Repentance prayers in the bible

40 occurrences in 13 translations

God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction . Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?

For this is what the LORD GOD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest you will be saved; in staying calm and trusting will be your strength. But you refused.

Therefore He poured out upon the fierceness of His anger and the strength of battle. And it set him on fire round about, yet he knew not ; it burned him, but he did not lay it to heart.

They will come back shedding tears of contrition. I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance. I will lead them besides streams of water, along smooth paths where they will never stumble. I will do this because I am Israel’s father; Ephraim is my firstborn son.'”

The Lord says to her, “Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! For your heartfelt repentance will be rewarded. Your children will return from the land of the enemy. I, the Lord, affirm it!

“When that time comes,” says the Lord, “the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together. They will come back with tears of repentance as they seek the Lord their God.

Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you; break off your sins and show the reality of your repentance by righteousness (right standing with God and moral and spiritual rectitude and rightness in every area and relation) and liberate yourself from your iniquities by showing mercy and loving-kindness to the poor and oppressed, that there may possibly be a continuance and lengthening of your peace and tranquility and a healing of your error.

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him: “Forgive all sin and accept what is good, so that we may repay You with praise from our lips.

Therefore consider, before God’s decree brings forth , before the time is gone like the drifting chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you — “yes, before the day of the wrath of the Lord comes upon you!

And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers , lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

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I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

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But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

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When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

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Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

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I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

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And all the people who heard Him, even the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God , being baptized with the baptism of John.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

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Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

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When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

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When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

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Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

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Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

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But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

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Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin .

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

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For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

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In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

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For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit,

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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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.

Forgive Me

Father,

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

Holy Lord,

With Your forgiveness I am whole again. I praise Your Name! Amen

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 Lord?

Beautiful Lord,

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

Father,

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

Our Leaders

Omnipotent Father,

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

Our Pastors

Dear Lord,

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

Conclusion

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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Awhile back ago, I had heard a very disturbing statistic. The statistic was that 50% of all newborn Christians were dropping out of their walks with the Lord within the very first year after they had just been saved.

Getting saved and being truly born again by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior has to be the greatest experience any person can have this side of heaven, because with the gift of eternal salvation comes forgiveness of all of our sins and entrance into heaven when we die and cross over.

We also receive the Holy Spirit, who will come and live on the inside of us in our human spirits at the moment of our salvation with the Lord.

There thus can be no question that with all of these benefits and blessings, that the gift of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ has to be the greatest experience any of us can have down here on this earth.

So if that is really the case – then how can you logically explain such a disturbing statistic? How can this many newborns be dropping out of this most incredible experience within the first year or two after initially getting saved?

Were they ever really saved in the first place?

If so, have they just lost their salvation?

Obviously only God the Father will know all of the answers for each one of these newborns who have dropped out of their walks with Him in such a quick period of time.

But this statistic is telling us that there might be something wrong with some of these salvation experiences.

A 50% dropout rate is simply too high of a number for something that is so powerful to be so easily discarded.

I believe one of the main reasons these salvation experiences may not be sticking is due to something that is occurring in the actual salvation experience itself.

The following Scripture verses I will list below are giving us a major clue as to what that something may be.

If you look very closely at the wording of the Scripture verses I will list below, and then examine some of the ways in which some of these newborns are being saved – you will quickly discover that there may be a missing ingredient in some of their salvation experiences.

As a result of this one missing ingredient, some of these people are either not truly getting saved in the first place or if they are, they are quickly falling away from it in a very short period of time as a result of missing this one key ingredient.

This one, key, missing ingredient may be the word “repentance.”

Repentance means that you have a full realization of what a sinner you truly are, that you are willing to accept that Jesus’ death on the cross will save you from your sins, and that you will then be willing to make every effort to turn from those sins and start living a new life in the Lord.

I think some of these so called salvation experiences are people getting too caught up in the moment at their churches with some of their friends, and they are going up for the altar calls with no idea of what they are really doing.

There is no true repentance, sorrow, or realization of their sinful states.

As a result, they quickly fall out of it after a year or two because they did not have full realization as to why they needed to get saved in the first place.

I believe that what really happens in a true conversion experience is that the Holy Spirit will move in on that person and give them full realization and conviction of what sinners they really are – and that only Jesus and His death on the cross will save them from their sins.

If you have full realization and full understanding of that when you go up to get saved – then there is no way you can possibly throw this experience away a year or two later after the initial excitement of the experience wears off.

Now here are some key verses from Scripture that will tell us that a true repentance from the heart is one of the main ingredients that is really needed for a true salvation experience to occur with the Lord.

1. True Repentance Will Lead to Salvation

This first verse will hit the nail right on the head. Here it is:

For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation … (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Notice two things. The word “repentance” is linked to the word “salvation”“repentance to salvation.” In other words, you cannot get truly saved in the Lord unless you are first willing to repent.

To repent means that you are willing to turn from the sins you have been living in. It means to have a change of heart and a change of mind. However, you cannot be willing to turn from the sins you have been living in unless you have full realization that these are sins in the first place and that you are a sinner in need of a Savior!

If you think some of your sins are not really sins – then you will see no need to receive any forgiveness for your sins through Jesus and His death on the cross.

This is why the above verse is directly linking the word “repentance” to the word “salvation.”

Then notice that this verse starts out with the words “For godly sorrow.”

This godly sorrow will be what will actually cause this repentance to occur in the first place. You will start to experience a godly sorrow once the Holy Spirit moves in on you to start the conviction process and illuminate your mind of your sinful state and nature.

This is why the word “godly” precedes the word “sorrow.”

This sorrow will be coming direct from God the Father through the Holy Spirit to you so as to help make you realize that you are truly a sinner in need of a Savior!

When that really happens, you will be feeling a sorrow, and for some, a very deep and intense sorrow once you fully realize the depth to which we are all sinners and that we are all in need of God’s grace and mercy to save us.

When this godly sorrow starts to come in on you, it will eventually lead you to being able to admit that you are a sinner, and that you will then need to turn from the sinful life that you have been living in order to be able to receive God’s grace and mercy through His Son and His death on the cross.

For some, all of this can literally occur in a matter of minutes, and they thus can get saved very quickly in a church service or through another Christian who may be witnessing to them.

However, for some others, this experience may take a bit longer. Some people will literally wrestle with God for years before they finally break and are willing to get saved.

In either case, some kind of repentance has to be experienced for the person to really have a true conversion experience with the Lord.

2. God Commands All to Repent to Be Able to Receive Eternal Salvation Through Jesus

In these next 4 verses, God and Jesus are literally “commanding” that all repent before they can actually be saved and converted. Here they are:

  • “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. ” (Acts 17:30)
  • Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)
  • “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. ” (Luke 13:5)
  • “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. ” (Mark 2:17)

The first verse is now telling us that God is commanding everyone to repent.

The second verse is once more tying in the word “repent” with the word “converted.”

The third verse is telling us that God is not giving us any other options. Either we be willing to repent – or we will perish!

Also notice that the words “repent” or “repentance” is used in every one of the above verses – which is once again implying that this is a condition that must be present when someone is getting saved and converted.

3. The Goodness of God Will Lead to Repentance

The very first verse mentioned above tells us that a “godly sorrow” will help produce the actual repentance that is needed to lead us into being able to get saved with the Lord.

This nxt verse then goes one step further and tells us that the “goodness of God” will actually lead to this repentance. Here it is:

“… the goodness of God leads you to repentance.” (Romans 2:4)

On one end, God is causing a godly sorrow to set in on us so we can see what sinners we really are.

However, at the same time that He is producing this sorrow to help show us what sinners we really are, He is also showing us His goodness.

He is showing us that there is a way of escape out of our sinful states and natures – and that way of escape is through the Blood that His Son Jesus has personally shed on the cross for each one of us.

Once a person really realizes how good, loving, and merciful God and Jesus really are in making a way for them to be able to be rescued out of this predicament – they are then more than willing to accept Jesus and what His death on the cross means for them.

That is why this verse specifically states that it is the “goodness of God” that will lead one to actually want to repent and then accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.

Again, when you combine the godly sorrow that God will produce to help start the conviction and repentance process to occur within each individual, and then top it off with the revelation that it is the goodness of God that will actually save them

There is simply no way one can walk away from such a powerful encounter with the Lord within the first year or two after they had initially been saved.

This fact is telling me that some of these people may not be going through a proper repentance and conviction process with the Holy Spirit, and thus their salvation experiences may be a bit suspect.

All of the above Scripture verses are tying in the word “repentance” with getting saved and converted.

I believe God is giving all of us a major clue in the way that He has all of these Scripture verses worded in that a repentant heart is really needed before one can really get saved through the Blood of His Son Jesus.

I really have to wonder if this lack of a repentant heart may be one of the missing ingredients in some of these people’s salvation experiences, and this is why they are so easily able to walk away from it after the first year or two after initially getting saved.

Just interesting food for thought, like to hear your views on this.

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David’s Prayer of Repentance 

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean wash me, and I will be whiter than snow…Create in me a clean heart, O God, Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. (Psalm 51:7, 10-12)

David said this prayer asking for repentance after his shameful treatment of Uriah and Bathsheba. This is a helpful prayer of confession and forgiveness for when you feel you have sinned and roamed from the Lord. It is powerful in that you are asking God for Him to help you obey Him. It takes a humble person to ask the Lord for help and forgiveness. We all make mistakes and fall under the spell of evil, so use this prayer when you are ready to apologize for your wrongdoings.

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