May 18: Confession – Psalm 51

We’re on our fifth day of looking at Confession in our Hour of Prayer:

Let’s look on our final day at Psalm 51. Often we look at confession as something insignificant. But David saw his sin as an offense against God. How severe did David see His sin as?

[1] Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
[2] Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
[3] For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
[4] Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
[5] Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
[6] Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
[7] Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
[8] Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
[9] Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
[11] Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
[12] Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
[13] Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
[14] Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
[15] O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
[16] For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
[17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
[18] Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
[19] Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

David took his sin seriously – and so should we!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RT9AbjICqY

May 17: Confession – Sins committed against others

As we’re progressing on our hour of prayer, we’re focusing on confession.

Some sins we need to seek God’s forgiveness for, while other sins we need man’s forgiveness for as well.

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Acts 24:16

Is there someone you need to seek forgiveness from?

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Matthew 5:23-24

May 16: Confession – Self-interrogation

As we continue through our “Hour of Prayer” let’s continue building up our “Confession” time to a 12th minute of prayer.

The Revival We Need book by Oswald J Smith
The Revival We Need book by Oswald J Smith

Oswald J Smith wrote a book, The Revival We Need. In it he encourages the reader to ask himself if he is guilty of sin:

Now let us take our sins one by one and deal with each transgression separately. And let us ask ourselves the following questions. It may be we are guilty and God will speak to us.

Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, pp. 63-65
  1. Have we forgiven everyone? Is there any malice, spite, hatred or enmity in our hearts? Do we cherish grudges; and have we refused to be reconciled?
  2. Do we get angry? Are there any uprisings within? Is it true that we still lose our tempers? Does wrath hold us at times in its grip?
  3. Is there any feeling of jealousy? When another is preferred before us does it make us envious and uncomfortable? Do we get jealous of those who can pray, speak and do things better than we can?
  4. Do we get impatient and irritated? Do little things vex and annoy, or, are we sweet, calm and unruffled under all circumstances?
  5. Are we offended easily? When people fail to notice us and pass by without speaking does it hurt? If others are made much of and we are neglected how do we feel about it?
  6. Is there any pride in our hearts? Are we puffed up, do we think a great deal of our own position and attainments?
  7. Have we been dishonest? Is our business open and above reproach? Do we give a yard for a yard and a pound for a pound? Are we honest in our statements. or do we exaggerate and thus convey false impressions?
  8. Have we been gossiping about people? Do we slander the character of others? Are we talebearers and busybodies?
  9. Do we criticize unlovingly, harshly, severely? Are we always finding fault and looking for the flaws in others?
  10. Do we rob God? Have we stolen time that belongs to Him? Has our money been withheld?
  11. Are we guilty of the sin of unbelief? In spite of all He has done for us do we still refuse to believe the promises of His Word?
  12. Have we committed the sin of prayerlessness? Are we intercessors? Do we pray? How much time are we spending on our knees? Have we crowded prayer out of our lives? 
  13. Are we neglecting God’s Word? How many chapters do we read each day? Are we Bible students? Do we draw our source of supply from the Scriptures? 
  14. Are we burdened for the salvation of souls ? Have we a love for the lost ? Is there any compassion in our hearts for those who are perishing ? 
  15. Have we failed to confess Christ openly? Are we ashamed of Jesus? Do we keep our mouths closed when we are surrounded by worldly people? Are we witnessing daily?
  16. Are our lives filled with lightness and frivolity? Is our conduct unseemly? Would the world by our actions consider us on its side?
  17. Have we wronged any one and failed to make restitution? Or, has the spirit of Zacchaeus possessed us? Have we restored the many little things that God has shown us?
  18. Are we worried or anxious? Do we fail to trust God for our temporal and spiritual needs? Are we continually crossing bridges before we come to them?
  19. Are we guilty of lustful thoughts? Do we allow our minds to harbor impure and unholy imaginations?

(These questions are also included in the Christ-Walk Journal, and The School of Biblical Evangelism)

For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

Psalm 38:18

May 15: Confession brings mercy!

We’ve been building our “Hour of Prayer” one minute at a time:

Today, as we continue to look at confession, God says that this is not just you beating yourself up, this is how God demonstrates His mercy!

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: 
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13

We see the two requirements to obtain mercy: confession & forsaking. Confession is declaring it to God – but how do we forsake?

Let’s go to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:


Forsake

FORSA’KEverb transitive preterit tense forsook; participle passiveforsaken. See Seek .]

1. To quit or leave entirely; to desert; to abandon; to depart from. Friends and flatterers forsake us in adversity.

Forsake the foolish, and live. Proverbs 9:6.

2. To abandon; to renounce; to reject.

If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments – Psalms 89:30.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Psalms 37:8.

3. To leave; to withdraw from; to fail. In anger, the color forsakes the cheeks. In severe trials, let not fortitude forsake you.

4. In scripture, God forsakes his people, when he withdraws his aid, or the light of his countenance.


Forsaking is not just abandoning – we must leave our sin, and cleave to God!

Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 55:7

May 14: Hour of Prayer: Confession

As we jump back to the hour of prayer, we enter the 3rd section of the clock (If you look at the 12 hours on a clock – each hour can be a reminder for a different category of prayer!) [BTW – this clock idea of prayer comes from The Hour that Changes the World by Dick Eastman. But let’s quick review where we’ve been:

We’ve posted once for each minute – to give you ideas on how to stretch your prayer time with God. Now we enter the third “section” – confession – here’s something to stretch your prayer time into the 11th minute!

An awareness of our past failures especially tends to buffet the mind as we pray. Suddenly we feel hopelessly unworthy of offering our petitions. The devil has gained a victory and soon we stop praying altogether.

To combat these spiritual attacks we must take at face value all the promises of God concerning confession. “If we confess our sins,” declared the apostle John, “He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). If unrighteousness renders our praying ineffective, then confession is the solution to the problem of sin-guilt in prayer.

The Hour that Changes the World by Dick Eastman

While you’re praying – search your heart for sin that needs to be confessed, so that there’s nothing between your soul and the Saviour!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlTvJpE3Yd4

As you’re looking for sin that needs to be confessed, browse the list of Biblical commands we’ve put together. We’ve found over 800 commands in the New Testament alone!

March 11: Moody – Confession

D.L. Moody

This reading is excerpted from D.L. Moody’s classic book, Prevailing Prayer.

Another element in true prayer is Confession. I do not want Christian friends to think that I am talking to the unsaved. I think we, as Christians, have a good many sins to confess.

If you go back to the Scripture records, you will find that the men who lived nearest to God, and had most power with Him, were those who confessed their sins and failures. Daniel, as we have seen, confessed his sins and those of his people. Yet there is nothing recorded against Daniel. He was one of the best men then on the face of the earth, yet was his confession of sin one of the deepest and most humble on record. Brooks, referring to Daniel’s confession, says: “In these words you have seven circumstances that Daniel uses in confessing of his and the people’s sins; and all to heighten and aggravate them.

  • First, ‘We have sinned;’
  • secondly, ‘We have committed iniquity;’
  • thirdly, ‘We have done wickedly;’
  • fourthly, ‘We have rebelled against thee;’
  • fiftly, ‘We have departed from Thy precepts;’
  • sixthly, ‘We have not hearkened unto Thy servants;’
  • seventhly, ‘Nor our princes, nor all the people of the land.’

These seven aggravations which Daniel reckons up in his confession are worthy our most serious consideration.”

Job was no doubt a holy man, a mighty prince, yet he had to fall in the dust and confess his sins. So you will find it all through the Scriptures. When Isaiah saw the purity and holiness of God, he beheld himself in his true light, and he exclaimed, “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips!

I firmly believe that the Church of God will have to confess her own sins, before there can be any great work of grace. There must be a deeper work among God’s believing people. I sometimes think it is about time to give up preaching to the ungodly, and preach to those who profess to be Christians. If we had a higher standard of life in the Church of God, there would be thousands more flocking into the Kingdom. So it was in the past; when God’s believing children turned away from their sins and their idols, the fear of God fell upon the people round about. Take up the history of Israel, and you will find that when they put away their strange gods, God visited the nation, and there came a mighty work of grace.

What we want in these days is a true and deep revival in the Church of God. I have little sympathy with the idea that God is going to reach the masses by a cold and formal church. The judgment of God must begin with us. You notice that when Daniel got that wonderful answer to prayer recorded in the ninth chapter, he was confessing his sin. That is one of the best chapters on prayer in the whole Bible.

We read: “While I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, while I was speaking in my prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.”

So also when Job was confessing his sin, God turned his captivity and heard his prayer. God will hear our prayer and turn our captivity when we take our true place before Him, and confess and forsake our transgressions. It was when Isaiah cried out before the Lord, “I am undone,” that the blessing came; the live coal was taken from the altar and put upon his lips; and he went out to write one of the most wonderful books the world has ever seen. What a blessing it has been to the church!