Heavenly Father God, I come to you now to repent the sins that I have committed against you and against my brothers and sisters. Create in me a clean heart, O God, take away the guilt and sorrow that I feel.
Bonus: Download a free PDF of this prayer you can refer to later
Psalm 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions.
According to Your loving kindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
Renew in me your steadfast spirit so that I may hold onto your word and your promises. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Let him be my guiding light, leading me away from sin and strengthening me to overcome the wiles and tricks of the enemy.
Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
Restore the joy of Your Salvation
Lord, you know my heart, there’s nothing I can hide from you. I have strayed from the path, I have been lured away.
But, Oh Heavenly Father, restore to me the joy of Your salvation, that wonderful freedom and joy when I first came to know you. Lord, I sacrifice my broken spirit, my broken and a contrite heart. Heal me Lord as I come before the cross.
Lord, you know my heart, there’s nothing I can hide from you. Click To Tweet
2 Corinthians 7:9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Click To Tweet
Father, on this day forward, I will love you and praise you from the bottom of my heart. For by you alone am I saved. Grant my petitions, Abba Father. Thank you, In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Bonus: Download a free PDF of this prayer you can refer to later
Psalms 102:21-22 “So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.”
Six Prayers of Repentance
In chapter twenty-six of Soul Physicians, I outline a biblical theology of putting off the old manner of life (compare Ephesians 4:17-19). I embed within that theology a “Prayer of Repentance” related to each of six areas of our spiritual life:
• Our Relationship to God
• Our Relationship to Others
• Our Relationship to Ourselves
• Our Rational Beliefs/Mindsets
• Our Volitional Behaviors/Motivations
• Our Emotions
Today’s post shares these six prayers.
A Prayer of Relational Repentance: My Spiritual Relationship to God
“Father, I come home to You. I confess as sin my false lovers. I confess as sin living like the old person that I used to be. I confess as sin my spiritual adultery. I acknowledge to You and to myself that my false lovers are horrible lovers and that my pursuit of them is ugly and putrid. How foolish of me to ever believe that anyone but You could ever satisfy the longings of my soul. How shameful. How disrespectful. Forgive me my relational sin. I acknowledge that You alone are my Supreme Good. I acknowledge that You alone are gracious and compassionate. I return to You as my Forgiving Father. I return to Your Son as my Worthy Groom. I return to Your Holy Spirit as my Inspiring Mentor. I love You, Lord. Renew my vision of You as a totally competent and totally good God—boundless in holy love.”
A Prayer of Relational Repentance: My Social Relationships to Others
“Father, I confess as sin my living for self, loving self. I will put off shepherding myself and focus on shepherding others. I reject all the self sins: self-sufficiency, self-promotion, self-protection, selfishness, self-centeredness. I confess as sin my cruel, harsh, manipulative, demanding, shaming, blaming, maiming way of treating others. Most of all, I confess as sin how far I’ve moved from reflecting You and Your radically other-centered Trinitarian existence. I am putting off the flesh, the characteristic ways I used to relate and I’m putting on the Spirit, the new me created to relate like You.”
A Prayer of Relational Repentance: My Identity in Christ
“Father, I’ve been so like Adam and Eve. Running. Hiding. Defensive. Playing dress up. All because I don’t believe You are who You say You are—the Forgiving Father. What sin! I put off my shame identity. I reject my sense of abandonment, ruin, rejection, and condemnation. I put off my futile attempts to quiet my inner restlessness. Instead, I rest in You. I rest in who I am in Christ and to Christ. It’s ugly of me to try to beautify myself. It’s a slap in the face to Your Son, my Savior. Forgive me. Cleanse me. Enlighten me by Your Holy Spirit to grasp how much You love me and how loving You are.”
A Prayer of Rational Repentance: Putting Off My Old Beliefs and Mindsets
“Father, I’ve finally come to my senses. I confess as sin my foolish belief that I can make life work apart from You. I’ve arrogantly suppressed the truth of how perfectly well You care for me. I’ve denied Your fatherly love for me. I’ve sinned against You by believing Satan’s (the False Seducer) smaller story, fleshly mindset that You are not my Supreme Good. I’ve allowed my view of reality to become filled with contemptuous images of You. I’ve allowed my mind to be squeezed into the mold of this temporal world, living according to the dominant plot theme of the earthly story. I’ve been like a deaf man straining to hear the Gospel story. I’ve denied the Cross. I return to You now repenting of these idols of my heart. Though I am not worthy in myself to be called Your child, by faith I claim my adoption in Christ. Thank You for forgiving me.”
A Prayer of Volitional Repentance: Putting Off My Old Behaviors and Motivations
“Father, I’ve sinned against You by walking in the way of the sinner, by following the self-centered pathway of _______. I must put off choosing compulsively and put on choosing courageously. I must put off the old enslaved pathways and put on my new free, empowering pathways. Help me to quit coddling, cuddling, pampering, and spoiling my flesh. Empower me to be ruthlessly fierce in rejecting it and nailing it to the Cross. Reveal my secret sins, show me the patterns that I’m blind to, help me to detect my fleshly pathways. I reject my fleshly inclinations, patterns, and character. I put on the new characteristic of _________. I reject my characteristic approach to life of _________ and by Christ’s resurrection power I replace it with my new manner of life.”
A Prayer of Emotional Repentance: Putting Off My Old Mood States
“Father, I’ve sinned against You by worshipping feelings instead of worshipping You. My current mood state of _______ exposes how desperately I’m trying to live without You. My failure to face my feelings expose my distrust in Your ability to care for me. My refusal to soothe my soul in You exposes my doubts about Your goodness. I put off my emotional duplicity replacing it, in the power of Your Spirit, with emotional integrity. I will face whatever I feel and bring it to You. I put off my emotional lasciviousness. I put off indulging my fleshly passions. I confess as sin my addiction to ___________. I recognize it for what it is: a symptom of the deeper disorder within me, a spiritual, relational, mental, willful disorder. Forgive me. Empower me to manage my moods for Your glory and the good of others.”
The Rest of the Story
The Bible never tells us to put off without also telling us how God empowers us to put on the new person we are in and through Christ. Tomorrow we share six prayers of renewal.
Join the Conversation
Which of the six prayers hits home the most for you today? How would you word your prayer in that area?
Forgiveness and repentance go hand-in-hand in a Christian’s life. We must learn to always forgive others and to ask for forgiveness ourselves. Without repentance, we are liable of judgment from God. If we withhold forgiveness to others, forgiveness will also be withheld from us. Here are 7 prayers focusing on forgiveness and repentance. May we all strive to live as holy as possible by allowing the Spirit to convict us of our sins and to forgive others that sin against us.
There are no words to express how filthy I feel every time I break Your heart. The guilt and the shame are overwhelming! Lord, I need Your touch right now. I am so sick of being “born again” and still doing the things I hate doing. Like Paul, I am conflicted. “For I do not do what I want, but do the very thing that I hate.” (Romans 7:15) I am so sorry! Father, I ask for Your forgiveness right now. I am shocked that my life has come to a point where even some sins don’t affect me at all. Father, I have some hard layers on my heart that need peeling. Please give me a 100% heart of flesh. The hardness is a barrier between us that I can’t stand! I love You and I am so regrettably sorry for my selfish actions. Thank You for Your forgiveness, Lord. Without forgiveness I am nothing. With Your forgiveness I am whole again. I praise Your Name! Amen
Strength To Forgive Others
I can’t seem to shake the harm that’s been done to me off my shoulders. I am wallowing in the anger I feel. Lord, I shouldn’t think the vengeful thoughts that I have. You have called me to forgive every single person that wrongs me. I need Your strength to overcome these trespasses against me. Father, I want to forgive these people. Please cast the devil’s evil ways from me. I want to look at these people and see lost souls that need You. I want to forgive them completely so that You can use me however You wish, to be Jesus to them. Father, I am done with holding these grudges! Forgive me for holding on to them. I cast this burden at Your throne now. Do with me as you please Father. I love You and thank you for Your patience with me. Amen
Why do You forgive us? We shout praises to You when we sing worship. With the same tongue we curse other people that are made in Your image. (James 3:9 reference) Why do You forgive us? We say we love You and still keep sinning. Why do You forgive us? We spend time in prayer thanking You for your blessings and then we refuse to bless others. Why do You forgive us? We read our Bibles when we make time for it, but we also read other nonsense that is offensive to You. Why do You forgive us? We praise Jesus for His death on the cross for the atonement of our sins and then we nail Him to it again every time we trespass against You. Why do You forgive us every single time? I am so thankful for your endless supply of forgiveness! I can’t fathom how You do it, for I am only one man. You do this for every single person! The compassion and grace and mercy that flow from You is absolutely amazing and I love You for it! Thank you so much for forgiving me every time I sin! You are worthy to be praised! Amen
Repentance From Unbelievers
Father in heaven,
My heart grieves for those close to me that do not want to know You. They are lost souls wandering wherever the devil takes them. They are fulfilling their own desires of the flesh instead of yearning for the life that You give. Father, use me or anyone that You please to show Christ-like love to them. Father, I love these men and women and to think of them in eternal torment is tormenting me! I pray that the seeds that are planted in them Lord will be grown by You. You make miracles happen every day and I pray that You make one today in the lives of the lost. I praise Your Holy Name! Amen
Forgiveness For Children
Just as Job continually offered burnt offerings to you for the forgiveness of his children, (Job 1:5) I am praying for the forgiveness of mine. Lord, only You know what they have done. If they have sinned against You I pray that You would forgive them. I pray that they would seek repentance to make things right with You. Lord, if there is any sin that needs to be forgiven, I pray that You would soften their hearts and bring them safely into Your arms of grace and mercy. I thank you for Your unlimited love for us! Amen
You are all-powerful! Even Your thoughts produce action. I pray for our leaders in the government. Lord, they also have power, though it is limited. I pray that they would use their positions wisely, for You are the One who has allowed them to lead us. We need strong men and women of faith in these kinds of roles. I pray that our men and women in authority will strive to live godly lives and to repent when necessary. As in Animal Farm, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If there is any corruption, I pray that our leaders would repent and ask for forgiveness, so that our country doesn’t fall apart. I thank you for our leaders and pray for their safety. I love you Father! Amen
I pray for pastors around the world. If there is any un-confessed sin active in their lives, I pray that You would bring them to the deepest valleys if that is what it takes to get them back on the narrow path. We need strong pastors leading our congregations. I pray that You would use the people closest to their pastors to keep them accountable, Lord. Accountability is a must in every Christian’s life. I thank you for our pastors, Lord, for they have a huge role to play here on earth. They have many big responsibilities and I am so grateful that they accept the challenges of pastoring. I love You, Lord! Amen
Forgiveness is absolutely necessary in a Christian’s walk with the Lord. “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” (Luke 11:4) God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
Have you read this other article about prayer?
What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?
Resources – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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