Prayer Of Faith, Repentance and Salvation
5 Prayers of Repentance from a Humble Heart
I thought long and prayed hard about what topic to cover on Day Two of the Prayers for All Seasons series.
One one hand, my “blogger brain” told me I needed to make it something appealing. Some clever concoction to keep our zeal fervent and our enthusiasm strong.
On the other hand, my “Christ-follower spirit” is aware that we don’t need clever concoctions conceived in human brains and worked out with human hands.
We need the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m also very aware that prayers hindered are wasted prayers.
And nothing hinders our prayers quite unconfessed sin.
So whether it’s popular or not…
and whether or not it appeals to my sometimes-lukewarm-heart…
it’s critical that we devote a day early in this process toward a focus on repentance.
I’m confident that it won’t be among the most-shared posts in this series.
It won’t be the most pinned or d or tweeted.
And that’s okay.
Because at its very core, this series isn’t about any of that. It’s about you and me getting good and serious with God about prayer.
We need to get real with God.
And that starts with getting real about our sin. I can’t think of a better way to do that than praying the Scriptures for repentance.
Prayers of Repentance
1.)Thank God for His promise that if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
2.)Share with God that you are unable to discern the errors of your own heart. Ask Him to cleanse you from faults that you cannot see, as well as from sins you’ve committed intentionally.
Pray that you would be free from the dominion of sinful strongholds in your life, becoming blameless and innocent.Ask God that the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart would be acceptable in the sight of your Rock and Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)
3.)Remind God of His promise that if His people who are called by His name humble themselves, and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and heal our land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14) Ask Him to do this very thing – to bring in your own heart a fresh awareness of the seriousness of your sin, and that this work would spread wildfire among His people.
4.)Repent of any distance between you and the Lord. Tell God of your desire to draw near to Him, and claim His promise to draw near to you.
Prayerfully seek His cleansing of your hands and His purification your heart. Spend some time searching your heart with seriousness and humility before the Lord. (James 4:8-10)
5.)Thank God for a godly grief that produces repentance that leads to salvation. Tell God that you will look for the fruits of this repentance in the hours and days ahead: “For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!” (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)
My dear heavenly Father, you know the depths of my sorrow over my sin. Even though it’s painful, I know this sorrow is a gift of grace.
I would far rather be aware of my sin and mourning over it, than to be oblivious of it and self-satisfied, because awareness of it is the first step toward confessing it, repenting of it, forsaking it, and turning back toward You.
How I thank You for granting me a fresh awareness of my sin before a holy God! Not so I can wallow or berate myself, but so I can come to the cross for cleansing. I cannot improve upon the prayer of David of Psalm 51, and so I offer it to You now.
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.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
For You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
You will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Do good to Zion in Your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will You delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on Your altar.
Having believed Your promise, I receive Your forgiveness, recognizing that You remove my sin as far as the east is from the west, choosing to remember it no more. There are no words to thank You for this grace. It’s in the name Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.
Seven Laws of Prayer
In nature, everything works according to set laws. It is the same in the spiritual realm: God acts according to laws. So often we get discouraged and believe that prayer is useless when our prayers do not get answered. However, the actual reason is that we have not fulfilled God's laws which are a condition for prayer.
1. The Law of a Pure Heart
“Let us draw near … having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…” (HEBREWS 10:22). God's first condition is that my heart must be pure. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (PSALM 66:18). What a statement!
In ISAIAH 1:15, God says: “I will hide mine eyes … I will not hear”. Sin in your heart will close God's ear and cut off all communication with Him. It is useless for me to pray when I am carrying a sin on my conscience which I have not yet acknowledged. I might as well get up from my knees if there is anything in my life which I know is contrary to the will of God.
God said to Joshua: “Get thee up … Israel hath sinned … Therefore … Israel could not stand before their enemies … neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you” (JOSHUA 7:10-12).
The Lord told Joshua to stop praying. Why? Because He does not want to communicate with a soul that remains in sin. Repentance and cleansing from sin are essential for fellowship with God.
2. The Law of a Forgiving Spirit
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any…” (MARK 11:25). This is a condition for getting your prayers answered.
I fear that the spirit of unforgiveness is more widespread than one would generally notice.
Often you can find it with people who are, outwardly, very sincere, and who take an active part in the work of the Lord; even these people can harbour a spirit of unforgiveness towards somebody else. If we are not prepared to forgive, our prayer will not be acceptable to God.A forgiving spirit is so essential that the Lord made a drastic statement in Mark: “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive you your trespasses” (MARK 11:26, MATTHEW 6:15). I will not try to explain this mysterious statement of the Lord.
However, in the light of it, I search my own heart and watch and pray earnestly that I will never be guilty of this horrible sin, and that I will never be subject to this terrible judgment.
3. The Law of the Right Motive
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (JAMES 4:3).
I can go to God and ask Him for things which are completely in order: e.g. I can ask Him to use the Gospel for the salvation of souls, to let evangelisation prosper, etc.; but if my motive is my own pleasure, my own wealth or the approval of people, my prayer will not be answered.
When I ask God for success in my ministry, can I ask Him with equal sincerity to give my brother the same or even greater success than what I am praying for myself? Can I rejoice when God pours His Spirit out upon another brother or sister and uses them mightily? Can I rejoice as much as though God had used myself? If I cannot do this, my motive for praying is wrong.
If my prayer is to be victorious prayer, which guarantees an answer, it is not to be inspired by the desire for selfish pleasure or success.
A proper motive is essential in order to receive an answer to our prayer. And there is only one reason to pray which is right – namely: “That God in all things may be glorified” (1 PETER 4:11; 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31). Is this my motive?
4. The Law of Faith
“Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering…” (JAMES 1:6). Weymouth translates this as: “Let him… have no doubts.” Faith is indispensable if we want to receive answers to our prayers, for “without faith it is impossible to please him” (HEBREWS 11:6). However, when there is faith, God works miracles.
In the Gospel of Mark our Lord gave an amazing promise to the praying soul: “…whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe…
he shall have whatsoever he saith” (MARK 11:23).
How many of us have prayed that the mountains which block the spreading of the Gospel should be removed! Yet, how few of us have seen these mountains being cast into the sea? Why? Because of our unbelief.
5. Pray According to the Will of God
“If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (1 JOHN 5:14). Everything depends on this. First we have to find out God's will, and we have to pray according to this will. Without knowing God's will it is impossible to have faith that moves mountains.
Paul's prayer for the Colossians was that they “might be filled with the knowledge of his will” (COLOSSIANS 1:9). This requires an intimate knowledge of God Himself. How do we get to know the desires of our friends? By talking to them, and by being with them often.
How do we get to know God's will? By five-minute-prayers? No! It is by waiting, waiting, and waiting on God. We cannot get to know the will of God within five minutes, perhaps not even in five hours, and possibly not even in five days.
It is a matter of waiting before God daily, and learning His will for that day.
6. Praying in the Name of Jesus
Jesus said: “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (JOHN 14:14). What a promise!
But what does it mean, to ask in the Name of Jesus? Something much deeper than some people think. It is not a matter of quoting a formula. This cannot achieve a result. A formula can be on our lips, but have no meaning whatsoever.
But what is its meaning then?An employee goes to the bank to draw money on behalf of his employer by presenting a cheque with the employer's name on it. He receives 1000 dollars. Why? Because the bank clerk knew the employee? No! The employee could not receive the money just by his own efforts; however, if he asks for it in the name of his employer, he will receive the full amount which is written on the cheque.
To ask in the Name of Jesus means to ask for things Jesus would . God will never say no to this: He cannot, because He loves His Son; and when we pray in the Name of Jesus our prayer must be answered, even if it means removing a mountain.
7. Praying in the Holy Spirit
“Praying in the Holy Ghost” (JUDE 20) is the secret of every victorious prayer. It is impossible to ask in faith if we are not controlled and inspired by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can give faith; He is the only one who knows what Jesus wants, the only one who can reveal the will of God.
How can we pray in the Holy Ghost? The secret can be found in GALATIANS 5:25: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Before we can pray in the Holy Spirit, we must learn to walk in the Spirit; i.e. to live in unbroken fellowship with God, every day and every hour of the day, in fact “moment by moment”.
Only then, once we have learnt to do that, will we always be able to pray with a pure heart, with a forgiving spirit, with the right motive, with unreserved faith, according to the will of God, and in the Name of Jesus. Then, and only then, can we receive answers to our prayers. Then “it shall happen”. Then we will be able to challenge every mountain in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
Provided that we walk in the Spirit, nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING will be impossible to us.
Lord, teach us to pray!
by A. Frank Evans
Source: “Redemption Tidings”