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A Call to Confession, Repentance, and the Gospel

 

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I’d like to invite you to pray with me, my precious brothers and sisters!

Sin = an archery term that means “to miss the mark.”

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Almighty God,

“Blessed be Your glorious Name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.” Nehemiah 9:5b-6

First, we must admit and confess our sins. Break our heart for these sins, let us truly weep together over them, Lord! We humble ourselves on our faces before You and pray together in one accord!

WE CONFESS OUR SIN, THE SIN OF OUR CHURCHES, AND THE SIN OF OUR NATIONS:

“O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached the heavens… For we have disregarded your commands… O Lord, God of Israel, You are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before You in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in Your presence.” (an excerpt of Ezra’s prayer in Ezra 9)

Our Sin Against You:

We have become arrogant and stiff-necked. We have rebelled against You, the only true God. We have pursued idols and made other things and other people more important in our hearts and minds than You. We have profaned Your holy Name by treating it so casually and flippantly as we live in sin, but speak your Name as if we are devoted to You. We have demanded that You submit to our will and do what we want and give us the things we sinfully desire. But we are the ones who should be completely submitted to You! We have taken Your Name in vain rather than holding it in awe and proper reverence. We have not set aside time to worship, rest, fervently pray, and honor You. We have not loved You wholeheartedly. We have not obeyed Your Word for us. We have not allowed Your Spirit to have full reign in our hearts and full access to the darkest corners of our souls. We have been more concerned about the opinions and approval of people than we have been concerned about Your approval.

Our Sin As the Church and Against the Church:

We have divisions, factions, jealousies, hatred, and contention in our assemblies. We do not have Your Spirit of unity. We have not financially supported the church, Christian missionaries, or our brothers and sisters in Christ and others who are in dire poverty and need. We have forsaken the assembling of ourselves together. We have been lukewarm in our faith and love for You individually and corporately. We have watered down the message of Your Word. We as individuals and together as the church have allowed ourselves to become like the world. We have wanted friendship with the world rather than with You. We have lost our reverence and holy fear for Your Name and for the Bible. We no longer even teach the truth of Your Word in many of our churches. We have forsaken the authority of God and the authority of Your Word for the wisdom of men. We have gathered teachers around us who will say the words our itching ears long to hear. The church as a whole today in many places in our midst is very sick, weak, and dying – open our eyes to see the spiritual condition of our churches, our communities and our countries.

Our Sinful Hearts:

We have had hearts full of hatred, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. We have had jealous and envious thoughts and we have acted out with sinful motives. We have gossiped. We have lied. We have aborted precious babies. We have been more concerned with our convenience and comfort than Your priorities or our obedience to You. We have been materialistic. We want luxury. We want the best food, the best cars, the most beautiful houses, the nicest stuff – and we have forsaken Your true riches. We are consumed by worldly things rather than heavenly things. We have idolized wealth, power, fame, beauty, sports, politics, luxury, happiness, romance, love, marriage, and so very many things that we cannot even count them all, yet we don’t even realize we are sinning against You grievously! We are so blind to our sin!

We have been self-righteous, thinking we are better than other people. We have been prideful, just like Satan. We thought we knew better than You did. We trusted ourselves rather than You, Lord, setting ourselves above God in our hearts. We have been selfish. We don’t even know what real love is. Love for God or love for people. We have dysfunctional relationships with You and with others. We have been addicted to destructive drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, gluttony, anorexia/bulimia, gambling, having control ourselves, and all kinds of addictions rather than looking to You to meet our needs. We have committed murder in our hearts and sometimes physically, as well. We have been more concerned about protecting ourselves than loving You and loving others. We have been motivated by fear, not love.

 Our Sin Against Your Design for Marriage and Family:

We have engaged in lust, infidelity, adultery, and fornication – in our minds and sometimes physically, as well. We have not honored the marriage bed and kept it pure. We have been unfaithful to You and to our covenants with our spouses. We have purposely withheld sex from our spouses to spite them. We have tried to control our husbands/wives. We have been demanding. We have been insulting. We have had critical, judgmental spirits. We have depended on our husbands/wives or other people to meet our deepest needs that only You can meet – which is idolatry. We have been so needy and desperate for human love that we have been willing to sin to try to get it and it does not bring fulfillment, only Your love can bring real contentment and fulfillment! We have emotionally, verbally, and even physically abused each other instead of being a safe place for one another.

Some of us as wives have disrespected our husbands. We have taught our children to disrespect our husbands. We have rebelled against our husbands’ God-given leadership and tried to run things our own way when our husbands were doing their best to lead us in what is right in Your sight. Some of us have followed our husbands into sin. That is not ok either. Some of us as wives have given up our God-given influence and abilities and become doormats and almost slaves to our husbands rather than being the strong, godly women You desire us to be who greatly bless our homes and influence our husbands and children for Christ. Some of us don’t know the difference between abuse and love. Some husbands have abdicated their God-given leadership positions, leaving their families in harm’s way and without godly leadership. Some husbands have acted like tyrants and dictators and abused their positions of leadership, being harsh with their wives and their prayers are not heard, nor do they glorify Christ.

We have not walked in unity in our marriages, but have held on to bitterness, and resentment. We have contention, division, dysfunction, arguing, and strife in our families and marriages. We have hatred toward each other. We have malice in our hearts. We want to lash out and hurt our spouses, rather than love them unconditionally and bless them.  We are still so very worldly. We have married unbelievers knowing that You commanded us not to. We have gotten divorces when we had no biblical justification. We have remarried sometimes against Your commands for us in the Bible. We have not properly set godly examples for our children about how to love God, how to obey Christ, how to have a godly marriage, how to love and nurture children and others. We don’t even know how to begin to make things right.

Our Sin As Citizens:

We have not loved our neighbors as the Good Samaritan did. We have cheated the government. We have stolen/embezzled money and other things that did not belong to us. We have bent and broken laws. We have been apathetic.  We have not stood up for what is right. We have not defended the innocent. We have perverted justice. We have accepted bribes. We have not protected the foreigners in our midst. We have not cared for the poor, sick, orphans, oppressed, and widows. We have put our ultimate faith in the government, the economy, our bank accounts, our military, our own wisdom, our technology, our education, doctors, and all kinds of things/people rather than fully trusting in You. We have sought help from every source but You.

We do not deserve Your forgiveness. But how we THANK YOU, LORD, that You are a forgiving God, slow to anger, gracious and compassionate, and abounding in love. (Neh. 9:17)

EMPOWER US TO FULLY REPENT AND TO RECEIVE YOUR GOSPEL, LORD!

Empower us to see our sins. We have been so blind to them – thinking we were so good in Your eyes. 🙁

Let us turn from our sin as individuals, as churches, and as nations, and turn to You. Give us faith to come to You. Open our eyes to what You see. We cannot even open our own eyes or come to You in our own strength. Apart from You, we are dead in our sins. Bring us to life, Lord Jesus! Open our eyes. Give us faith that we might call upon You. Please forgive us for our many, many sins. We do not deserve Your forgiveness. We all deserve hell.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

The powerful, omnipotent, all-knowing, all-loving, completely holy Creator God of the whole universe, became a man (Jesus) and lived the perfect life we could not live. You died the death we deserved to die on our behalf. You conquered sin, death, and the grave! You rose from the dead on the 3rd day. And You ascended back to heaven. You are willing to give eternal life to all who call on You and who receive this gift as You empower us to understand and receive it. Jesus was willing to make a way for us to be right with God and at peace with Him. This is the Gospel. THANK YOU for this miracle and for Your unfathomable love for us. How can we ever thank You enough? In response to all that You have done for us, all we can possibly do is yield our lives completely to Your control and to Your will!

We depend completely on the blood of Jesus, shed on our behalf, to cleanse us from all sin. We admit our wrong doing and our filthy motives. There is no good in any of us apart from You. We are all wretched sinners whose very best attempts at holiness (in our own power) look like filthy, bloody menstrual rags in Your holy sight (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot clean up ourselves. None of us can impress you on our own. None of us are good enough because we have all fallen far short of Your standard of perfect holiness. We are desperate for the blood of Jesus to cleanse us and we thank and praise You that You are able to make each of us clean and holy in Your sight when You empower us to receive Jesus as our Savior and Master – our LORD – and we live for Him.

Jesus, You have the power to transform us from wretched sinners to holy saints!

You are able to fully pay the massive sin-debt we owe to God and You HAVE paid it on the cross on our behalf! WHAT CRAZY LOVE YOU HAVE FOR US, GOD!!?!?!?!!? We don’t deserve this. But You didn’t send Jesus because we deserved Him. You sent Him because of who You are and Your love, mercy, compassion, and grace – and because we so desperately needed Him. We could not work salvation for ourselves. We could not save ourselves from Your righteous and holy wrath and punishment for our sins. We praise and thank You for what You have done for us through Christ! We died and were buried with Christ Jesus if we are in Him. And we have been raised to a new life in Christ!! In Him, we are all new creations! If we are in Christ, we now have His death, His resurrection, His power over sin and the grave, His righteousness, His holiness, His love, His spiritual riches, all of the treasures of heaven, His heart, His mind, and His eyes!!! The old things have passed away and all has been made new!

Let us begin to walk in the power of Your Spirit living in and through us. We fully yield all of ourselves to You. Lord, CHANGE US!!!!! Heal us! Empower us to live lives that are worthy of all that Jesus has done for us! Transform us to be just like Jesus!!! We give You access to the darkest corners of our hearts, minds, and souls. Show us any sin that offends You. Let us be willing to part with it that we might have the greatest fellowship with You. Let us hate our sin as You hate sin. Let us love what You love. Change us and regenerate our souls that we might be more and more like Jesus! Only You can fully meet all of our deepest needs. You are the only source of real love and real life!  Let us submit fully to Your Lordship and embrace all that You has done for us and Your finished work on our behalf on the cross! Let us live in the power of Your Spirit more and more and let our lives be lives filled with GIANT faith in You (that You give to us) and with ever deepening trust and love for You.

In the Name and power of Christ!

Amen!

RELATED:

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

Contentment Comes from Having Christ as LORD Not Just as Savior

How to Truly Live for Christ

Stages of This Journey

John Piper – www.desiringgod.org (search “gospel” or “salvation”)

David Platt – www.radical.net (search “gospel” or “salvation”) or you can search Youtube “David Platt Gospel”

THE POWER OF THE CROSS by the Gettys:

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33 thoughts on “A Call to Confession, Repentance, and the Gospel

  1. Thank you. God used this in a powerful way to bring me to my knees. He has ripped many sins out of my heart today. Thank u for pointing me to repentance. And giving me hope.

    1. Carla,
      You are most welcome. If you want to talk more about this, I’m happy to walk beside you on this road. The conviction and repentance part of this journey can be SUPER painful at first! But it is SO WORTH IT to allow God to be in charge and to be fully submitted to Him!

  2. Thank you April. I needed this today as the only thoughts racing through my head are the hurt and pain caused by my husband’s sexual addiction. You covered everything in this prayer. I will need to reread it.

    1. Victoria,

      I’m so very sorry for your pain! And my heart breaks for what your husband is doing to himself, to you, to your marriage, and to God.

      Does he have anyone helping him? Is he a believer? Does he have a godly mentor or counselor? Are you familiar with http://www.xxxchurch.org?

      Have you seen the post I have about prayer for those who are involved in porn addiction?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Praying for you both today, my precious sister!

  3. Amen praise the Lord for he is worthy to be praised. Let’s really take this prayer to heart and fellowship with true believers. Right now there is a lot of division in the body of Christ. We must fully submit to God’s will regarding the scriptures (remarriage, the trinity doctrine and so much other false things). If we would humble ourselves and receive correction for our sins and not take it as being legalistic than God can fully have his way with,us.Amen

  4. Amen and Amen! What a powerful prayer. Thank you for submitting to Holy Spirit and interceding on our behalf. I pray with a group on intercessors on Saturdays and will be sharing this prayer.

  5. What a beautiful prayer, April! Thank you for this… as others have said, you basically covered everything!

    I pray that I will keep my weaknesses in mind, not in order to dwell on them and allow them to become something the enemy uses against me, but in order to know how great, full, rich, and abounding His love for me is, that in all my depths of sin, He still takes care of me and leads me. He doesn’t throw me out as if I’m garbage, but gently shows me the way home. Of course, as Paul said, it’s also important to remember that God’s grace is not to be trampled on… we should not go on sinning that grace may abound! We are to make every effort to submit our lives to Christ and honor Him in everything we do, imperfect though we are. It is He who gives us the power to do these things, and not of ourselves (we also need to remember that, as you mentioned).

    Thank you, Lord, for your kindness, and please forgive us our many sins. Wake us up and grow us, Lord. Amen.

    1. Oh dear, I am in much repentance over the way I handled grief a few months ago over our miscarriage! I had such a bitter spirit and was definitely not walking in unity with my poor husband in many ways, all the while feeling totally justified! I could not even open my own eyes 🙁 My goodness how sin blinds us, you are right. I had originally commented here, http://peacefulwife.com/2014/12/11/i-want-a-baby-but-my-husband-doesnt-want-one-right-now-what-do-i-do/, if you would still like to do a post I would be happy to 🙂 Thank you for this prayer!

  6. Catholic Act of Contrition, commonly used before the Sacrament of Confession and before partaking in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

    My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

  7. I confess to my sins, having buckled under pressure a number of times in life. 🙁

    The Lord brought through things to realize I need to be ready to die for what’s right, even in full sight of believers. Never buckling, never being made afraid of any threats the world makes of me ever again, but remember that He is my center. He does not “expect results” except obedience to Him and whatever He calls me to do at any given time.

    To be prepared to be changed by Him daily, molded to His purposes, hungry for His truth, unmoved by anything other than His voice. 🙂

  8. Dear God,

    Forgive me for I have sinned, even today I have sinned against your will. I feel so ashamed of myself; my face is covered with the streaks of guilt that I have caused by not obeying your word.

    Again and Again, I have asked for your forgiveness about the same issue. Over and again, I have made promises to you on my knees and on my heels but yet I find that I just simply run around the same circle. My I am sorry has become like water running down a slippery glass and has no hold to last.

    It doesn’t matter what another might think of my plea, I simply want to do your will. I want to know you, I need your peace in my life and I need your joy overflowing to all areas of my being. I keep asking you for things, give me more stuff Lord; how can you give me any more when I haven’t learnt how to treat the blessings you have already given me?

    God, I cannot do this on my own. I have tried for years and I have failed. I have read your word and when things start looking good, I slip back to my old ways of not reading your word. And like a flash here it all goes crumbling down. And yes, I hear the devil laugh at me in defeat and a loud voice saying “Did you really think you could do this”. OH GOD OF HEAVEN, Give me grace to wake up early; the morning is the gate of my day, help me to start with your word in my heart so that I am not running on empty emotions. Fill my heart with your word so I am not open for the enemy to attack me. Give me your spirit so as not to wake up with any carry overs from the day before, any anger, any resentment, any hurtful thoughts or any atom of negativity. Help me to wake up with gratitude for giving me another chance to make things right, a chance to serve you and do what you expect of me.

    Why is my learning so slow Lord, but yet I can put my mind to other things and accomplish them? Why am I crawling on the floor like a baby for something so vital to my life? God help me for I have legions of demons constantly chasing me trying to take my home; some from generational lineage, some from the fragments of my childhood watching my parents’ marriage, some in my mind, in my wild thoughts forcing me to go astray and Self-destruct. Who is left to fight the enemy if I attack my own team? Lord please give me the wisdom and a strategy for my home, burn my lips, take away everything that is nasty in me, purge my spirit; fill me with yours, takeaway pride, EVERY itching, fussing, controlling, egotistic, hard-headed, frustrated, easily angered, bitter, envious, childish, petty, hard-hearted, unappreciative, self-centred, ungrateful, snooty, self-righteous and inpatient SPIRIT in me.
    GOD you see my heart, let my actions line up with my heart. IF I only think it, if I only read it but I don’t apply it then it’s useless. What I have been blessed with must be so good, better that I know. Devil, if I didn’t have something so precious, why then are you after me with a structured attack?

    I LOVE YOU LORD and I LOVE YOU MY HUSBAND, the best there is in the world. Get ready for a brand new woman, a godly woman, a peaceful woman who will not bring anything but GOOD all the days of your life.

    IT IS ONLY BY YOUR POWER LORD.

    AMEN

    1. I Choose to Respect Him,

      Thank you for sharing your confession and repentance with us. I agree – NONE of us can do any of this on our own. We are all in desperate need of God’s power and the presence of Christ. I pray that you might sit at His feet this week and just soak in His love for you, His truth, His power, His sovereignty, His goodness, His wisdom, His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace, and allow Him to begin to transform and regenerate you for His glory.

      Much love to you!!!!

  9. Dear April,

    Thank you so much for responding.

    I just wanted to know if you would be so kind to tell me what you use along side your bible in the morning for your devotional time. Do you use a daily guide or a devotional plan?

    I was also wondering during your transition to what you used to be and where you are now in your walk with God/respecting your husband, did you find yourself making mistakes? Did you have slip backs? How did you handle those moments? Did your husband feel “she hasn’t really changed” or did he see the difference in you and also know that you are human bound to make mistakes. I am not sure if you have a post on this, sorry i have not come across it yet.

    In the future, will you be saving a PDFs copy of your blog post that people can save or print? There are certain post’s that strike me and would love to print them off to have them handy to refer back to on paper along side reading my bible and such. Currently when you print, it prints off the entire post including all the comments 🙂

    God bless you and all the people sharing their stories/inputs and experiences. There is so much for us to learn and it begins by seeing the sin in your own life; focusing on your self like you mentioned in your CONTACT ME page.

    Thank you Kindly.

  10. Another thing I’ve contemplated a lot lately is the mental exercise “the universe is a simulation.”

    The world is not the place for us to make our home. It’s not our job to fix the place. (It reminds me of what you often say, not needing to control things or feel responsible FOR people but more “TO” them).

    As far as we’re concerned, it’s a testing ground before God. 🙂 He speaks to us and nurtures us and tests us through our surroundings while we aim heavenward.

    1. JC,

      This world is a test. A lab. It is not home. It is where we learn to put God’s commands into practice and learn to love as He loved and learn to fully depend on Him. 🙂

      I totally get what you are saying! 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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