Humility in Prayer

READ : Luke 18:9-14

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (v. 14)

It doesn’t take too much digging into the Bible to realize God honors, and expects, a humble heart. Scripture addresses humility in prayer many times.

Second Chronicles 7 records God’s words to Solomon following the long-awaited completion of the temple. Having blessed the work of the people’s hands, he then made it clear they were to “humble themselves and pray,” seeking his face. If the people chose pride, and consequently other gods, God would turn from them and desert the temple they had built.

In Matthew 6 Jesus addressed humility in the act of prayer, even before teaching what words to use. He instructed his followers to “go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret” (v. 6). He made it clear the purpose of prayer was not to win the acclaim of others but to experience communion with God.

Finally, Jesus reminded the disciples that the purpose of all prayer is God’s exaltation, not ours. The glory is not for us but for the Father who answers, in the name of his Son. “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). In a world of self-promotion, we are blessed when we humble ourselves and give God the glory as he answers our prayers.


Dear God, I humble myself before you, in eager anticipation of your grace and guidance.

About the Author

Joy Petroelje

Joy Petroelje is the director of a nonprofit human services organization. She and her husband Steve have three sons and live near Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to family time and her work in nonprofit administration, Joy enjoys reading, writing, and running.