A Prayer of Humility
Our world focuses on an unhealthy elevation of self. Yet the Bible tells us, "The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground" (Psalms 147:6). A healthy concept of self is rooted in who we are in Jesus Christ, not in our own accomplishments or successes. God wants us to acknowledge Him, not ourselves, in all things.
When God sent His Son to earth, He did not choose someone of wealth or power to become Christ's mother. He did not search out the most beautiful or the most intelligent or the most charming woman. God chose Mary based on her character and humility.
Just like in Mary's time, people today seek wealth and power, yet God honors the humble. People may cower before the strong and the mighty, but God uses the weak and the desperate. People may be impressed by culture and class, but God blesses those who are broken in spirit. People may be eager to bow to celebrities, but God despises the haughty and the proud. People may worship at the shrine of materialism, but God is looking for the faithful and the contrite.
Proverbs tells us, "He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble" (Proverbs 3:34). We read in Psalms that, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalms 51:17).
Mary understood her place and purpose in this world. She knew any grace and favor she found were a gift of the Lord, not something engineered by her own abilities. In her famous prayer, often called The Magnificat, Mary humbly praises God for choosing her to give birth to His Son.
"And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers" (Luke 1:46-55).
Even though her unwed pregnancy could have led to execution in her society, she praised God. She maintained confidence in God alone and rejoiced at the opportunity to serve Him. She did not focus on herself but on magnifying the Lord. She praised Him for His mercy and favor, not her own strengths. She acknowledged His faithfulness, not her own accomplishments. Mary's deepest concern was the glory of God, not her own safety or circumstances.
How humble is your heart before God? Do you continue to claim credit for your successes or do you give glory to God for everything you have? Spend time praising Him today for His faithfulness and generosity. Acknowledge that everything you have comes from Him alone. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up" (James 4:10).
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
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When our faith is in the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God, what should we fear?
Jesus is still asking His followers to let go of whatever may be hindering our work for God's kingdom, whether it is our opinions, our ideas, or our needs.