Bible Passage
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost  (Luke 18:9-14)


Today is the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost.  During the season of Pentecost we learn about Jesus and the early church.  There are 4 more Sundays in the season of Pentecost before Advent begins.

Today Jesus tells a teaching story about two men who went to pray.

Watch the video to find out what Jesus teaches us about prayer:


So, in today’s gospel from St. Luke, Jesus tells a teaching story about two men who pray.  One is a pharisee and one is a tax collector.  A pharisee in Jesus’ day was someone who believed in God.  The pharisee thought they knew everything about God.  They thought they were very good and because of that they didn’t need God’s help.  They thought they were good all on their own because they followed all of God’s rules.

The tax collector was a person who went around and collected people’s tax money because in Jesus’ day people didn’t mail checks to pay their taxes they had to pay the tax collector in person.  Many tax collectors collected more than they were supposed to and stole the extra money they collected and so they were dishonest.

These two men prayed.  The pharisee prayed and said, “God, I’m glad I’m not like the bad people, especially like that tax collector over there.”

The tax collector prayed, “God, be merciful to me because I am a sinner.”

Jesus told this teaching story because when we pray, God wants to hear the truth from us.  If we have done something wrong, God wants us to be like the tax collector and tell the truth.  God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love.  God is always ready to forgive our sins, the things we have done wrong, when we confess them.

When we pray, God wants us to be honest and not afraid to tell God anything because God loves us.  We are children of God and nothing can take God’s love away from us!


When does God want us to pray?

Who has taught you about prayer?

Who prays with you?



I’m Trusting You.  LifeTree Kids.


Download the sheet below and make a prayer cube.  Follow the instructions on the sheet.


Prayer Rock.  Decorate a rock.  Place it in your room, near your bed, to remind you to pray each night before you go to bed.

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Closing Prayer

Loving God, we thank you that you always listen to us.  We thank you that we are your children.  We thank you that you forgive us when we do things that are wrong.  We thank you for the give of your son Jesus.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home.  Contact him at [email protected].