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A Good Prayer Asking For Forgiveness And Guidance

As Christians, we are new creatures that have a new heart (2 Corinthians 5:17). From a heart of stone that is dead in sin, we now have a heart of flesh that beats for God (Ezekiel 36:26-27). A new heart means having new desires—the desire to honor God, live in godliness, serve Him, love Him above all things, and grow in Holiness. Because of that, whenever we sin as Christians, we are broken and sorrowful. In other words, you feel bad, which is a good thing. It shows that your heart is now a heart of flesh. You feel bad because it contradicts your desire to honor God, which is evidence of one’s conversion. If you are dead in sin, you won’t care if you have sinned. Hence, as Christians, whenever we pray to God and ask Him to forgive us, it is not because our sins are not covered by Christ (1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all  sin.). Christ covers all of our sins—past, present, and future. 

Father in heaven, thank You for giving me a new heart in Christ. From being dead in my sins, unable to seek the things of Yours, You have caused me to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, according to Your great mercy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

 

Father in heaven, thank You for giving me a new heart in Christ. From being dead in my sins, unable to seek the things of Yours, You have caused me to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, according to Your great mercy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

You stumbled. What now?

A Christian often has two responses when they stumble or sin. Either they will try to make themselves feel good and earn back their standing before God through good works, such as serving more in the ministry, reading their Bibles more, spending more time in prayer, etc. or they will run away from God.

What, then, should be our response? Our response, according to the Bible, should be to repent. That is why Matthew 3:8 states that we bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Yes, you have stumbled in sin, but don’t give up the fight and throw in the towel. You must keep on repenting. Repentance is not a one-time act when you receive the Gospel. It is a continuous action whenever we stumble in sin as Christians. This is the act of turning away from that sin towards God and running towards Him in Christ.

Christ is our very assurance in comfort whenever we find ourselves stumbling in sin. There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us. As Christians who have sinned several times, we may sometimes think that we have sinned too much and have fallen into it again and again. However, we must understand that Christ has covered all our sins—past, present, and future. Also, if Christ instructed us to forgive others seventy-seven times (which means an unlimited number of times, not literally limited to seventy-seven), how much more willing to forgive is Christ, who loves far more abundantly than us and whose thoughts are higher than ours (Ephesians 3:20-21; Isaiah 55:9)? If Christ requires us to forgive others again and again, how much more forgiving is He when showing us mercy?

No matter how many times you sin, you are forgiven, for He has already died for your sins. In Christ, we are under the covenant of grace and mercy, unlike with Adam (Romans 5:15-18). Christ wants us not to run away from Him, but to come to Him whenever we have fallen into sin.

Also, after running towards God in Christ and repenting, we forget what lies behind us and continue running the race faithfully based on what God has set before us, as written in Philippians 3:13-14. That passage is another comforting one. It tells us that even Paul, despite being an excellent example of a Christian, recognized that he was not yet perfect and hadn’t made it his own. However, he forgets what lies behind and continues to strive forward to what lies ahead, the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praying In Humility, Repentance, and Contriteness

As you run towards God and pray to Him after stumbling into sin, there are some key points to keep in mind when praying. One is humility. We run towards God in Christ because we acknowledge Christ as our only hope. There is no one whom we can run to but Christ and His mercies alone, along with the grace and gentleness that we find in Him, who also knows our frailties (Hebrews 4:15-16). Humility should also be acknowledged; we have sinned before God, and therefore, we must take ownership of it. With humility comes repentance, which means turning towards God. Lastly, it involves contriteness. It means having this godly sorrow that what we did was a sin against God. In Psalm 51:17, it is written that God does not despise a broken and contrite heart.

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

These key points are taken from Psalm 51—the psalm King David wrote when Nathan rebuked him concerning his sin (murdering Uraiah and sleeping with Bathsheba). In David’s prayer to God, one can see his humility. He took responsibility for his sin (Psalm 51:3-4). He knew he had sinned against a holy God. His contriteness was also evident when he cried out to God for mercy and restoration, and as mentioned, his humility when he acknowledged his transgressions (Psalm 51:1-2). We can see godly sorrow in his writings, which is an element of true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.).

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

Lastly, don’t forget to remind yourself and confess the grace and mercy you have in Christ, which is the remedy for sin.

LORD, I have fallen short. I have done that which I knew was sinful before Your eyes. I acknowledge my transgression. There is no one I can run to but You. Not even sin can ease my pain, for it only makes it worse. In such a time where my sin haunts me, I can only cling to Christ, whose blood has paid for the penalty of all my sins, who knows my frailties. Remind me who I am in Him, that I am forgiven and loved. My shortcomings are atoned for in Christ so that before You, I may be redeemed and adopted as Your child. If my sins are great, the grace I find in Christ is even greater. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

It is imperative to note that what drives true repentance is godly sorrow. We don’t repent because we know we are forgiven. Neither is it okay to sin later and repent again. If that’s the case, we have failed to understand the Gospel. The Gospel and the grace we have in Christ is not a license to sin. That is why in Philippians 3:13-14, Paul writes that he continues to strive forward in his Christian life. Yes, we may have stumbled in sin, but we persevere. We continue to grow in holiness and Christlikeness, serve God, love Him, and honor Him. We hold on to that promise that God, who is at work in us constantly, will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.).

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

A Good Prayer Asking for Forgiveness and Guidance

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