“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
(Luke 11:1-4 ESV)
As we pray for our needs we can often forget that our greatest need is forgiveness. God wants us to experience the freedom of forgiveness: the freedom of being forgiven by God and the freedom that comes from extending forgiveness to others. Scripture is clear that if we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9). Confessionliterally means to agree with God. We are agreeing with Him that we’ve sinned greatly against Him. We are agreeing that Jesus was a sufficient sacrifice for our sins. We are agreeing that His mercy and grace are much greater than our sins.
King David, in Psalm 51, wrote out a moving prayer of confession:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
(Psalm 51:1-13 ESV)
Is there sin to be confessed in your life, so that you may experience forgiveness? Is there someone you need to forgive? Pray today for God’s wisdom and grace as you search your heart.