I’d like to invite you to pray with me, my precious brothers and sisters!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
“Blessed be Your glorious Name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.” Nehemiah 9:5b-6
First, we must admit and confess our sins. Break our heart for these sins, let us truly weep together over them, Lord! We humble ourselves on our faces before You and pray together, Lord!
WE CONFESS OUR SIN, THE SIN OF OUR CHURCHES, AND THE SIN OF OUR NATIONS:
“O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached the heavens… For we have disregarded your commands… O Lord, God of Israel, You are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before You in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in Your presence.” (an excerpt of Ezra’s prayer in Ezra 9)
Our Sin Against You:
We have become arrogant and stiff-necked. We have rebelled against You, the only true God. We have pursued idols and made other things and other people more important in our hearts and minds than You. We have profaned Your holy Name. We have taken Your Name in vain rather than holding it in awe and proper reverence. We have not set aside time to worship, rest, and honor You. We have not loved You wholeheartedly. We have not obeyed Your Word for us. We have not allowed Your Spirit to have full reign in our hearts and full access to the darkest corners of our souls. We have been more concerned about the opinions and approval of people than we have been concerned about Your approval.
Our Sin As the Church and Against the Church:
We have divisions, factions, jealousies, hatred, and contention in our assemblies. We do not have Your Spirit of unity. We have not financially supported the church, Christian missionaries, or our brothers and sisters in Christ and others who are in dire poverty and need. We have forsaken the assembling of ourselves together. We have been lukewarm in our faith and love for You individually and corporately. We have watered down the message of Your Word. We as individuals and together as the church have allowed ourselves to become like the world. We have wanted friendship with the world rather than with You. We have lost our reverence and holy fear for Your Name and for the Bible. We no longer even teach the truth of Your Word in many of our churches. We have forsaken the authority of God and the authority of Your Word for the wisdom of men. We have gathered teachers around us who will say the words our itching ears long to hear. The church as a whole today in many places in our midst is very sick, weak, and dying – open our eyes to see the spiritual condition of our churches, our communities and our countries.
Our Sinful Hearts:
We have had hearts full of hatred, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. We have had jealous and envious thoughts and we have acted out with sinful motives. We have gossiped. We have lied. We have aborted precious babies. We have been more concerned with our convenience and comfort than Your priorities or our obedience to You. We have been materialistic. We want luxury. We want the best food, the best cars, the most beautiful houses, the nicest stuff – and we have forsaken Your true riches. We are consumed by worldly things rather than heavenly things. We have idolized wealth, power, fame, beauty, sports, politics, luxury, happiness, romance, love, marriage, and so very many things that we cannot even count them all, yet we don’t even realize we are sinning against You grievously! We are so blind to our sin!
We have been self-righteous, thinking we are better than other people. We have been prideful, just like Satan. We thought we knew better than You did. We trusted ourselves rather than You, Lord, setting ourselves above God in our hearts. We have been selfish. We don’t even know what real love is. Love for God or love for people. We have dysfunctional relationships with You and with others. We have been addicted to destructive drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, gluttony, anorexia/bulimia, gambling, having control ourselves, and all kinds of addictions rather than looking to You to meet our needs. We have committed murder in our hearts and sometimes physically, as well. We have been more concerned about protecting ourselves than loving You and loving others. We have been motivated by fear, not love.
Our Sin Against Your Design for Marriage and Family:
We have engaged in lust, adultery, and fornication – in our minds and sometimes physically, as well. We have not honored the marriage bed and kept it pure. We have been unfaithful to You.
We have been demanding and insulting in our relationships. We have had critical, judgmental spirits. We have depended on other people to meet our deepest needs that only You can meet – which is idolatry. We have been so needy and desperate for human love that we have been willing to sin to try to get it and it does not bring fulfillment, only Your love can bring real contentment and fulfillment! We have emotionally, verbally, and even physically abused each other instead of being a safe place for one another.
We have not walked in unity in our relationships, but have held on to bitterness, and resentment. We have contention, division, dysfunction, arguing, and strife in our families and relationships. We have hatred toward each other. We have malice in our hearts. We want to lash out and hurt our others, rather than love them unconditionally and bless them. We are still so very worldly.
We have married unbelievers knowing that You commanded us not to. We have gotten divorces when we had no biblical justification. We have remarried sometimes against Your commands for us in the Bible. We don’t even know how to begin to make things right.
Our Sin As Citizens:
We have not loved our neighbors as the Good Samaritan did. We have cheated the government. We have stolen/embezzled money and other things that did not belong to us. We have bent and broken laws. We have been apathetic. We have not stood up for what is right. We have not defended the innocent. We have perverted justice. We have accepted bribes. We have not protected the foreigners in our midst. We have not cared for the poor, sick, orphans, oppressed, and widows. We have put our ultimate faith in the government, the economy, our bank accounts, our military, our own wisdom, our technology, our education, doctors, and all kinds of things/people rather than fully trusting in You. We have sought help from every source but You.
We do not deserve Your forgiveness. But how we THANK YOU, LORD, that You are a forgiving God, slow to anger, gracious and compassionate, and abounding in love. (Neh. 9:17)
EMPOWER US TO FULLY REPENT AND TO RECEIVE YOUR GOSPEL, LORD!
Empower us to see our sins. Let us turn from our sin as individuals, as churches, and as nations, and turn to You. Give us faith to come to You. Open our eyes to what You see. We cannot even open our own eyes or come to You in our own strength. Apart from You, we are dead in our sins. Bring us to life, Lord Jesus! Open our eyes. Give us faith that we might call upon You. Please forgive us for our many, many sins. We do not deserve Your forgiveness. We all deserve hell.
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
The powerful, omnipotent, all-knowing, all-loving, completely holy Creator God of the whole universe, became a man (Jesus) and lived the perfect life we could not live. You died the death we deserved to die on our behalf. You conquered sin, death, and the grave! You rose from the dead on the 3rd day. And You ascended back to heaven. This is the Gospel. THANK YOU for this miracle and for Your unfathomable love for us. How can we ever thank You enough? In response to all that You have done for us, all we can possibly do is yield our lives completely to Your control and to Your will!
We depend completely on the blood of Jesus, shed on our behalf, to cleanse us from all sin. We admit our wrong doing and our filthy motives. There is no good in any of us apart from You. We are all wretched sinners whose very best attempts at holiness (in our own power) look like filthy, bloody menstrual rags in Your holy sight (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot clean up ourselves. None of us can impress you on our own. None of us are good enough because we have all fallen far short of Your standard of perfect holiness. We are desperate for the blood of Jesus to cleanse us and we thank and praise You that You are able to make each of us clean and holy in Your sight when You empower us to receive Jesus as our Savior and Master – our LORD – and we live for Him.
Jesus, You have the power to transform us from wretched sinners to holy saints!
You are able to fully pay the massive sin-debt we owe to God and You HAVE paid it on the cross on our behalf! WHAT CRAZY LOVE YOU HAVE FOR US, GOD!!?!?!?!!? We don’t deserve this. But You didn’t send Jesus because we deserved Him. You sent Him because of who You are and Your love, mercy, compassion, and grace – and because we so desperately needed Him. We could not work salvation for ourselves. We could not save ourselves from Your righteous and holy wrath and punishment for our sins. We praise and thank You for what You have done for us through Christ! We died and were buried with Christ Jesus if we are in Him. And we have been raised to a new life in Christ!! In Him, we are all new creations! If we are in Christ, we now have His death, His resurrection, His power over sin and the grave, His righteousness, His holiness, His love, His spiritual riches, all of the treasures of heaven, His heart, His mind, and His eyes!!! The old things have passed away and all has been made new!
Let us begin to walk in the power of Your Spirit living in and through us. We fully yield all of ourselves to You. We give You access to the darkest corners of our hearts, minds, and souls. Show us any sin that offends You. Let us be willing to part with it that we might have the greatest fellowship with You. Let us hate our sin as You hate sin. Let us love what You love. Change us and regenerate our souls that we might be more and more like Jesus! Let us submit fully lot His Lordship and embrace all that He has done for us and His finished work on our behalf on the cross! Let us live in the power of Your Spirit more and more and let our lives be lives filled with GIANT faith in You (that You give to us) and with ever deepening trust and love for You.
In the Name and power of Christ!