Publican’s Prayer: Text, Meaning, When to Read
Repentance and awareness of sins is of great importance in Orthodoxy. It is known that it was pride and arrogance that caused the fall of the former angel of light, Lucifer.
The spiritual father told me about this when I was baptized.
It turns out that repentance alone is not enough, since the human enemy constantly seduces and seduces believers. I will tell you what the tax collector’s prayer is and how to repent before God at home prayer.
Who is a tax collector
Modern man does not always understand the biblical terms and names, since the Bible was written several thousand years ago. These days there are no tax collectors, they have long been called tax inspectors. And in the time of Jesus Christ, tax and tax collectors were called tax collectors.
They were considered sinful people, as they always took more money from the population than they should. For this, no one loved them.
Also, Jewish priests considered the publican to be polluted because they constantly communicated with the pagans and worked for them. Thus, we see that the tax collector in the Bible is a complete sinner and a person hated by his people.
Moreover, the tax collectors were excommunicated from the Jewish community, they became outcasts among their people.
When Jesus preached to the tax collectors, the Jewish priests cursed at him. It was believed that the publican would never accept God, and to repent to him is useless. However, in his parable about the Pharisee and the Publican, Christ emphasizes the importance of the prayer of the latter, because he sincerely considers himself a sinner.
Why did Jesus give such meaning to repentance?
Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican:
Importance of repentance
Self-righteousness and the realization of sinfulness are the two polar states of man. It is self-righteousness that leads to pride, and then to the fall of a person. Self-righteousness convinces a person that he is better than others.
And if it’s better, it deserves more favors from God. This leads to the requirement of reward, narcissism and rebellion in the end.
It was just such a way that Lucifer went before his fall: he thought it was shameful to serve Adam. Who is Adam before him, the morning supremacy?
The Holy Fathers teach that repentance has a beginning, but there is no end. A person is constantly confronted with the manifestation of his sinful nature, in which it is necessary to constantly repent.
If a person does not realize his sinful nature, it will sooner or later lead to self-righteousness and a fall.
but should distinguish penance from confession. It is possible to repent of transgressions even at home without a priest, if a person catches himself committing an evil deed from the point of view of the church.
But one should not think that home repentance replaces and excludes confession. At confession, one must confess a sin to the priest, and only then the sin is completely annulled.
After the confession, you can not even remember their repentant sins, as they have lost their spiritual meaning. After confession, a believer can commune with the pure heart of the Holy Gifts without consequences for himself.
Note! It is impossible to eat the Holy Gifts without confession, because a person will drink and eat judgment to himself.
The believer must understand that only Jesus Christ lived on earth without sin. His divine nature allowed to live in purity and holiness.
Even the apostles committed transgressions. For example, the apostle Peter succumbed to anger and cut off the ear of a soldier. He acted against the commandments of Christ, yielding to the sinful nature.
However, sincere repentance of the perfect freed him from the severity of the soul. As we remember, Jesus called the apostle Peter the cornerstone of the church.
Remember that after death, repent of sins is impossible. Repentance is accepted only in life.
Many people are interested in the expediency of repentance, since God already knows about all sins. The Holy Fathers teach that man has the freedom to choose to live as a sinner or a righteous person.
Therefore, God does not force anyone to repent. If a person is aware of the gravity of his offense and repent, he brings himself closer to God.
And unrepentant sins are alienated from God.
This prayer is very short and consists of one sentence.
The Publican’s Prayer — Text:
But how much of these words is hidden meaning, if a person sincerely repents of his deed and understands that he does not deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness is given only by the grace of God after a sincere awareness of their sinfulness..
All our good works mean nothing to the sins committed, and only the mercy of God can cover them and annul them.
Some people think they are doing a favor to god by doing good deeds. But good deeds are our duty to God, not a favor to him. Ignatius Bryanchaninov writes about good deeds and self-righteousness:
When should I read the publican’s prayer? It is pronounced in the following cases:
- going to church;
- coming into any room;
- walking past a temple / chapel;
- under difficult circumstances;
- when fear overcomes;
- when referring to God in any circumstances.
This is a very short prayer, but it helps build the spiritual life of the Christian. This prayer puts everything in its place and shows the person that he is weak and always needs the mercy of God.
God, be merciful to me a sinner. This is the foundation of the foundations of the Christian life, without which salvation cannot be achieved.
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Humility is the opposite of pride — the most dangerous sin of man. Humility needs to learn throughout life, cultivating patience.
When a person is overtaken by grief, he should accept this gift of God with humility. The Apostle Paul taught believers: «Always rejoice, give thanks for everything.»
This means that you need to thank for the grief sent.
Some people confuse humility with indifference. This is a misunderstanding.
No need to be indifferent to sorrows, they should be taken with humility in your heart. Humility leads to salvation, this must always be remembered. Humility is considered the highest virtue.
To be humble means not to be proud of people, to constantly repent to God and not to condemn the sins of others.
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