Authentic Confession

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Humility travels the road of confession. The majority of times that the word “confess” or “confession” is used in the Bible, it refers to confessing or the confession of our faith. A few times it refers to confessing sin. James 5:16 appears to connect together the concepts of confessing sin, praying for each other, and healing. Someone has said that confession is simply agreeing with God. There is such a tendency in our culture not to accept responsibility for our actions but to blame someone else. Authentic confession of sin is not only accepting ownership for the act of and desire for sinning, but also seeing sin as an act against someone.

All sin is against someone. It is either against God or against God and others. David confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, Jesus identifies the younger son’s confession this way: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” This latter example sees sin as an act against someone that also carries a consequence.

Confession is much different than simply being sorry. Saying “I’m sorry” does not necessarily identify ownership and certainly does not acknowledge an act against someone. To be pursuing intimacy with God, I must see my sin from God’s perspective. I must see it as an act against Him, and when appropriate against others. Only through the act of acknowledging sin and acknowledging it as against someone can I maintain a clear conscience.

–Taken from The Path toward Passion (Nine Disciplines that Connect Your Heart to God’s) by Dean Trune.  (Click on the title for more information about this resource).

Holy Father, help me to see my sin from Your perspective, so that I might be appalled by it!  Show me how to keep short accounts with You by quickly recognizing and confessing it before You and becoming determined to turn away from it!  Give me courage to make right the wrongs I do to others so that they may be touched by the heart of the Living God within me.

Prayer Points
Praise God even in your weakness, believing that in Christ, when you are weak, then you are strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Thank God for opportunities to serve him with perseverance and purpose. Confess those times when you chose to believe that spiritual power comes from within you. Commit yourself to appropriate “boasting” in your weaknesses so that Christ’s power might be made even more evident in your life (12:9). Ask God to help you “delight” even in the tough times of life.

Pray that Christians in every part of the globe will be strengthened to do battle with the evil spiritual forces that are at work in our world. Pray for an outpouring of God’s power throughout his church worldwide.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend  (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).