A Prayer of Contrition
“repentance, shame over our past sins”
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
– Jack Wellman, bi-vocational Brethren pastor, Kansas
When we pursue God like this during quarantine, our issues rise to the surface. Things like impatience, misplaced dependencies, words we wish we’d never said, actions we regret—all these raise their ugly heads while we wait for circumstances to change.
That’s when a prayer of contrition has its greatest power.
Moses realized that God sees it all and that because we are accountable to God, His judgment
would be our expectation except for one thing: we have a distinctly different relationship with God than Moses did. Yes, we know God in a better way than even Moses! Though the Old Testament teaches that the “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10), Jesus has shown you and I that the “love of the Lord” is the end of it (Matthew 22:27). On top of that, the Apostle Paul tells us that there is no condemnation for those of us who trust Jesus (Romans 8:1). And John said, “His perfect love casts out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18).
The truth is you have sin. We all do. The real question to ask yourself on Day 3 of your prayer journey is this: Where are you on the fear–love continuum? Do you fear God more than you love Him? Or do you love God more than you fear Him? His perfect love casts out all fear, and when we pray prayers of contrition, we experience that in a transforming way.
What burden of regret are you carrying right now? Take it to the God who already knows about it and ask Him to cleanse and restore you for something better.
What relational tension is pointing you to a new act of contrition in a relationship you have? Ask God to help you do it and determine when you will do it.
Pray specifically for the person you have the most tension with right now. Thank God for them and for the grace God has for you and that person today.