Sitting in prior of a large slab of Mile High coco Cake, i exclaimed, “Lord, have actually mercy!” human being often use that phrase—or a similar one, “Mercy me!”—when dealing with something monstrous, enormous, or wondrous. We say it through a watch of surprise, a sigh when we’re overwhelmed, or a huge smile—depending ~ above the situation.

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Yet how many human being in our culture fully understand the an interpretation of mercy, particularly when it comes to the mercy the God? there is impressive power in praying, “God, have mercy ~ above me, a sinner,” as the taxes collector did in Luke 18:13.

An examination of this prayer can lead to higher appreciation of oh my gosh mercy and also our need for it. First, stop look to our Creator God, the source of mercy.


“God...” – The father of Mercy

The penitent’s prayer starts with “God….” To know mercy, we have to go to our Creator. Among the most maligned qualities of God is His wrath. Civilization say lock don’t want an “angry God,” therefore they disapprove the truth of His wrath. As a result, lock don’t have reverent fear of God and also they don’t are afraid hell.

To just proclaim the love and mercy the God there is no juxtaposing it with His wrath is come pervert the Gospel. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wrote, “If God is not a God of wrath and vengeance, why need to we paris to Christ because that refuge? The grace and also the mercy and also the love and the compassion and also the gentleness that God don’t end up being precious to you if you haven’t checked out the wrath and the anger of God.”

But in balance, God important is the “Father of mercies and also God of every comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). His mercy is connected to His love (Psalm 86:5; Ephesians 2:4). The Hebrew word because that “mercy” is hesed, an interpretation “steadfast love.”

In the West, Christians often tend to think that mercy as acquittal, but the word “mercy” in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos, express a soothing oil, used to comfort or heal someone. God’s healing mercy is concerned His an excellent compassion because that His suffering, sinful children.

God is rich in mercy—able to share numerous mercy that never ends; and also our father God offers His mercy through sovereign purpose. “Our God is not just powerful,” David Mathis wrote. “He is not just a God that uncompromising justice. The is the mercy-having God.” when we seek Him in the Bible, us discover, “when God shows His mercy, he does so through utter intentionality and also strength.”

The difference between Mercy and Justice

God’s plentiful mercy is not the very same as His sure justice. We have to be certain we understand the difference. Many Christians know the distinction between grace—God’s unmerited favor—and mercy, i m sorry is God not providing us the punishment us deserve because that our sins; yet many miss the difference between mercy and justice.

Dr. D. James Kennedy wrote, “What we need is mercy, not justice.” He explained the difference between mercy and justice. “We want justice,” the said. “We want every little thing to it is in fair. God is a simply God, and we tend to understand deep down what is right. In god’s justice, He will certainly by no way clear the guilty.” All have actually sinned (Romans 3:23), and because God is just, He must punish evil. Through mercy, “God does not treat united state as we deserve,” Kennedy said.

We all have actually a divine appointment through our Creator, and we all have a selection now whether we will receive the mercy that God or the righteousness of God. Those who have actually not got the mercy that God in the Lord’s substitutionary death for their sins will confront a final judgment wherein Jesus will certainly be your judge (Hebrews 9:27; john 5:22).

But those who receive the mercy that God in Christ during this life will one day stand prior to the mr at the referee Seat that Christ—sometimes described as the Bema Seat—where the functions of oh my gosh redeemed youngsters will it is in examined regarding their faithfulness, service, obedience, etc., and also what “crowns” or rewards they may receive (2 Corinthians 5:10).

“...Have Mercy...” – The require for Mercy

The prayer proceeds with a desperate cry:“have mercy.”Receiving the mercy the God is ours most vital need.God has actually no pleasure in judging the angry (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9), and also in this prayer, the supplicant recognizes mercy have the right to only come indigenous Him. Us all require mercy, but we don’t always recognize or recognize our need.

God is extremely patient in calling us to turn from sin, yet we shouldn’t take it His patience for granted. The cry because that mercy must be linked to repentance. God offered sinful Nineveh 40 days come repent (Jonah 3:1-5)—and castle did! yet He readily available people an chance to repent because that 120 years prior to the flood came (Genesis 6:3); and also He available the wicked Canaanites—people who knew about Israel’s deliverance indigenous Pharaoh—40 years, one generation, to repent before he ruined all however Rahab and also those in her house (Joshua 2).

All world need mercy because that salvation, and the greatest act that mercy is in the human of Jesus (1 Peter 2:24). As john Stott said, “The price of the religious beliefs of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.” In various other words, us cannot earn grace and mercy; yet thankfully, mercy is the heart of God in providing a method to it is in redeemed.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wrote, “He loves to display mercy. The delights to show mercy. He hates to display judgment, however He will present judgment when He has to. It is no His will certainly that any kind of should perish, but many will certainly perish due to the fact that they refuse His market of mercy. God never judges there is no warning and also without an opportunity to repent.”

“...On Me...” – The Intimacy the Mercy

The prayer proceeds with these words:“on me.” In the Scriptures, God showed His mercy to individuals as intimate expansions of His love. David Mathis wrote that Moses, David, Jeremiah, and Paul each witnessed God’s mercy in various ways (Exodus 33:19; Psalm 51:1; Lamentations 3:22-31; Romans 9:16). God also showed mercy to an adulterous mrs (John 8:6-11) and also to Saul the Tarsus that was ~ above a murderous crusade versus the beforehand church (Acts 7:54-58; action 9:5).

Crying out for God to have actually mercy on united state is deeply personal. The admits desperate an individual need. Our cry looks for forgiveness for personal sins and also rebellion against God. The is only in this an individual sense the we begin to know the strength of mercy to adjust us.

The Father’s mercies to united state as individuals are fresh and also expansive every day together He continually shows compassion and also forgiveness. Favor the dad of the Prodigal Son, he does no hesitate. He does no stand afar off.

He comes to us with open up arms, so prepared to forgive. His mercy is sweetly intimate.

“... A Sinner.” – The strength of Mercy

The last words the the prayer space “a sinner.” among the many amazing verses in bible is Romans 5:8—“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We have to seek God for conserving mercy since we space sinners. Jesus didn’t die for us because we do mistakes, return mistakes may reflect a sinful heart. He died for us since we all have actually the seed of ungodly rebellion within us and also need to be saved from God’s simply wrath versus sin. Christ died for sinners. What extravagant mercy!

Jesus knew us couldn’t clean ourselves approximately be presentable to God. He construed we might never it is in holy enough to stand prior to His holy Father in heaven without His sacrifice, there is no a mediator.

Knowing we could not knife our way, Jesus payment it all, and we fan Him everything. That is His mercy the sanctifies us, calling us out that darkness right into His marvelous irradiate (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:9).


The blessings of Mercy

The blessing of this prayer are what God go for us after we’ve prayed!

First, mercy brings us deliverance or salvation. In ~ its core, mercy is forgiveness, therefore we are no much longer condemned (Romans 8:1; Romans 4:8). In His mercy, we additionally find healing because that our souls—peace through God. Our resides are eternally changed.

Then, the Lord continues to pardon us of day-to-day sins because of the cross. He gives so plenty of benefits because that us, part spelled out in Psalm 103. He permits us to petition in ~ His throne of grace whereby we may discover even an ext mercy and grace. Due to the fact that of His mercies, He offers us the privilege to current our bodies for transformation. And also because we’ve been shown mercy, we deserve to cooperate v God’s plans by doing the countless works the ordained because that us.

The Outflow of Mercy

The strength of this prayer go not end with us! oh my god mercy is the an ideas for us to present mercy come others. His mercy teaches us how to be an ext merciful (Matthew 12:7; Hosea 6:6).

Luke said, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). Thinking around how lot God has actually forgiven us—blotting the end our sins—should adjust how we watch others’ sins. We need to be much more patient, quicker to forgive, and also to give others the advantage of the doubt, offering grace.

Once we’ve to be deeply touched by god’s mercy and felt that feeling of relief, us will have actually a reference allude when we stray from Him. Together Charles Swindoll wrote, “Try hard not to forget what life to be like before Christ and also you will be a frequent visitor in ~ the gate of mercy.”

When we remember, that should motivate united state to proclaim the gospel that mercy and also grace come everyone.

Dawn Wilson and her husband Bob live in southern California. They have two married sons and also three granddaughters. Dawn assists author and also radio host Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth v research and works with assorted departments in ~ Revive our Hearts.She is the founder and also director of Heart selections Today, publishesUpgrade through Dawn, and also writes for and also Dawn also travels v her husband in ministry through Pacesetter an international Outreach.


This write-up is component of our Prayer source meant to inspire and also encourage your prayer life as soon as you challenge uncertain times.

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