REPENTANCE

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Matthew 4:17 NIV
(Words of Jesus)
 
   Do not let sin control the way you live;
do not give in to its lustful desires.
Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness,
to be used for sinning.
Instead, give yourselves completely to God
since you have been given new life.
And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right
for the glory of God.
Romans 6:12-13 NLT    
 

Father God,
please shine Your holy light deep within my heart and expose every sin that I have stored there. I speak this prayer over myself, my family, my friends, the church, and the world. Help us to firmly resist every dangerous desire or distraction. May we earnestly long to honor You with every part of our bodies. May we be swift to turn away from anything that could ensnare us to any form of bondage (possessions, food, inappropriate relationships, improper entertainment, foolish cravings…). Give us hearts that are quick to discern the difference between that which is holy and that which is profane. May our tongues be free of complaints and overflow with gratitude. May we be free of gossip and its companion, cursing. May we be quick to encourage those who are lonely, hurting, or rejected; may our hands be diligent to serve them. May our ears firmly resist that which is evil, seeking to hear Your Voice above all else that seeks to gain our attention and affection.
At all times may our feet remain upon the pathway in which You are calling us to walk.
We are the work of Your Hands and Your Heart. We belong to You. Thank You for giving us this new and eternal life. May we daily offer our bodies as instruments to accomplish that which will honor and bring great glory to Your holy Name.


Fairest Lord Jesus,
just as I must bear the memories and consequences for my sin, so You bear the Scars… Your Back became Ribbons of torn Flesh and Muscle - the beating You suffered for me…
Spikes driven into Your Hands and Feet - The Hands that touched the sick and outcast… Holy Feet, covered in dust, that ached as they moved swiftly to comfort the lost and lonely…
Brutal thorns pressed deep into Your tender Brow… such a crown should have been mine!
O Savior of the World, You did this for me.
O Precious and Wonderful Jesus - this is not the picture of Justice, but rather, Boundless Perfect Mercy and Sacrificial Love.
Please help me in my struggle against sin.
Help me not to grieve others.
Help me not to grieve You.
And please give me Your Heart for those who sin against me.
I cannot do this without You.
    
   
Father,
I come as a soldier of prayer. Whenever I face defeat by my enemies because I have sinned against You, firmly and quickly reveal my transgressions to me and give me no rest until I fully repent, that I may enjoy Your Friendship and press on forcefully to reclaim that which the enemy has stolen.
May Your Heart be blessed by the prayer of Your servant.
 
(Inspired by 2 Chronicles 6:24)
    

Father God,
I fall to my knees and lift my heart and hands to You. O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift my face to You, for the sins of our nation are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens. Our entire history has been one of great sin. That is why our leaders and our people are at the mercy of nations armed with devastating nuclear arsenals and in control of resources we have come to rely on. We live in fear of violence in our streets, our classrooms, and even our homes. Terror assaults us within and beyond our borders. Our national debt is so great that we have become the subjects of other nations.
We have been killed, captured, robbed, and disgraced, but we rely upon Your Grace.
There remains a remnant interceding for our country and her citizens.
We continue to ignore Your Commands. We push Your Hand of protection and provision far from us, yet wonder why our government programs are insufficient.
We are being punished for our rebellion, but no matter what the future holds, our punishment will be far less than we deserve, for we live to openly do detestable things.
O Lord God, You are just. We stand before You in our guilt and plead for Your mercy. O God, please do what it takes to turn our hearts back to You.
 
(Inspired by Ezra 9 and the daily news.)
    
   
Father,
how I long to be poured out as a drink offering in service to You and Your world. But there are seasons when I am filled with only me. Lord, in those times, please break me that I may be completely spilled out.
Melt me, removing all inflexibility.
Refine me, removing all bitterness and impurities.
Mold me into the vessel You desire me to be, filling me always with Your Holy Spirit that I might pour out the essence of Who You Are upon a thirsty people in this dry and barren land.
    
   
Father God,
I leap from the mountains of discouragement to plunge deeply into the fountain of Your Holiness where I may be cleansed from the mire of self(ish) motivations. I surrender my heart to beat as one with Your Will that I might purely and humbly seek only Your honor and glory.
 
   
Father,
please shine Your Light deep within the chambers of my heart illuminating all dark spaces. Bring me to this place of repentance daily that I may be changed, conforming to Your likeness.
    

Purge me with hyssop,
and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
that the bones which You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your Face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:7-10 NKJV

   
Precious Lord,
please open my eyes to recognize my transgressions. I realize that any sin against any man is also a sin against You. I do not want to grieve You. Apply Your Living Water to the hardened fragments of my heart. Soften it. Deposit Your tenderness, mercy, and compassion within its chambers that I may love my enemies with a love that consumes all evil, for this is the Power of The Cross.
    
   
As Lazarus, I once lay in the darkness of death, bound in grave clothes that were covered by the latest of fashions. The stench of my sin, which led only to death was all around me and within me. I lived my life in a tomb, shrouded in darkness until I cried out to You with all of my heart. You wept with sorrow over the consequences of my life’s dark decisions, yet with great joy over my repentance. Your nail-scarred Hands shattered the stony chambers of my heart, shouting for me to come forth to be forever embraced by Your everlasting Arms, extended to me. With tenderness You unwrapped my grave bindings and set me free ~ Your Death gave me New Life to soar with You to new heights – breathless in Your Presence, delighting in Your glory for all ages to come.
 
(Inspired by John 11)
    ​     
   
forgetting those things
which are behind
and reaching forward
to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV
(emphasis mine)
 
Father God,
the memory is both a blessing and a curse, for it moves us to ceaseless thanksgivings for the great abundance that Your gracious Heart and Hands so lovingly lavish upon us. Yet it also *conjures up memories of hurts and wrongs against us, flooding the chambers of our hearts with bitter waters filled with dark debris – large beams that blind us to wounds we’ve inflicted upon others or moving us to justify our thoughts and actions rather than faithfully releasing them. In Your splendor and majesty, please come and reign over my memory so that it does not move me to sin. As a Masterful Gardener, please show me which thoughts You desire that I hastily pluck out that my mind may continue to grow as a garden nourished by Your Living Water, bearing up a gentle fragrance, fully pleasing to You.
 
*conjure (A medium conjures up that which is dead.)
    

Holy Father,
open my eyes to all sin I’ve committed that separates me from You. In my blindness firmly guide me to repentance. Help me always to choose good over evil, and You over every darkness or distraction.
    
   
Father,
cleanse my heart. When I neglect an angry attitude please give me no rest. Direct my every thought toward You and filter every meditation through Your Holiness. May Love, Peace, and Forgiveness be the hallmark of my heart.
    

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
 Psalm 12:12-14 NKJV

 
(The rest of this Psalm is wonderful. Go read it now.)
 

I blew it again, Lord.
Help me.


Search me, O God, and know my heart.
Try me, and know my anxieties;
and see if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Amen.
Psalm 139:34, 24 NKJV


Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin.
If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss
of separation from God,
just think what God’s gift poured through one man,
Jesus Christ, will do!
There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin
and this generous, life-giving gift.
The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence;
the verdict on the many sins that followed
was this wonderful life sentence.
If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing,
can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life,
in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift,
this grand setting-everything-right,
that the one man Jesus Christ provides?
Romans 5:15-17 The Message

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