Numerous research studies over the decades have shown that the less intelligent an individual is, the more likely he or she will overestimate their cognitive abilities. On the other hand, the wisest people are those who understand just how much they don’t yet know. This is not false humility, but a true desire to be a lifetime learner. I would suggest the same can be said regarding our faith lives. Those who are most spiritually mature, sincerely longing to grow closer to God, are the ones who best recognize their deep need for Christ. For instance, look at the life of Martin Luther.
There are few Christians in history who labored, studied and sacrificed harder for Jesus than did Luther. And yet, when we read his prayer below, we see that he imagines himself as one who is so far away from Christ because of his sin, doubt, and weakness. Luther’s prayer is a wonderful reminder for us that no matter how hard we might work, how smart we can become, or how much we may achieve in life, we are incomplete without the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ. Let us pray:
An empty vessel that needs to be filled; My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in faith; Strengthen thou me.
I am cold in love; Warm me and make me fervent
That my love may go out to my neighbour.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
At times I doubt and am unable to trust thee altogether.
O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in thee.
In thee I have sealed the treasures of all I have.
I am poor; Thou art rich and didst come to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; Thou art upright.
With me there is an abundance of sin;
In thee is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore, I will remain with thee of who I can receive
But to whom I may not give. Amen.