Repentance – the Forerunner of Forgiveness

“Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

Isaiah was specific in his confession. There was a particular area of his life that needed the cleansing of God—the sin of an impure tongue. When he saw a holy, righteous, and glorious God, he could not help but ask God to purge and cleanse his lips. The high praises of God could never come from impure lips. Isaiah had an immensely high view of God. Such a view will spotlight the impurities of our lives.

Many Christians pray, “Forgive me of my sins.” But such praying produces little repentance. Repentance is the forerunner of forgiveness, and God desires to forgive and cleanse His children. He loves us and wants to remove the burden of guilt. But we must be specific in our confession and repentance of sin.

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit

Lord of hosts, You are holy, righteous and glorious! Cleanse my heart, mind and actions before You so that I may serve You out of a pure life. Show me how to quickly confess anything that grieves Your Holy Spirit, and pour out Your forgiveness as I name those things that keep me from living like Jesus! Wash me and make me new again as I seek to honor Your Name!

Prayer Points

Glorify God as the Lord who gathers his people from east and west, from north and south, to worship and serve him (Isa. 66:18-21). Thank God for including you as part of this family of varied cultures, races, and languages. Confess any tendency you have to put blinders on, so that you see God as interested only in one people or culture. Commit yourself to studying more about God’s work in countries and cultures other than your own. Ask God to give you an opportunity to become involved in that work in some way— by prayer support, financial giving, letter writing, etc.

Pray that God’s Spirit will help your church to move beyond its comfort zone in reaching out to those who are “unfamiliar”—of a different race, creed, or language. Ask God to give you plenty of opportunities to do so.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend