A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

In Nehemiah 9, we find the longest prayer recorded in the Bible. It is a prayer of confession and commitment.

Confession is a cleansing act. The people began their prayer by confessing their own sin and by worshiping and giving reverence to God. They came before Him with fasting, clad in the sackcloth of humility, with the dust of the earth sprinkled on their heads to symbolize their lowliness before God. They came in brokenness. They came in sincerity. The people of Israel understood that it was impossible to receive God’s forgiveness without sincere confession and repentance.

We cannot receive salvation until we recognize and acknowledge our hopelessness and lostness apart from Jesus Christ. We must come to the end of ourselves and say, “Lord, You are my only hope. You are the one who paid for my sin on the cross. You are the only one who can help me face the endless eternity.” Only a humble and repentant heart can receive the salvation Jesus offers. Only a truly broken spirit can receive strength from the Lord.

As you pray, you can follow the model of the prayer of Nehemiah 9:

  1. Acknowledge your personal responsibility for sin.
  2. Acknowledge God’s justice.
  3. Ask God for forgiveness in the name of Jesus.
  4. Cling to God’s promise of forgiveness.

Unconfessed sin haunts us. It robs us of sleep. It robs us of our relationship with God. If you are staggering under a weight of guilt and sin right now, I urge you to turn to the Lord, confess your sins to Him, repent, and receive His cleansing shower of grace and forgiveness. He never withholds His forgiveness from those who sincerely call on His name. We have His Word on it again and again: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9; see also Jeremiah 31:34, Psalm 103:11-12, and Isaiah 1:18).

So go to your knees and pray the prayer of confession and repentance. Then accept the freedom of His forgiveness and commit to live boldly, confidently, and joyfully for Him.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your unfathomable grace. It is truly astounding. Forgive me for the times I have turned away from You in my pride, forgetting that I am the clay and You are the potter. Purify me according to Your will. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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