Scripture: Luke 18:9-14
On Christmas Eve, after his absent-minded Uncle Billy misplaces a deposit that today would amount to over $80,000, George Bailey faces possible prison time, because the police will think George embezzled the money. After George considers the value of his life insurance policy, he decides that he’s worth more dead than alive.
In a rage, he leaves his family on Christmas Eve night and goes to a bar and prays a desperate prayer that God would rescue him. He later contemplates ending his life by jumping off a bridge into an icy river.
Now consider the parable that Jesus tells in today’s scripture.
George tells God, “I’m not a praying man.” Like the tax collector in Jesus’ parable, he knows he isn’t worthy of God doing anything for him, but he’s desperate.
How are we like George? Don’t we often do our best praying when we’re desperate? I love that George calls God “Father,” the way Jesus taught us. Parents, especially parents at Christmastime, know all too well that their children have no trouble asking for exactly what they want—and asking repeatedly. They have no shame. If only we acted more like God’s children and boldly asked God our Father, directly and simply and repeatedly, for what we wanted! Well, George does that, and God answers his prayer.
📲 Watch a video clip of George Bailey’s prayer: