Prayers of Confession – Insights from God’s Word
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. - James 4:7–10
Prayers of Confession – Lasting Fruit
Prayer: My Father, as I draw near to You today, I do so in a spirit of humility, recognizing my own prideful, selfish nature, seeking to be Your obedient servant. This is not easy for me as my flesh often tugs away causing me to mis-step. Over the years I have come to truly value Your timing at work in my life. My frequent failures in this area have proven to be one of the main reasons why I have struggled so hard in the past.
Holiness and purity of motivation have been a constant call on my heart. I am so desperately in need of Your grace and mercy. I seek after a purity of heart and often fall far short. In Your tenderness You often use those moments to reveal my own selfishness and ego at work. You do this so often that I have come to clearly see Your desire to prevent me from falling off the path of life You have personally designed for me.
This morning, Father, I have nothing else to offer You except my obedience to Your will. I know from my past history that You treasure an obedient servant who keeps trying -- even when the end result is often failure. Because Your Holy Spirit moves so often in me at exactly the moment I surrender and obey, I have learned to be sensitive and respond to His "still small voice" -- even when I didn’t fully understand why.
Your ways are not my ways - and I acknowledge, Father, that I often fall short of understanding where You are taking me. I suppose this could have become a source of discouragement for me if You had not intervened so often to save my foolish self.
I pray today for the grace I know I will need to stay the course. I pray against the pride, ego and selfishness that still to this day can rear their ugly head and successfully stop me from climbing higher and going deeper. Submitting to You, my Father, is the safest path I know away from the relentless attack of Satan - as he tries to defeat me.
I pray also, Father, for a spirit of discernment to fall on me and all who pray this prayer so we can fully understand Your special timing. Without this discernment we often make rash and selfish decisions that can prove to be very costly.
I was convicted recently to begin spending more time listening to You -- rather than talking -- during our prayer times together. This has proven to be a very wise decision on my part -- and a very gracious gesture on Yours. You have put up many warning flags which I know have saved me from making foolish decisions. You have also whispered Your heart’s desire to me, and this has grown me to be far more trusting and less selfish.
This has become such a huge conviction in my life resulting in more opportunities to be a good witness than I have ever seen before. Clearly You desire to encourage Your people and to draw them closer to Your Son. We are so guilty of putting our own needs first, that even in our prayer lives we can fail to hear Your heart. Grow all of us, Father, to be real servants. Give us Jesus’ patience and Jesus’ ability to listen and hear from You.
I pray for release from bondage for anyone praying this prayer who is struggling with hearing Your Holy Spirit’s whisper. I pray for Your peace to fall on them as they surrender to Your will and become obedient servants - willing to live their lives in service -- rather than seeking to be served themselves. The times in which we live are ripe with opportunities, but Your people need to hear from You so they can step up and step out in Your timing. Wherever pride, ego or selfishness is revealed preventing them from living free -- I ask You to stop that in its tracks - and rip it from their hearts.
Increase Your Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives resulting in a sweet fruit that remains no matter what winds of change are set against it. Our obedience has to be proven to You before we can be trusted with all You have to give us -- so help us, Father, to desire obedience as a core value -and seeking Your timing as our every moment of every day goal. We are weak and we are selfish by nature, but You can change that in us -- and I ask You -- I beg You -- to do that right now in me - and in all who pray this prayer.
As You grant us more authority, remind us it is not for our personal enjoyment. Rather, help us to see our lives through the fruit of our work -- resulting in ministry to others. Help us to live out Matthew 20:25–28 with out fear - and expand our influence by allowing us to serve more of Your people. To You be all the honor and glory!
Prayers of Confession – Making it Personal
Reflect: I am often reminded in my prayer times of the magnificence of our God. His nature and his heart of love for us are beyond my ability to fully understand or describe. However, what I do see and understand causes me to bow my head and accept His authority with a humble heart. I have prayed for years to be a true servant of the most Holy, High God -- and as I have allowed Him to peel away the layers of my own selfish, ego centered nature, He has revealed Himself more fully and set my feet on His path -- which always results in more lasting fruit. Pride is a terrible thing and we are all vulnerable to this evil -- which is why we need our Father’s grace and mercy. Humility is the key, obedience is the action step, and lasting fruit the result. How are you doing in areas like trust, listening to the Holy Spirit’s "still small voice" - and obedience -- even when you do not fully grasp it all? Journal your findings and then spend time listening to the Holy Spirit as you prayerfully surrender your weakest area to His control.