“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” --1 John 1:9
Several years ago, an elder in a church asked me why we needed to have a prayer of confession in our worship services. She thought the confession of sin diminished the joy of worship and she didn’t see why Christians needed to keep asking God to forgive them.
I did not get into a theological debate, I simply said, I think when Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, confession was all over it. Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4). If the prayer that Jesus taught us includes a plea of confession, then clearly we need to ask for forgiveness regularly.
I can be the first to confess that I am not Holier than thou, especially in these trying days. I have probably said things that offend people, I judge some people, and I find it hard to love some of God’s Children with my whole heart. Every Sunday we pray some form of confession, embedded in our communion liturgy or in the Lord’s Prayer. These are corporate reminders of the personal confession we need in our daily lives because we are all sinners.
God already knows our sins, and Jesus’ death on the cross provided forgiveness for our sins, yet you’re still called to confess them.
Confession isn’t just about listing our sins to God, but admitting where we fell short, unburdening our hearts, releasing the guilt, and accepting God’s grace and mercy through his forgiveness.
When was the last time you sat down with God and confessed your sins? Is confession and repentance part of your regular prayers?
LET US PRAY:
I confess that I have not loved you with my whole heart.
I have failed to be an obedient christian
I have not done your will,
I have broken your law,
I have rebelled against your love,
I have not loved my neighbors,
and I have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive me, I pray.
Free me for joyful obedience,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.