Lord, I am weak! Do those words come willingly, or at your wits’ end when there’s nothing left to say or do? Do you remember Jesus’ parable about the two men who came to pray? Luke 18:10 begins just that way: Two men went up to pray… One was extremely religious and very impressed with himself. He even thanked God he was not like the other man because that man was a ‘sinner.’ This arrogant Pharisee was pride’s poster child! But the prayer of the ‘sinner’ rose from a humble heart. We can learn much from these two and their prayers.

Weak – Relative Term

Jesus’ words immediately bring two questions to mind. And those questions must have been part of His reason for the parable. First, Who was the sinner? Second, Who was weak? Wait, you didn’t see any mention of weakness in the parable?

The first question has two answers. Both men were sinners per Romans 3:23. But the humble man departed as a forgiven sinner vai al sito. And forgiveness makes all the difference! So, who was weak?

Any parent of a boy has seen their son flex his muscles and attempt to show off his strength. Our boys were no exception. Their ‘flexing’ is meant to imply they are as strong as Dad. We smile at a four, five, or six year old putting his ‘physique’ on display. We enjoyed the moment because little boys thought they had muscles like the cover image! And then we moved on.

But isn’t that what the prideful man was doing polska-ed.com? He was acting as if he had real strength in the face of Almighty God. Suppose there was a scale to measure our Father’s strength. This prideful man wouldn’t hit ‘scrawny’ on that scale! Pride pushes us to overestimate ourselves and underestimate our Father. Now, about the prayers of the weak…

Fast Forward

How would this parable go in today’s world? If I can speculate, the religious man would might have heard a sermon on two on humility. So his pride would need to be disguised. His prayer might sound something like this:

Lord, I am weak, so please strengthen me and make me strong.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? We sometimes pray like that. The strength in that prayer is still focused on the one praying. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote:

Lord, I Am Weak

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Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.

God tells us He will be strong in our weaknesses. When we discover our weaknesses, why do we want to run from them as if they were some horrid deficiency? We often want to have our weaknesses strengthened. Why? So we can, in our sense of self-reliance, look cool and capable to all those around us.

Weakness: Divine Opportunity

God has a much different view of our weaknesses. When we discover or recognize them, that is the opportunity He has put within our lives to pray, Lord, this is an area of weakness for me.  I confess that weakness to you. I love You and trust You to be strong in this part of my life.  Help me to rely on You! In II Corinthians 12:10, Paul said it this way:

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Those words are much like the prayer of the humble sinner in Jesus’ parable. That man knew his weakness. He knew no measure of self-reliance could overcome it. And unlike the religious man, the sinner turned to the only One who could sustain him.

I can do all thingsPart of loving Jesus rightly is depending on Him to do what He says He will do.
These thoughts may challenge you. We all need to be reminded of the value of our weakness. However, if you want to take a challenge, ask the Lord to show you where you are weak. But, commit in advance to rely on Him in those areas.


Soli Deo Gloria

Keith Burnett | keithburnett.org