Confession

Once you begin praising God for who He is, you will begin to see yourself as you really are. Hmm. That's always a scary sight for me. We've got issues, don't we? That's where praise will lead us--right to God's feet and in full view of our need for him. But if we confess our sin (call it by it's ugly, honest name!), God clears our hearts for communication. Now our prayers can actually be heard and answered.
Psalm 32:5 (NLT) "Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone."




Confessions of a critical tongue

Oh, Lord,

I did it again. I'm nit-picking and criticizing. I just can't stop myself. Or at least, I choose not to. I stand in front of people I love and I say unhelpful things with a big megaphone when I should just be listening.

Help me to choose edifying speech. I want to give encouragement to my kids and husband, to speak lovely things about extended family and friends, to notice the good in church, school, and community organizations. I want to be a blessing to others.

Lord, root out this spirit of criticism. I confess it. I know it comes from pride, and I confess it and pray against it in Jesus' name. Help me to learn your humility and your gentleness. Even when I see the wrong in something--even when I should take action against it or call it out--give me the grace to fight sin with mercy and understanding, to love sinners while hating sin. To give the Holy Spirit time to work in his own way and not according to my impatience.

Why is this so hard? I am such a sinner and a hypocrite. Please forgive me of my sinful arrogance and selfishness. I need you. Let my critical tongue remind me that I need you and only you to change me into your likeness. Help me to pause and pray every time I think a negative thought--I want to give the Holy Spirit time to stop me from speaking. I want time to remember your many blessings in my life, to erase my Pharisaical, entitled attitude and give me the attitude of Christ.

If I can learn that--then all my speech and all my actions would only bring you glory and bless others. May I long for that enough to change!

In Jesus' name,
Amen.

"Your attitude would be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider quality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)

image by George Hodan

A prayer against shame

Dear Holy God,

You feel the ache I'm feeling.
You know the weight and sorrow of sin,
even another person's sin,
especially when it affects me.
Shame rolls in like a tidal wave,
wave after wave,
hitting the shores of my soul.

I want to cower and cover up
my sins and the sins of the people I love.

I chafe under conviction
(the very thing that seeks to release me)--
while I protect my shame
(the very thing that keeps me in bondage).

Oh, Father, give me the courage to welcome conviction for my sin
and the tenacity to fight the shame.
Your Spirit convicts,
but Your enemy shames,
because he knows that shame will make me hide in the shadows,
hide from the body of Christ,
and hide from You.

Lord, make us freedom-seekers!
Give us the desire to live freely in Your convicting presence,
in the holy of holies, where our souls are laid bare before You.
Help us confess our faults to one another
and pray for one another
so that we will be healed!
There is no limit to the power that will be unleashed when
righteous, shameless freedom-seekers seek the face of God and pray!

Amen.


"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)

(meme made in WordSwag)

10 Reasons You Should Fast and Pray

Here are 10 reasons you should fast and pray:

1. Jesus fasted (Mtt. 4:2).
2. Fasting accompanies fervent prayer (Ezra 8:23, Dan. 9:2-4)
3. The early church fasted before making decisions (Acts 13:1-2).
4. Jesus taught his disciples how to fast (Mtt. 6:16-18).
5. Jesus said his disciples would fast in his absence (Mk. 2:18-20).
6. Fasting accompanies worship (Lk. 2:37).
7. Fasting puts you in an attitude of repentance (1 Sam. 7:6, Neh. 9:1-3)
8. Fasting reminds you that nothing is an important as hearing from God (Jer. 36:6-9).
9. Fasting increases patience, which is a necessary part of praying (Psalm 35).
10. Fasting facilitates grief and wisdom in your response (Neh. 1:4)

Dear Lord Jehovah,
I am in awe of you. I confess my many sins, and I bring to you the sins of my loved ones and ask for your mercy on their behalf. Move in me, and move in them. Let your spirit pour over us and drown us with your presence. Lead us in your will and give us the courage to obey your call. Oh, Lord, build in me patience so I will wait on you, as I should. I sit here, waiting. I know you will come.
Thank you! I love you!
Amen.

image by Kevin Phillips

A prayer for blessing our nation

Lord of heaven, the God of the whole earth and of America,

We are a smug, selfish people. Forgive us, Lord, for asking for you to move in our nation merely because we want spirituality to be popular and sanctification to be easy. Forgive us for wanting laws that accommodate our spiritual goals rather than laws that motivate our spiritual fervor.

Bless us with your conviction and the power of your spirit! Manifest your patience and lovingkindness for our weaknesses! Continue to bless us--not with material wealth and extravagant living--but with the reality of your presence. May your presence go before us, go with us, and shield us from behind, as we deliver your message to a lost nation of peoples. Give us the courage to share your word, as it lives and breathes among us, transforming us to become more like you.

Make us into missionaries within our own borders! Bless us with courage and determination to share Christ rather than impose morality.

Give us patience and lovingkindness for others, as we desire for ourselves. May all your plans succeed in your timing and for your purpose. We are the people you have called and chosen--not to live prosperous and happy lives, but to share the good news with a nation that doesn't know who you are or what you've done for us.

Bless America through our testimony, and nothing else.

Amen.

"But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance."
--Psalm 33:11-12


image by Linnaea Mallette


David's Prayer of Confession

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of my salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:1-4, 10-12


image from crestock.com