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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).
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