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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 20

Prayers of Confession

Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”

I believe that an honest man must foremost be honest with himself, if he is truly honest. It requires brutal honesty and noble character to look into the mirror of God’s word, and as David, acknowledge our sin, and confess our transgressions to the Lord.

Perfect men are rare. In fact, if memory serves, there was but one perfect man to ever walk the earth, and He was the Son of God. Jesus was sinless. All others are not. We transgress with our words, with our thoughts with our actions, we omit certain truths which are counted as sin against us, and for all the things we know we do that are not in accordance to the word of God, that do not show the character of Jesus, we must come before God and confess, that the iniquity of our sin might be forgiven.

The first step in being able to pray a prayer of confession before God is to acknowledge our sin, and not attempt to hide our iniquity. God loved David because David was honest with God. He didn’t try to pass himself off as a better, holier, or more righteous man than he was, and each time he transgressed he was quick to repent, and confess before God.

Does this mean that David didn’t suffer the consequences of his sin? Of course not! All men suffer the consequences of their transgressions, all men suffer the consequences of their sin, but when we confess our sin and transgressions before God, He forgives, that it might not be counted against us in eternity.

We all say things better left unsaid, we all think thoughts we wish we hadn’t, and we all miss opportunities to speak Christ into the lives of others, which in retrospect we wish we had seized.

Often times we think that unless we have committed a grave sin, or have once more become ensnared in some habitual and destructive vice, we need not confess our stumbles or omissions to God.

When our primary desire is to be more like Jesus however, when the cry of our heart is to be sanctified and walk in righteousness, even the small issues in our lives grate at us until we come before God and acknowledge our misstep.

I often find myself convicted of simply not spending enough time with God. It’s not that I choose to pursue something else, it’s not that I had free time and I chose not to be in His presence, it’s simply an overwhelmingly busy schedule that kept me from fellowship with Him that day, but by the time evening comes, I have to take a few minutes and acknowledge the fact that I missed out on being in His presence, and repent for not making Him the priority in my life that day.

The worst thing we can do as believers, something of great detriment to our spiritual man, is to ignore our conscience, to ignore the feeling of being convicted, and attempt to brush them aside. The more we ignore our conscience, the less we feel its tug, and hear its voice.

The dangerous thing about ignoring the conscience is that it gets easier each time we do it. The first time we ignore it, it’s as if we are burying it deep within our hearts, and with each subsequent discounting of it, we are laying a new layer of earth upon it.

When we are convicted of a certain thing we said, or a certain thing we did, it is wise to take some time, acknowledge it, and come before God with the requisite prayer of confession.

God knows our works, He knows our lives, and nothing is hid from His eye. When we attempt to hide a transgression, when we attempt to mask a shortcoming what we are doing, in essence, is denying the omniscience of our God, and acting as though we can somehow trick Him.

Before having his epiphany, wherein if he confessed his transgression, he felt the forgiveness of the iniquity of his sin, David attempted to keep silent, to hide it or mask it.

In doing so, he confesses that his bones grew old, and his vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Until the moment he came before God with a prayer of confession, David felt the hand of God heavy upon him, and he had no peace, no joy, and no vitality.

Psalm 32:3-4, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah”

As men and women of God, we ought to know when something isn’t right. We ought to feel the hand of God heavy upon us, and know that there is something for which we must go before God with repentance and confession that it might be forgiven us.

We know that sin offends God, and kills man. Knowing that it is fatal for us, and it brings offense to God, why would we attempt to hide it, keep from acknowledging it, or confessing it before Him?

God forgives when we confess. He forgives transgression, He forgives iniquity, and He forgives sin. In order to forgive us our trespasses however, we must acknowledge and confess the fact that we have transgressed, that we have fallen short, and that we need to be forgiven.

Do not let pride rob you of your forgiveness. Do not let pride keep you from knowing what it is the have the iniquity of your sins forgiven. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, come before Him with sincerity of heart, confess your trespasses, and He will lift you up.

Psalm 32:10-11, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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