December 11, 2016

Confessional Prayer

Written by Boyd Bailey


Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 11, 2016

The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.     Numbers 21:7

Confessional prayer is coming clean with God. There is sensitivity to the Spirit that abhors sin and its consequences. It knows it is in need of repentance and forgiveness. Oddly enough, our sin may come on the heels of a great act from the Almighty. God may have previously worked mightily in our midst, but we forget to thank Him for His recent past provisions and we rush to judge whether He or others will see us through our uncertain future.

We grow impatient when God does not give us immediate results, though we have seen Him work things out beautifully before. Unless we catch ourselves, we spiral down into fearful living. We know in our head that He is faithful, but our heart is drawn away by fear. So, confessional prayer comes full circle and comes clean with Christ. We get honest about our own grumbling and complaining. We take responsibility for our own bad attitudes. We can’t change the other person with whom we have conflict, but by God’s grace, we can change ourselves.

We may not be able to improve our circumstance for the better, but we can become better by acting as if Almighty God is in control. We can throw ourselves on the need for His mercy and forgiveness. He listens to our contrite prayer of confession. Our sincere pleas to sovereign God solicit Him to forgive our sin, so confession matters. It moves the heart of heaven when He hears your cries. Your prayer of repentance engages God. Your teachable heart is how the Spirit is able to bring about life transformation. There is no need to stay on the treadmill of temptation and tentative obedience. Step off with the Spirit’s help, and run by faith. Lastly, use your confession of sin as an invitation for others to intercede on your behalf.

Your prayer of repentance is not reserved for God alone. Accountability grows when we ask for prayer over our awful attitudes. Yes, it is humbling and sometimes humiliating, but the prayers of godly people are levers for the Lord and a surge of the Spirit’s support. Sin loses its grip when you involve praying people over your process of repentance. We do much better when we ask a friend to pray that our lustful looks at an attractive person become glances of admiration and respect. Specific prayers for a marriage that models unselfishness reinforce our role as a faithful husband or a loving wife. Ongoing prayer reinforces our confession. We succeed at resisting sin when we know others are praying for us. We have a much higher probability for change when we confess our sin to God and to the saints who love us too much not to pray for us and hold us accountable.

Therefore, pulverize any preoccupation with sin by confessing your need for prayer and accountability. Sin slithers back into its dark corner when exposed by the light of confession and prayer. Reveal your secret sin to somebody you trust. Ask them to pray for you; it facilitates freedom and healing.

The Bible says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).


Heavenly Father, keep my heart sensitive to sin and quick to confess and repent.


Who do I need to specifically apologize to and ask for forgiveness?

Related Reading

Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.

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