus. If to-do lists, concerns for the day, anxiety, or responsibilities fill your mind in the silence, offer them up as a prayer asking Jesus to hold all those things and that he will draw near to you.
When you are ready, read today’s passage from the Gospel of Luke. What word or phrase stands out to you? What image comes to mind as you reflect on the scripture? Jot them down in your journal or pause and sit with them for a few moments. Ask the Lord what they might be communicating to you. Who do you imagine Jesus might be telling this parable? Jesus has discerned that it is a group of people who. “trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt.” Could you see your face in that crowd? One of the many points of this parable is once again to highlight God’s mercy. Everyone is in need of God’s mercy, first and foremost. It is freely and lovingly offered.
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Pharisee and the Publican by John Everett Millais