In Luke 18:9-14, there is a story of the prayers of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee's prayer is self-centered and not in any way humble. However, the tax collector's prayer is the opposite. Verse 13 says, "But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'"

The original Greek word used for "merciful" in this text is Hilaskomai which is translated as "to make propitiation for" or "to atone for (sin)" and also "to make ONE with God." The last translation caught me the most. This sinner, the tax collector, was not crying for mercy in that he wanted to escape punishment (which is what mercy is usually thought of), but rather crying out in utter despair: "GOD, MAKE ME ONE WITH YOU AGAIN"

my prayer tonight:

God, hilaskomai... make me one with You again.