“Supplications” is an interesting word not often used by us. It is a kind or type of prayer urged upon believers. The basic idea of the word is “a sense of need”. This communication to God is an admission that we need Him in our lives, and we are reliant upon Him for His gracious salvation because we can’t achieve it or obtain it upon our own, either partially or wholly, because of our fallen nature. Being correct or right or obedient will not save us unless we live perfect lives. We aren’t perfect, and supplications to God indicate we recognize this. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, and thus we are dependent upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is imputed to the believer.
The legalist doesn’t feel or recognize this sense of need, and rather than fall upon his knees, or prostrate himself before God, asking for mercy and forgiveness and expressing thankfulness for the grace and love of God, he feels that his correctness in obeying doctrine and obedience is up to the task of at least accounting for part of his salvation. He takes credit along with God and thus God should be proud of him.
Jesus contrasted these two attitudes in “The Parable Of The Pharisee And The Publican”. The Pharisee told God how correct and right he was, exalting himself in comparison to others, while the publican offered up a supplication. Which one is representative of our attitude?