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How to Pray When You Have Sinned

When people sin against God, they often run away from Him, instead of running towards Him. We tend to think that God burns with anger, like a father or mother ready to punish their children when they sin. Know that the Heavenly Father is not that kind of Father. He isn’t called a good God, only to then act impatient, lose His temper, and reject those who stumble in their walk of faith with Him. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ because He loved the world to make way for our sins and free us from eternal consequences. It was God who made a way and found a solution regarding the sin of mankind. So, why would He get mad, be angry, or reject you when He already dealt with your sin through the cross and the shedding of Jesus’ blood? 1 John 4:18 says, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. When we fear because of punishment, it shows that we have not fully understood and received God’s perfect love for us. This doesn’t mean that we may intentionally keep on sinning, but that the grace of God allows us to run back to God when we stumble, move forward with daily chances of repentance, and become more Christlike as we progress deeper in our relationship with the Father.

So, how do you pray to God when you sin? 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Simply let it out openly to God in prayer, whatever you have done. Confess the sin you have committed, and then know that He is just enough to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Here is a prayer to ask God for the forgiveness of your sin:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your mercy and grace in my life. Thank You for allowing me to come to Your loving presence right now, even if my heart feels burdened by the things I have done. I confess everything to You, God. I know that it broke Your heart when I (CONFESS YOUR SINS)… Thank You for being just, forgiving me of my sins, and cleansing me from all unrighteousness. The enemy has no right to condemn me when You have already forgiven me. I ask that the Holy Spirit empower me in my walk as I choose to obey You more, so that I may not sin against You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What do you do when you have sinned?

When you sin, it’s very important to seek refuge in God, run to His Word, and confess your sins right away in prayer. Don’t run away or hide in fear before God. Don’t let the enemy win by taking you as its captive for a longer time. Instead, let His love empower you, change the way you think, and convince you that truly nothing can ever separate you from His love. The Apostle Paul said, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

When you sin, and realize that you have sinned, that’s the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. When the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, two things can happen:

  1. It will cause you to humble yourself, repent and run to God, or
  2. The enemy will come to whisper lies in your ear to condemn you, and turn your eyes away from God’s perfect love for you.

Always choose the first option. Don’t ever buy into the devil’s lies and condemnation. Run to God, and let Him embrace you. Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

Moreover, it is your responsibility to stop sinning after obtaining mercy from the Lord. In the Gospel, Jesus encountered terrible sinners many times. He did not condemn them. Instead, He showed them what God’s Kingdom is all about—healing the sick, setting the captives free, and demonstrating the love of the Father through His life. He said this to a woman caught in adultery, “…Go, and sin no more” (see John 8:11).

God’s kindness and mercy are intended to cause us to repent (Romans 2:4), not to abuse that forgiveness and continue sinning. We must be convinced in our hearts and minds that we hate sin, hate the devil and its work, so that when temptations come, we won’t succumb to them. Remember that sinning is a decision. The enemy only comes to tempt you, but it does not have the power to force you to sin. To sin or not to sin is your choice. That is why James 4:7 says that we are to submit to God, resist the devil, and cause the devil to flee from us.

As you come to God for the forgiveness of your sin, your next step is to repent from it and continuously walk in obedience with God. 

How do I repent from sin?

The only way to repent from sin is to go back to your First Love, Jesus Christ, and to continuously be renewed in your mind by meditating on God’s Word and obeying His commands. God’s Word is the lamp for our feet and a light on our path. When you fall into the wrong place, go back to the right path and seek the truth. God’s Word causes your mind to change and realigns your perspectives, emotions, and thoughts to the will of God because His Word is His will. The more you think about His Word, God’s goodness, faithfulness, and His works in your life, the less you will think about sin and committing it. Most often, the more sin-conscious you are, the more likely you are to fall into sin. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he… The more you think about the beauty of Christ, His holiness, and righteousness, the more you will walk in His holiness and righteousness. 

Repentance is a daily act. It isn’t a one-time process in your life, especially since the enemy does not attack only once. In order to keep steady on your walk with God, consistency, persistence, and discipline are critical to keeping you from stumbling into sin. You should check out these other articles that may help you in your walk with the Father:

  • A Daily Prayer for Everyday
  • A Daily Prayer of Surrender
  • A Daily Warfare Prayer
  • How to be Consistent in Prayer
  • How to be Persistent in Prayer
  • How to Make Prayer a Lifestyle
  • How to Pray When Under Spiritual Attack
  • How to Use Bible Verses in Prayer

How do I ask God to forgive me of my sin?

As you come to God with a repentant heart, know that He is willing to forgive you and will never reject you for coming to Him. God loves when we humble ourselves before Him, showing our dependency and trust in His sovereignty over everything that happens in our lives. You can be transparent before the Lord, embrace brokenness before Him, and be willing to move forward with a fresh beginning. His mercies are new every morning, and every day is a chance from God to start afresh in our lives. Isn’t He so good and kind? 

Here is a prayer of forgiveness:

Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. I hide nothing from You. I humbly come before Your presence. Take away what’s filthy in me, and create in me a pure heart. I ask for Your forgiveness, and I thank You for Your everlasting kindness and mercy in my life. Nothing can separate me from Your love through Christ Jesus. I declare the victory of Christ in my life, and everything that I do and say will glorify You, in Jesus’ name! Amen.

It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.Lamentations 2:22-23