Text: Hebrews 4:14-16
As we gather today for our last day of confession, let’s really take to heart these verses from Hebrews.
We are not praying to some stoic being who sits on a cloud. We are not confessing to a god who wields his power without emotion, who looks down with pity and disgust on the lowly humans he created.
We pray to the One who not only knows us, He knows what it’s like to be us. He knows because He lived it. And not only did He live, He died a real death with real pain, with real blood and sweat and tears, with real love in His real heart, to make you and me real daughters of the only true God.
Whoosh. Does it get more intense and more intensely beautiful than that?
Let’s go to Him together in confession, trusting that what He says is true.
Prayer: Yet I Sin
Thou art good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess, but my heart is slow to feel,
and my ways reluctant to amen.
I bring my soul to thee;
break it, wound it, bend it, mould it.
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee;
as a rebel I have misused my strength,
and served the foul adversary of thy kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate folly
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard,
that evil paths are wretched paths,
that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of thy perfect law,
the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns,
the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls,
yet I daily violate and condemn its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me,
brings me Scripture warnings,
speaks in startling providences,
allures by secret whispers,
yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt,
impiously resent, grieve,
and provoke him to abandon me.
All these sins I mourn, lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears,
yet ever trusts and loves,
which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly
the brightness and glories of the saving cross.”
from The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, ©2001, The Banner of Truth Trust, p.70.