Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Classic Confession

Prayer for Forgiveness



1God, be merciful to me

because you are loving.

Because you are always ready to be merciful,

wipe out all my wrongs.

2Wash away all my guilt

and make me clean again.

3I know about my wrongs,

and I can’t forget my sin.

4You are the only one I have sinned against;

I have done what you say is wrong.

You are right when you speak

and fair when you judge.

5I was brought into this world in sin.

In sin my mother gave birth to me.

6You want me to be completely truthful,

so teach me wisdom.

7Take away my sin, and I will be clean.

Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness;

let the bones you crushed be happy again.

9Turn your face from my sins

and wipe out all my guilt.

10Create in me a pure heart, God,

and make my spirit right again.

11Do not send me away from you

or take your Holy Spirit away from me.

12Give me back the joy of your salvation.

Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit.

13Then I will teach your ways to those who do wrong,

and sinners will turn back to you.

14God, save me from the guilt of murder,

God of my salvation,

and I will sing about your goodness.

15Lord, let me speak

so I may praise you.

16You are not pleased by sacrifices, or I would give them.

You don’t want burnt offerings.

17The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit.

God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.

18Do whatever good you wish for Jerusalem.

Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then you will be pleased with right sacrifices and whole
burnt offerings,

and bulls will be
offered on your altar.

The Holy Bible, New Century


David repented after Nathan confronted
him. Nathan rightly pointed to David's sin of adultery and murder (2
Samuel 11-12).


David pled for restoration and renewal.
He asked that God would purify his heart.


When I was ten years old, I had a puppy
named Tina. You would have loved her. She was the perfect pet. An
irresistible, pug-nosed Pekingese pup. One ear fell over and the
other ear stood straight up. She never tired of playing and yet never
got in the way.

Her mother died when she was born so
the rearing of the puppy fell to me. I fed her milk from a doll
bottle and used to sneak out at night to see if she was warm. I'll
never forget the night I took her to bed with me only to have her
mess on my pillow. We made quite a pair. My first brush with

One day I went into the backyard to
give Tina her dinner. I looked around and spotted her in a corner
near the fence. She had cornered a butterfly (as much as a butterfly
can be cornered) and was playfully yelping and jumping in the air
trying to catch the butterfly in her mouth. Amused, I watched her for
a few minutes and then called to her.

'Tina! Come here, girl! It's time to

What happened next surprised me. Tina
stopped her playing and looked at me. But instead of immediately
scampering in my direction, she sat back on her haunches. Then she
tilted her head back toward the butterfly, looked back at me, then
back to the butterfly, and then back to me. For the first time in her
life, she had to make a decision....

And do you know what she did? She
chased the butterfly! Scurrying and barking, she ignored my call and
chased that silly thing until it flew over the fence.

That is when the guilt hit. She stopped
at the fence for a long time, sitting back on her hind legs looking
up in the air where the butterfly had made its exit. Slowly, the
excitement of the chase was overshadowed by the guilt of

She turned painfully and walked back to
encounter her owner. (To be honest, I was a little miffed.) Her head
was ducked as she regretfully trudged across the yard.

For the first time in her life, she
felt guilty.

She had violated her "should"
and had given in to her "want." My heart melted, however,
and I called her name again. Sensing forgiveness, Tina darted into my
hands. (I always was a softy.)

Now, I may be overdoing it a bit. I
don't know if a dog can really feel guilty or not. But I do know a
human can. And whether the sin is as slight as chasing a butterfly or
as serious as sleeping with another man's wife, the effects are the

Man cannot cope with guilt alone....

. . . I don't care how many worship
services you attend or good deeds you do, your goodness is
insufficient. You can't be good enough to deserve forgiveness. No one
bats a thousand. No one bowls three hundred. No one. Not you, not me,
not anyone....

. . . Listen. Quit trying to quench
your own guilt. You can't do it. There's no way. Not with a bottle of
whiskey or perfect Sunday School attendance. Sorry. I don't care how
bad you are. You can't be bad enough to forget it. And I don’t care
how good you are. You can't be good enough to overcome it.

You need a Savior. (From No Wonder
They Call Him the Savior
by Max Lucado)


Do you think you have committed too
great a sin for God to forget it? Do you think you have waited too
long to ask for his pardon? Read this psalm to God as your own
prayer. Experience God's forgiving grace as David did.


Confession of Sin-Ezra 9:5-7; 10:1;
Nehemiah 1:5-7; Psalm 32:5; 41:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 3:19.

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