“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1).
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Confession means to come into agreement with God concerning our sin. When we confess, we acknowledge and admit to our sin, and receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing. But confession isn’t to be a one-time thing; it’s to be a lifestyle of acknowledging and dealing with personal sin. There is one important distinction to make: Confessing a sin isn’t synonymous with repenting of sin. It’s one thing to be awakened at six o’clock in the morning and quite another thing to get up out of the bed. Confession involves a change of heart. Repentance involves a change of behavior. So when conviction comes, whether in prayer or not, confess and repent immediately. Confession brings a sweet release to our humbled soul.
Confession of sin is an important part of prayer that many Christians need if they are to move to the next level of spiritual maturity. Since confession involves agreeing with God concerning sin, we have the joy of agreeing with Him that our sin is eradicated by the blood of Christ. In the Old Testament sin was covered (see Ps. 32:1), but in the New Testament sin is cleansed (see 1 Jn. 1:9). Rejoice New Testament Christian. Your sin is eradicated! That which is covered can be uncovered. That which is eradicated no longer exists!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 12, The Aspects, Varieties and Kinds of Prayer by Alice Smith).
Father, help me to keep short accounts with You so that I am quickly aware of sinning against You and others with my words, through my actions or in my thoughts. I desire to quickly repent of whatever displeases Your heart and to make right whatever I have done to damage my relationships or myself. Thank You for the joy in knowing that You will quickly forgive and even forget my sins as I bring them before You. Give me determination to continually walk in holiness before You.
Praise God that he is absolutely holy; that there is no sin in him at all. Thank him for making you holy through the blood of Jesus Christ. Confess any known sin that is contrary to God’s will. Commit to his lordship in every area of life. Ask that in all you are facing, your faithful God will “not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear,” but will always “provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
Pray that your Christian example may encourage others to seek the Lord. Ask that you will “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend