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Table of contents
- How to Lead a Dynamic Prayer Meeting
- Eight Ways to an Effective Prayer Life
- Did you discover God’s Truth today?
- Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer
- Resources by Topic: Prayer
How to Lead a Dynamic Prayer Meeting
He was bringing definite petitions before the Father. This was no mere ritual—it was real communication. If not, could they this week? Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. His biblical vision has led the church to become one of the most dynamic independent Baptist churches in the nation.
He has been married to his wife, Terrie, for over thirty years and is the father of four married children all serving in Christian ministry. Do you ever feel ineffective in prayer? Get posts delivered to your inbox. By your prayers of humility, as you fast, you will help the Great Commission be fulfilled. However, do not become so caught up in praying for yourself and others that you forget about simply reverencing and praising God.
True spiritual fasting focuses on God. Center your total being on Him, your attitudes, your actions, your motives, desires, and words. This can only take place if God and His Holy Spirit are at the center of our attention. Confess your sins as the Holy Spirit brings them to your attention and continue to focus on God and God alone so that your prayers may be powerful and effective. A renewed closeness with God and a greater sensitivity to spiritual things are usually the results of a fast. Many people who have successfully completed extended fasts tell of feeling a nearness to God that they have never before known, but others who have honestly sought His face report no particular outward results at all.
For others, their fast was physically, emotionally, and spiritually grueling, but they knew they had been called by God to fast, and they completed the fast unto Him as an act of worship; God honored that commitment. Your motive in fasting must be to glorify God, not to have an emotional experience, and not to attain personal happiness. When your motives are right, God will honor your seeking heart and bless your time with Him in a very special way. I know the prospect of going without food for an extended period of time may be of concern to some. But there are ways to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs so you can remain safe and healthy during your fast.
For an extended fast, I recommend water and fruit and vegetable juices. The natural sugars in juices provide energy, and the taste and strength are motivational to continue your fast. Try to drink fresh juices, if possible. If you are beginning a juice fast, there are certain juices you may wish to avoid and certain ones that are especially beneficial.
Because of their acid content, most nutritionists do not advise orange or tomato juice these are better tolerated if mixed with equal portions of water. The best juices are fresh carrot, grape, celery, apple, cabbage, or beet. I usually dedicate a portion of my day fast to a special liquid formula, which I have found to be effective over many years. A few recipes and my comments are on this page, as well as a helpful schedule. The juice is available in frozen cans under the Welch label. Most knowledgeable nutritionists recommend:. Some nutritionists recommend warm broth, especially if you live in a colder climate.
You may find their recipes helpful:. You may find the following daily schedule helpful during your fast. I recommend you print it and keep it handy throughout your fast. I suggest that you do not drink milk because it is a pure food and therefore a violation of the fast. Any product containing protein or fat, such as milk or soy-based drinks, should be avoided. These products will restart the digestion cycle and you will again feel hunger pangs. Also, for health reasons, stay away from caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or cola. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it has a more powerful effect on your nervous system when you abstain from food.
This works both against the physical and spiritual aspects of the fast. Another key factor in maintaining optimum health during a fast is to limit your physical activity. Exercise only moderately, and rest as much as your schedule will permit this especially applies to extended fasts. Short naps are helpful as well. Walking a mile or two each day at a moderate pace is acceptable for a person in good health, and on a juice fast.
However, no one on a water fast should exercise without the supervision of a fasting specialist. Although fasting can be an indescribable blessing, it is not always easy for everyone. In this time of discipline, self-sacrifice and reflection, do not be surprised if you experience mental and physical discomforts.
To begin, you may experience some inner conflict when you deny yourself the pleasure of eating delicious food. Any sort of fast may sometimes leave you feeling impatient and irritable. During a 3-day fast, this struggle can intensify toward the end of the second day. I have done enough. Hunger Pangs: These are greatest usually during the first three days of the fast. Your body is adjusting from using the food in your digestive tract which remains about three days to consuming stored fats. Psyllium Bulk: Help eliminate hunger pangs and also aids in cleansing the body.
Several capsules can be taken throughout the day with plenty of water. Silymarin tablets may also be helpful, for they are believed to protect and enhance the cleansing of the liver. Coldness, bad breath and heightened body odor, changes in elimination constipation or diarrhea , light-headedness, changes in sleeping and dreaming patterns, aches and pains. After the first two weeks of an extended fast, many of these symptoms subside.
Continuing aches in a certain area of the body usually means elimination of fatty tissue is going on in that area, which is not harmful. However, any extensive pain should be examined immediately. Stop for a second or two, then recover. Move slowly. A word of caution: these conditions may be symptoms of other problems requiring medical attention. Take one teaspoon of psyllium seed powder morning and evening. Mixed in lukewarm water, it becomes like Jell-O. This powder will hasten the elimination of toxins from your colon and help to prevent headaches and dizziness for most healthy people.
Alfalfa tablets can help control bad breath and cleanse the system. Two tablets at a time can be taken several times a day. In my desire to be absolutely faithful to my first day fast, I stopped taking my usual vitamins and minerals. However during subsequent fasts, I have felt strongly impressed to continue my vitamin and herbal therapy and also using psyllium.
During your fast, you may have your struggles, discomforts, spiritual victories, and failures. In the morning you may feel like you are on top of the world, but by evening you may be wrestling with the flesh-sorely tempted to raid the refrigerator and counting how many more days are left in your fast. This is especially true if you are new at fasting. To counteract temptations like these, take extra time with the Lord to spend with God.
Step outside for fresh air and a moderate walk of a mile or two, and talk to the Lord as you walk along. And in the process always keep on sipping water or juice frequently during your waking hours. While your body is in the resting mode, your stomach shrinks and your intestines become idle, so solid food must be re-introduced very slowly to avoid kidney failure or digestive distress. In fact, after a day fast, you should make a careful transition for at least three days before returning to eating meats or fats or normal foods.
Further, if you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will linger for days. But if you rush into solid foods, you may lose much of your deep sense of peace and experience physical problems such as diarrhea, sickness, fainting, and frankly even death in some cases, due to shock! Paul Bragg and his daughter Patricia have conducted fasting clinics for many years.
Their book, The Miracle of Fasting, gives a specific daily food plan for breaking a 7-day fast that could be adapted and stretched out over several more days for a day fast. Most experts agree that breaking a fast with vegetables, either steamed or raw, is best. Your stomach is smaller now, so eat lightly. Stop before you feel full. Also avoid meats, dairy products, and any fats or oils for a week or more. Introduce them very slowly and in small amounts. Extended fasts are not the only fasts which need to be ended with caution.
Even a 3-day fast requires reasonable precautions. It is wise to start with a little soup — something thin and nourishing such as vegetable broth made from onion, celery, potatoes, and carrots — and fresh fruits such as watermelon and cantaloupe. In terms of resuming any sort of exercise routine, the advice is the same. Start out slowly, allowing time for your body to re-adjust to its usual regime. I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world.
Increasingly I have been gripped with a growing sense of urgency to call upon God to send revival to our beloved country. But with each passing day, His call grew stronger and more clear. Finally, I was convinced. God was calling me to fast, and He would not make such a call without a specific reason or purpose. The Lord impressed that upon my heart, as well as the urgent need to help accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation. As I began my fast, I was not sure I could continue for forty days.
But my confidence was in the Lord to help me. Each day His presence encouraged me to continue. The longer I fasted, the more I sensed the presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit refreshed my soul and spirit, and I experienced the joy of the Lord as seldom before. My faith soared as I humbled myself and cried out to God and rejoiced in His presence. This proved to be the most important forty days of my life. As I waited upon the Lord, the Holy Spirit gave me the assurance that America and much of the world will, before the end of the year , experience a great spiritual awakening.
This divine visit from heaven will kindle the greatest spiritual harvest in the history of the Church. The scope of this revival depends on how believers in America and the rest of the world respond to this call. This handy reference guide, Seven Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer, will help make your time with the Lord more spiritually rewarding. I encourage you to keep it with you during your fast and refer to it often because it gives easy-to-follow suggestions on how to begin your fast, what to do while you fast, and how to end your fast properly.
During my forty-day fast, God impressed me to pray that two million Christians in North America will fast for forty days by the end of the year , and pray for national and worldwide revival and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I urge you to prayerfully consider this challenge. How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding. Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation?
Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically. Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles Make this a priority in your fasting.
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast Matthew ; ,15 For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:. The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers.
Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:. Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision. Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer. Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:.
The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake. I thought there surely must be a God, and if I could just be good enough to get close to Him, perhaps something of His greatness would rub off on me, and then I could feel better about myself and my life. Of course I was never able to do that because the gods I chased after were distant, cold, and remote. And this depressed me all the more because I was raised by a mother who was distant, cold, and remote, not to mention abusive, frightening, and cruel.
It was later determined that she was mentally ill, and I have since forgiven her for all that I suffered at her hand. Nevertheless, the memories of my childhood eventually snowballed into an avalanche of pain that became so unbearable that I ended up being suffocated by my own hopelessness and crushed into suicidal despair. But it was here at the lowest point in my life, when I was 28 years old, that I learned who God really is and received Jesus as my Savior. This began a process of deliverance, healing, and restoration, the likes of which I had never dreamed possible.
From the time I received the Lord and began to feel His life working in me, I could see the common thread in all those other religions and practices I had dabbled in previously. This similarity was that the gods of each of those religions had no power to save or transform a human life.
But the God of the Bible did. He is the one, true, living God. And when we find Him and receive Him, His Spirit comes to dwell in us. By the power of His spirit, He transforms us from the inside out and miraculously changes our circumstances and our lives. I also learned that He is a God who can be found. A God who can be known. A God who wants to be close to us. That's why He is called Immanuel, which means "God with us.
If I could sit down and talk with you in person about your life, I would tell you that if you have received the Lord, the answer to what you need is within you. That's because the Holy Spirit of God is within you, and He will lead you in all things and teach you everything you need to know. He will transform you and your circumstances beyond your wildest dreams if you will give up trying to do it on your own and let Him do it His way and in His time. This is not about striving to be good enough to get to God, for there is no way any of us can be.
This is about letting all of the goodness of God be in you. It's about drawing closer to God and sensing Him drawing closer to you. This is about an intimate walk with God and the wholeness that will be worked in you because of it. I wanted to know how women most wanted to be prayed for. Their response was not surprising, but the fact that it was unanimous in every city and every state was amazing. The number one personal need of all women surveyed was that they would grow spiritually and have a deep, strong, vital, life-changing, faith-filled walk with God.
I eventually stopped taking the survey because the results were always the same. I got the point!
Eight Ways to an Effective Prayer Life
I'm sure that you, like me and many women, want a deep, intimate, loving relationship with God. You wouldn't be reading this book if you didn't. You long for the closeness, the connection, the affirmation that who you are is good and desirable. But God is the only one who can give all that to you all of the time. Your deepest needs and longing will only be met in an intimate relationship with Him. No person will ever reach as deeply into you as God will. No one can ever know you as well or love you as much. That insatiable longing for more that you feel, the emptiness you want those closest to you to fill, is put there by God so that He can fill it.
God wants us to want Him. And when we realize that it's Him that we want, we become free. We are free to identify the longings, loneliness, and emptiness inside of us as our signal that we need to draw near to God with open arms and ask Him to fill us with more of Himself. But this deep and intimate relationship with God that we all desire and can't live without doesn't just happen. It must be sought after, prayed for, nurtured, and treasured.
And we must continually seek after, pray for, nurture, and treasure it. If you follow the Lord for only what He can do for you, your walk with Him is shallow. If you love Him enough to ask Him what you can do for Him, then your relationship is growing deep. If you only pray to God when things are tough or you need something, then your walk with Him is shallow. If you find yourself praying to Him many times a day just because you love to be in His presence, then your relationship is growing deep.
If you get mad at God or disappointed in Him when He doesn't do what you want, then your walk with Him is shallow. If you can praise God no matter what is going on in your life, then your relationship with Him is growing deep. If you love God only because of what He does, then your walk with Him is shallow. If you love and reverence Him for who He is, then your relationship with Him is growing deep. If you think you have to beg God or twist His arm to get Him to answer your prayers, then your walk with Him is shallow.
If you believe that God wants to answer the prayers you pray in line with His will, then your relationship with Him is growing deep. Spending Time Alone With Him We can never draw close to God and get to know Him well, or develop the kind of intimate relationship we want, unless we spend time alone with Him.
It's in those private times that we are refreshed, strengthened, and rejuvenated. It's then we can see our lives from God's perspective and discover what is really important. That's where we understand who it is we belong to and believe in. God has so much to speak into your life. But if you don't draw apart from the busyness of your day and spend time alone with Him in quietness and solitude, you will not hear it.
Jesus Himself spent much time alone with God. If anyone could get away with not doing it, surely it would have been Him. How much more important must it be for us? I know finding time alone to pray can be difficult. But if you will make it a priority by setting a specific time to pray daily, perhaps writing it in your calendar the way you would any other important date, and determine to keep that standing appointment with God, you'll see answers to your prayers like never before.
Remember, if you haven't been praying much, you can't expect things to change overnight. It takes a while to get the enormous ocean liner of your life turned around and headed in a different direction. It doesn't immediately reposition itself the moment you begin steering. In fact, you may hardly see any changes at first. It's the same way with prayer. Prayer can turn your life around, but it doesn't always happen the moment you utter your first words.
It may take a time of continued prayer before you actually see the scenery change. This is normal, so don't give up. You will soon be heading full speed in a new direction. Far too often people give up just before their breakthrough into the realm of answered prayer. Remember, this trip is not a mini-vacation tour around the harbor, it's a lifelong voyage to meet your destiny. Giving up is not an option. Naming Names Do you ever have trouble remembering names? Especially when I meet a large number of people at one time. I can remember faces and names separately, but I don't always put the right ones together.
And that can get me into trouble. With God it's a different situation. He has only one face, but many, many names. But if we don't know all of His names, we may not understand all the aspects of His character. God has literally hundreds of names. Sometimes, though, it seems we often have trouble just remembering a few of the basic ones. We may forget one just when we need to remember it. For example, we may think of God as our heavenly Father, but forget that He is also our Husband and Friend. Or we may remember Him as our Comforter, but forget that He is our Deliverer. We might think of Him as our Protector, but fail to remember Him as our Healer.
Some people never think of God beyond being their Savior, which in itself is more than we deserve. But God wants to be even more than that to us. He wants us to know all the aspects of His character because the way we recognize God will affect the way we live our lives. Each of God's names in the Bible represents a way He wants us to trust Him. Do you trust Him to be your Strength Psalm ? Is He your Peace Ephesians ? Is He your Refiner Malachi ? Your Wisdom 1 Corinthians ? Your Counselor Psalm ?
Your Resting Place Jeremiah ? Each of His names is sacred, and we must treat each one as such. When I worked in the secular entertainment world in Los Angeles, I heard the word "Jesus" a hundred times a day, spoken as a curse word by people with no reverence, love, or understanding of Him. It wasn't until I received Jesus that I realized exactly how much of a curse word that name was when it was used profanely. Taking God's name in vain brings a curse on whoever uses it in that manner because it breaks one of the Ten Commandments.
It also violates God's greatest commandment, which is "you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" Mark No one who loves God uses His name in vain. However, this same word—"Jesus"—when spoken in love by one who reverences Him, has great power in it. Power to save, deliver, heal, provide, protect, and so much more.
Using it profanely shuts off these very things from our lives. There is also great power in each one of God's names, and when spoken with faith, love, understanding, and reverence, it brings a blessing and increases your faith. For example, God's name is always a safe place to run to any time you need help.
If you are sick, run to your Healer. If you can't pay your bills, run to your Provider. If you are afraid, run to your Hiding Place. If you are going through a dark time, run to your Everlasting Light. By speaking His name with reverence and thanksgiving, you invite Him to be that to you. Often there is so much we don't have in our lives simply because we do not acknowledge God as the answer to that need. How can you be healed if you don't acknowledge God as the Healer? In the following list of God's names, I have included only But there are hundreds more in His Word. Though He is one God, there are so many dimensions to Him that in order for us to comprehend them all, He has given Himself many names.
It's the only way we, who are so small, can begin to understand Him, who is so great. I suggest that every time you come across another name for God in the Bible, underline it or jot it in the margin or add it to a list. It will remind you of who God wants to be to you. Healer Malachi 2. Redeemer Isaiah 3. Deliverer Psalm 4. My Strength Psalm 5. Shelter Isaiah NLT 6. Friend Matthew 7. Advocate Hebrews NLT 8. Restorer Psalm 9. Everlasting Father Isaiah Love 1 John Mediator 1 Timothy Bread of Life John Hiding Place Psalm 3 Everlasting Light Isaiah Resting Place Jeremiah Spirit of Truth John Lord of Peace 2 Thessalonians Living Water John A Shield Psalm Husband Isaiah Helper Hebrews Wonderful Counselor Isaiah The Lord Who Heals Exodus Hope Psalm God of Comfort Romans If you will go through this list of names periodically and speak each of them out loud, thanking God for being that to you, you'll be amazed at how your faith will grow and how much closer to God you will feel.
I long to dwell in Your presence, and my desire is for a deeper and more intimate relationship with You. I want to know You in every way You can be known. Teach me what I need to learn in order to know You better. I don't want to be a person who is "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" 2 Timothy I want to know the truth about who You are, because I know that You are near to all who call upon You in truth Psalm I am open to whatever You want to do in me. I don't want to limit You by neglecting to acknowledge You in every way possible.
Today I especially need to know You as put in a name of the Lord. I believe You will be that to me. God, help me to set aside time each day to meet with You alone. Enable me to resist and eliminate all that would keep me from it. Teach me to pray the way You want me to.
Did you discover God’s Truth today?
Help me to learn more about You. Lord, you have said, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink" John I thirst for more of You because I am in a dry place without You. I come to You this day and drink deeply of Your Spirit. I know You are everywhere, but I also know that there are deeper manifestations of Your presence that I long to experience. Draw me close so that I may dwell in Your presence like never before. James I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
John It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews OceanofPDF. That is, you and I are not perfect. No one is perfect. None of us has arrived. None of us is incapable of sin. None of us is without problems.
None of us have walked so long with the Lord that we know it all and therefore have nothing to learn. None of us is so complete that we don't need anything from God. None of us has it all together. It's out in the open. Please don't think I said this because I believe you need to know it. To the contrary, I believe you already do know it. I said it because I want you to know that we all know it.
We know it about ourselves and we know it about each other.
Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer
Therefore, we can be completely honest with ourselves about ourselves. I don't want you to feel when reading this book that you have to live up to some impossibly high standard for your life. This book is not about living up to a standard. It's about letting God become your standard. It's not about trying to make something happen for yourself.
It's recognizing that you can't make anything happen, but you can surrender your life to God and let Him make things happen. It's not about finding ways to avoid God's judgment and feeling like a failure if you don't do everything perfectly. It's about fully experiencing God's love and letting it perfect you. It's not about being somebody you are not. It's about becoming who you really are. But in order to see these things happen, you have to be completely honest with yourself and with God about who you are at the moment. Women all over the world want to live fruitful lives. They want to dwell in God's grace while still obeying His laws.
They want to be unshakable in God's truth yet moved by the suffering and needs of others. They want to know God in all the ways He can be known, and they want to be transformed by the power of His Spirit. But they are often hard on themselves when they don't see all these things happening on a daily basis. For that reason, I want you to look upon this idea of cleansing your heart not as a judgment that your heart is dirty, but as God's call for you to get completely right before Him so He can bring all the blessings He has for you into your life.
See it as God preparing you for the important work He has ahead for you to do. In order to accomplish this, you have to examine your life closely. You have to be brave enough to say, "Lord, show me what is in my heart, soul, mind, spirit, and life that shouldn't be there.
Teach me what I am not understanding. Convict me where I am missing the mark. Tear down my arrogance, pride, fear, and insecurities, and help me to see the truth about myself, my life, and my circumstances. Expose me to myself, Lord. I can take it. Enable me to correct the error of my ways. Help me to replace lies with truth and make changes that last.
Perhaps more courage than many of us have at the moment. If you are hesitant to let the Lord expose your heart because of what He might reveal, then ask Him to give you the courage you need. In order to see positive changes happen in your life, you have to be open to the cleansing and stretching work of the Holy Spirit. You have to allow Him to expose your heart so you won't be deceived about yourself and your life.
You have to invite Him to create a clean heart within you. Then be willing to do these two things: 1. Confess to God any sins of thought or action that He shows you. Repent of the things you have just confessed. True Confession Don't think just because you are not a serial killer or have never robbed a bank that you don't have any sin to confess. Don't think because you have walked with the Lord for a number of years and go to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night, and to all prayer meetings in between, that you have nothing for which you need to repent.
Sin doesn't have to be glaring and obvious in order for it to be sin. For example, have you ever doubted that God can do what He promises in His Word? Doubt is a sin. Have you ever said anything about a person to someone else that isn't exactly flattering?
Gossip is a sin. Have you ever avoided someone because you thought they might ask something of you that you didn't want to give? Selfishness is a sin. Have you ever had an unloving attitude toward another person? Sin is hard to avoid percent of the time. That's why confession is crucial. When we don't confess our sins, faults, or errors, they separate us from God. And we don't get our prayers answered.
When we don't confess our sins, we end up trying to hide ourselves from God. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, we feel we can't face Him. But the problem with attempting to hide from God is that it's impossible. The Bible says that everything we do will be made known.
Even the things we said and thought in secret. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops" Luke What a frightening thought!
If each of us will have to give an account, the quicker we get it straight with God the better. In fact, the sooner we deal with the sins we can see, the sooner God can reveal to us the ones we can't. And God only knows how much of that there is residing in each of us. There is always a consequence for sin. King David described it best when he wrote of his own unconfessed sin: "When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer" Psalm I remember having resentment toward my husband for words he said that hurt me deeply.
As long as I held on to the hurt and resentment, it made me feel physically ill. I didn't want to confess it because I thought my feelings were justified and he was the one who was wrong. But I finally realized that all sin is sin, so I confessed my resentment to God as sin—and the moment I did, the feeling of sickness in my body left. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness" Psalm Nothing is heavier than sin.
We don't realize how heavy it is until the day we feel its crushing weight bringing death to our souls. We don't see how destructive it is until we smash into the wall that has gone up between us and God because of it. That's why it's best to confess every sin as soon as we are aware of it and get our hearts cleansed and right immediately. Confession gets sin out in the open before God. When you confess your sin, you're not informing God of something He doesn't know. He wants to know that you know. Confessing, however, is more than just apologizing.
Anyone can do that. We all know people who are good apologizers. The reason they are so good at it is because they get so much practice. They have to say "I'm sorry" over and over again because they never change their ways. In fact, they sometimes say, "I'm sorry" without ever actually admitting to any fault. Those are the professional apologizers.
Resources by Topic: Prayer
And their confessions don't mean anything. But true confession means admitting in full detail what you have done and then fully repenting of it. Full Repentance It's one thing to recognize when you have done something that has violated God's laws; it's another to be saddened by it to such a degree that you are determined to never do it again.
That's repentance. Repentance means to change your mind. To turn and walk the other way. Repentance means being so deeply sorry for what you have done that you will do whatever it takes to keep it from happening again. Confession means we recognize we have done wrong and admit our sin. Repentance means we are sorry about our sin to the point of grief, and we have turned and walked away from it. Repenting of something doesn't necessarily mean we will never commit that sin again.
It means we don't intend to ever commit it again. So if you find that you have to confess the same sin again after you have only recently confessed and repented of it, then do it. Don't let the enemy saddle you with guilt and ride on your back shouting words of failure in your ear. Confess and repent as many times as necessary to throw him off and see yourself win the battle over this problem. Don't entertain thoughts such as, Surely God won't forgive me again for the same thing I just confessed to Him last week.
You can turn things around in your life when you turn to the Lord and repent. Learn to confess and repent quickly so that the death process that is set in motion each time we violate God's rules is not given time to do it's full damage, "for the wages of sin is death" Romans Ask God every day to show you where your heart is not clean and right before Him.
Don't let anything separate you from all God has for you. Forgive me for thoughts I have had, words I have spoken, and things that I have done that are not glorifying to You or are in direct contradiction to Your commands. Specifically, I confess to You name any thoughts, words, or actions that you know are not pleasing to God.
I confess it as sin and I repent of it. I choose to walk away from this pattern of thought or action and live Your way. I know that You are "gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness" Joel Forgive me for ever taking that for granted. Lord, I realize that You are a God who "knows the secrets of the heart" Psalm Reveal those to me if I am not seeing them. Show me any place in my life where I harbor sin in my thoughts, words, or actions that I have not recognized. Show me the truth about myself so that I can see it clearly. Examine my soul and expose my motives to reveal what I need to understand.
I am willing to give up meaningless and unfruitful habits that are not Your best for my life. Enable me to make changes where I need to do so. I want to cleanse my hands and purify my heart as You have commanded in Your Word James I pray that You will "have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin" Psalm Lord, "create in me a clean heart I want to receive Your forgiveness so that times of refreshing may come from Your presence Acts And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. PSALM 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 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs OceanofPDF. When I became a Christian, forgiving my mother was the obvious thing to do. It wasn't until years later that God revealed my unforgiveness toward my dad. When a Christian counselor I was speaking with about the unrest and frustration in my soul asked me if I had any unforgiveness toward my dad, I said no. Why would I? He wasn't the abusive parent. But when the counselor told me to pray and ask God to show me the truth, a lifetime of rage, anger, hurt, unforgiveness, and tears flooded my entire being.
Down deep I felt my dad never came to my rescue. He never rescued me from my mother's insanity. He never came and let me out of the closet she had locked me in for so much of my early childhood. I didn't realize how much I blamed him for allowing my mother, who he knew was severely mentally ill, to treat me with such cruelty and abuse.
When I forgave him that day, I felt peace like I had never known before. Often we don't recognize the unforgiveness that is in us. We think we are forgiving, but we really aren't. If we don't ask God to reveal our unforgiveness to us, we may never get free of the paralyzing grip it has on our lives. A big part of making sure our lives are clean and right before God has to do with forgiving other people. We can never move into all God has for us unless we do. An Excellent Choice I know "hate" is a very strong word, and we hate to use the word "hate" about anything. And we certainly hate the thought that we might actually have hate for another person.
But that's what unforgiveness is—the root of hate. When we entertain unforgiving thoughts, they turn to hate inside of us. Jesus felt so strongly about this that He said, "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" 1 John He also said, "Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses" Mark Now let's get this straight.
When we don't forgive, we are considered murderers without any eternal hope who shouldn't expect God to forgive us until we have forgiven others. I'd say that if it's between forgiving and not forgiving, forgiving seems like the better choice.