Pray for forgiveness of sins still remains one of the most difficult things among Christian communities. unfortunately, this seems to be the case for both new and seasoned believers. In some ways, the old believers tend to begin to drag their feet on the matter. The saddest thing that you will see is when people start to become too familiar in their position in Christ that they would no longer pursue his righteousness.
One of the main reasons for this is the fact that as a people we tend to be quite judgemental. We also fear the judgement of man. In some cases, we fear it more than we do that of God. As such, more and more people spend a chunk of their time trying to convince themselves that they are right with God instead of actually being right with God. This is something that is new. Church history is littered with case and the case of this being prevalent. And you did not look far to find examples of this. One of the most cases is that of Martin Luther and his fight against the Catholic Church.
This came at a time when the Catholic Church would sell forgiveness to the people. Some may even argue that this is a massive source of the wealth at the church has today. These were known as indulgences. It was as a result of concerted efforts against great opposition that this practice has been largely eradicated from the church. This practice saw the wealthy people live as they pleased without needing to really be right with God as long as they could afford to pay off the church. This was a method of buying salvation or the right to sin.
Today most of us understand the need to be right with God. The Bible tells us that if you confess your sins God is willing to forgive.
1 John 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
That then becomes the anchor or basis of every prayer for forgiveness of sins that you will possibly say. You start by acknowledging that you are wrong and then asking the Lord that he would forgive you. When you are asking for forgiveness, it is obviously based on the desire to make amends.
By making amends we are repenting from the sin that you have confessed. This is to say that I’ve done wrong but I’m not looking to continue to do wrong. Some of us may then argue that we all sinners so we will somewhat continue to do wrong as humans. To that, one could then say, we are looking to find the righteousness in Christ while striving to do right by him. The Apostle Paul is consistent in his call for us to strive for righteousness.
2 Timothy 2:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1 Timothy 6:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Good Confession
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
I am a sinner
The first part of praying for forgiveness of sins is admission. Why else would you be praying if you’re not admitting to being a sinner? If you’re not a sinner then there is no reason why one should be praying for forgiveness of sin. However, we do know that all men have sinned and for the shuttle gone sorry. As such, we need to constantly sick his face what are you can yet be found.
Romans 3:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Father, I am a sinner. I admit that I am imperfect in ways that I know and do not know. I ask that by your grace you’d forgive me, Lord. I thank you for your unwavering love. Thank you for your unconditional love. That while we will get sinners you send your son to die for me. I pray that you would forgive me in this time with incredible need.
Forgive me for the wrongs I’ve done knowingly. Forgive me for the wrong that I have done without realising. Forgive me for times that I’ve caused harm to others knowingly or unknowingly. Lord, forgive me for the times brought harm to myself knowing or knowingly. Thank you for never leaving my side and Jesus name. Amen.
Romans 5:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Confess your sins
Confession is the acknowledgement of wrongdoing. When we confess our sins not only are we exposing the things that would have otherwise been hidden to us and others. We are also in many ways releasing ourselves from the bondage that sin ties us to. Once it is out, the devil cannot hold it against you anymore. He cannot longer point you back to that spot to say you may be doing this but you are not like that. You remove the power from the enemy to be an accuser of the saints.
Growing up I went to the confession box in the Catholic Church quite religiously. This meant that I had to be mindful of my actions at every turn and what they meant in the eyes of God. So, in many ways confession calls for deep self-reflection. You will find yourself using the word of God as a yardstick. And when you do this not only do you know your need for God’s grace, but you also actively pursue him.
This part is going to be an exercise. Grab a pen and pad or your computer. Write down anything that comes to mind that you would’ve done, said, thought or not done. I’m not saying that you will automatically walk in righteousness. It can only be done through God’s grace.
Romans 3:24-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 being justified [a]freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a [b]propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
May I sin no more
If I remember correctly, these were the first words that you would say when you walk into a confession box, “Father, I am a sinner, may I sin no more. This is the same way that we are going to be deliberate about confession when it comes to straying off the path of God. This isn’t to say that you’re suddenly gonna become perfect. However, you’re going to become more deliberate about your efforts to walk and remain in the will of God. When we pray for God‘s grace to enable us to walk in his will even when it hurts, even in the most difficult times.
Being right with God oftentimes puts you at odds with standing with mankind. Standing with God is sometimes undemocratic. What the people want is not always in line with the will of God. This is even true in our churches today. Let us consider that as we pray.
Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving my sins. I ask that you would give me the grace to walk in your way at every turn. Even when its most difficult and take every single fibre of me to achieve this. Your grace makes it possible for me to stand. Through you, I will stand, and when I can’t stand or more to stand up again. Open my eyes to the error of my ways that I may see you and seek you all the days of my life. Give me the grace to not hold my sin against myself as you have let it go. I ask this in the name of Jesus.
Ephesians 6:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
2 Timothy 2:22
1 John 1:9
1 Timothy 6:11