Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 21

Prayers of Confession continued...

Prayers of confession, like prayers of thanks are some of the most difficult prayers for certain individuals to pray. While one has to do with acknowledging that all things come from God, and it’s not our own intellect, ability or prowess that has allowed us to succeed in any given field, the other has to do with humbling ourselves in the sight of God, and admitting if only to ourselves and to Him, that we are not perfect, that we have transgressed, and that we need to be forgiven.

Coming to the realization that we are in need of forgiveness, is what sparks the desire in us to pray prayers of confession and repentance before God.

Admittedly not all who transgress or sin before God have a physical reaction to their absence of confession, repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness like David did. On the contrary, some have so mortified their conscience that habitual and ongoing sin in their lives seems not to bother them at all.

Because they would not heed the cry of their conscience, because they stifled and suppressed the voice of the Holy Spirit in their lives, such individuals are no longer bothered by what once used to cause them anguish and groaning as it did David. Sin eats away at the conscience as surely as necrosis eats away at healthy tissue. If rather than attempt to revive the conscience, if rather than attempt to reanimate the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives we suppress and muzzle them, eventually we are left to the desire of our heart, our conscience having been thoroughly seared and the Holy Spirit thoroughly silenced.

It is a good thing that in His love God continues to chisel and mold us. It is a good thing that often times we feel compelled to fall on our knees in prayers of repentance and confession for something we would have otherwise dismissed as insignificant.

The closer we get to God, the more distant we become toward the world and the things of the world. Imagine if you will that God and the world are two fixed points, and you are between them. Logic would dictate that if you draw close to one of the fixed points, you automatically distance yourself from the other.

The more of God we have in our lives, the less of the world there will be in it. The more of God we have in our lives, the less of ourselves and our flesh will be found therein.

In an eight ounce glass, you can only fit eight ounces of liquid. Whatever that liquid happens to be, whether water, juice, or drain cleaner, it’s still going to be eight ounces. We are also vessels, and whether we are vessels of honor or vessels of dishonor is determined by what we are filled with. There is no vacant real estate on earth, as far as the human heart is concerned. Every heart is full of something. Every heart is full of someone.

If we are filled with the power and presence of God, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, then we are vessels of honor, and strive toward being such throughout our journey here on earth. If we are filled with futile thoughts and our own imaginings, if we are filled with the world and love thereof, then we will not strive for righteousness or holiness unto God, as such seeing no purpose or reason to come before Him confessing our trespasses.

If sin is the disease, then confessing our sins to God, and having the iniquity of our sins forgiven is the cure. When we come before God with prayers of confession, whatever it is we confessed before God, whatever iniquity, whatever transgression, it has been forgiven us, and no longer has any power or sway over us.

Sin still clings to many a soul and many a soul are slaves to their sin, because they have not confessed their sin. When a sin is not confessed and repented of, it has power in the heart and life of the individual refusing to confess it.

Another way of looking at it is that by not confessing our sin, iniquity or transgression, we are giving them power over us, and our lives. If a sin is not repented of and confessed, then that sin has authority to remain in the heart because we neither turned away from it, nor acknowledged our need to be forgiven of it.

This is the utmost reason that prayers of confession are so important and necessary in the life of any true believer. By praying prayers of confession and repentance, we acknowledge our need for forgiveness, as well as commit to turning from that which we acknowledge displeased God in the first place.

A prayer of confession and a prayer of repentance are as a single sigh of the soul, for without repentance, without turning away from our transgression and iniquity, confessing it only makes us more culpable before God on the Day of Judgment.

The whole point of confessing one’s transgressions is that we desire to change; we desire to stop being that which we were, and cease doing that which we were doing. We cannot come before God, pray a prayer of confession, and the next day go back to doing that which we confessed before Him the previous evening.

When we pray prayers of confession, not only is repentance implied, but transformation is likewise implied. We confess, we repent, and God forgives, but He does not forgive us that we might return to the sins or transgressions to which we were enslaved. There’s no point in giving someone new, clean, and spotless attire, if the first thing they do once they’ve put it on is jump back into the mud pit they crawled out of. God forgives us that we might be renewed in Him. He saves us that we might be born again through His Son Jesus, and know Him as God, King, Lord, and Savior. He redeems us, not so we might belong to ourselves, or to the world, but that we might be His, in totality, both in mind, body, and spirit.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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