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How God wants us to pray about our sin

This message is the most important in all the Psalms messages I will do because it is the ‘Gateway’ message. The only true prayer we do comes as a result of being real with God about sin. Sin is the thing that stands between us and God. In the Psalms we have clear instruction as to how God wants us to deal with it in our relationship with Him. Because we are created in God’s mage we have an inborn need to be one with Him. The only way this happens is HIS way… by having our sin forgiven.

Bonhoeffer: ‘Most Psalm presuppose complete assurance of the forgiveness of sin. That may surprise us. But even in n the New Testament the same thing is true… There is such a thing as the confident leaving behind of sin for the sake of Christ.’

Those moved by God’s Spirit to write and compile the Book of Psalms knew God! They knew Him well enough to know His forgiveness; which is an unchanging aspect of the character of the Triune God of Scripture. So in knowing Him they understood forgiveness, but also we see an understanding of how we are to be as God’s people, they way we are to relate to God regarding our sin. Various Psalms teach us a posture, an attitude and actions known as repentance! Repentance is the doorway to forgiveness of our sin. It is also part of what enables us to be sensitive to our sin and as we grow to despise it. So in prayer dealing with a Holy, All Knowing, All Loving God we practice repent. What does repentance entail? Awareness of Sin / Ownership of Sin / Contrition for Sin / Belief in the absolution of Sin (God given forgiveness) / Intention to not Sin / Desire for God’s Will.

Today’s text works out the process of getting to that place. Of forgiveness. It evokes all the emotion around the need we have to be forgiven, the need we have to seek God for that. Each sentence is instruction on how we are to relate to God and speak to Him about our sin and guilt. Each sentence tells us how God wants us to do it…so we better listen! We believe David wrote this Psalm after being confronted by Nathan the Prophet regarding His adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah The Hittite. It is important to remember that even though God forgives even the most vile sin, there is consequence: the child dies and there is forever division in the house of David.

Psalm 51: (47 cross references in 19 verses)

1 God, have mercy on me according to Your faithful love. Because Your love is so tender and kind, wipe out my lawless acts. 2 Wash away all the evil things I’ve done. Make me pure from my sin.

  • Because we know God, His character, His essence… we can receive mercy
  • Admission of: lawless acts, evil things…SIN

3 I know the lawless acts I’ve committed. I can’t forget my sin. 4 You are the one I’ve really sinned against. I’ve done what is evil in Your sight. So You are right when You sentence me. You are fair when You judge me.

  • Honest self evaluation is essential
  • No matter how we sin it is ultimately rebellion against our Creator
  • Being ‘In Christ’ means we trust God’s justice / we believe HE knows best

5 I know I’ve been a sinner ever since I was born. I’ve been a sinner ever since my mother became pregnant with me. 6 I know that You wanted faithfulness even when I was in my mother’s body. You taught me wisdom in that secret place.

  • Recognition of our ‘Sin Condition’
  • From the moment God creates us we are willfully rebellious
  • Yet even from conception we know right from wrong
  • Life begins at conception and so does the influence of the ‘Life Giver’

7 Sprinkle me with hyssop, then I will be clean. Wash me, then I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear You say, “Your sins are forgiven.” That will bring me joy and gladness. Let the body You have broken be glad. 9 Take away all my sins. Wipe away all the evil things I’ve done.

  • Hyssop was used in ceremonial cleansing
  • The idea is God can make it happen
  • And God can and does make it clear to us that HE can make us clean

10 God, create a pure heart in me. Renew my spirit making it faithful to You. 11 Don’t send me away from You. Don’t take Your Holy Spirit away from me.

  • This is asking to be transformed
  • Through the work of God’s Spirit in us we can be different!
  • He wants to make us faithful to Him, He wants us to desire purity & holiness

12 Give me back the joy that comes from being saved by You. Give me a spirit of willful obedience, so that I will keep going. 13 Then I will teach Your ways to those who commit lawless acts. And sinners will turn back to You.

  • It is asking God to reconnect us with the assurance we belong to Him
  • It presupposes a life that has been surrendered to Christ (Gospel)
  • The idea is that we need God to constantly renew our desire to follow Him
  • Part of this kind of life is being public with what you believe about God
  • There’s a connection between biblical salvation & effective evangelism

14 You are the God who saves me. I have committed murder. God, take away my guilt. Then my tongue will sing about how right You are no matter what You do. 15 Lord, open my lips so that I can speak. Then my mouth will praise You.

  • Trust in God’s ability and willingness to save souls… no matter how bad the sin
  • When we know this we have an attitude of praise and we sing and speak it

16 You don’t take delight in sacrifice. If You did, I would bring it. You don’t take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifice You want is a broken spirit. God, You will gladly accept a heart that is broken because of sadness over sin.

  • This is a clear recognition that empty religious rituals are not what God wants
  • This is a confession: I know what you want God, me to be real about my sin
  • This is the goal of repentance: brokenness that drives our lifestyle

18 May You be pleased to give Zion success. May it please You to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You will delight in the sacrifices of those who do what is right. Whole burnt offerings will bring delight to You. And bulls will be offered on Your altar.

  • This is now asking for favor for the people of God
  • And that favor will make their heart align with God

Prayer Lessons: How Yahweh / Christ wants us to pray about sin & guilt

We are to ask God to have mercy on us based on His covenant love.

We are to pray believing He can and does completely forgive us.

We are to honestly and fully confess our sin and acknowledge that it is rebellion.

We are to agree with God that all sin is against Him.

We are to pray that we submit to His justice.

We are to take ownership of sin and admit we know it is not what God has taught us.

We are to ask that God to forgive and to assure us of His forgiveness.

We are to enjoy the assurance of salvation, let it heal us, and trust it is complete.

We are to ask The Holy Spirit to give us godly desires and to renew our faithfulness.

We are to ask God to let us know He is with us and to fill us with His Spirit.

We are to ask God to enable us to recapture the joy of our salvation.

We are to ask God to make us want to be obedient so that we can persevere.

We are to ask God to enable us to demonstrate His reality to those who would repent

We are to assert our trust in His saving us. No matter what we do or what God does.

We are to pray prayers of praise to the God who saves.

We are to ask God to give us a broken spirit; we know that is what He truly wants.

We are to ask God for His favor to be shown to His people.

We are to ask Christ to protect His Body so they can lay down their lives in worship.

APPLICATION: Prayer from Psalm 51

Father I ask for Your mercy that flows from faithful love. The depth of Your love wipes out my sin. I ask You to purify me; spiritually cleansing me of the evil I have done.

I am in agreement with You about my sin. I desire to deal with the reality of it. I confess that it is You personally I have sinned against. Sin is yours to define and I have done what You call evil, so I am under Your judgement regarding my sin. I submit to your will.

I acknowledge my lifetime of sin that began when I was conceived. Even then Your Spirit influenced me so that I knew You wanted holiness. Thank You for giving me the wisdom that allows me to know You!

You can make me clean by desiring it, wash me as only You can. Personally tell me that You have forgiven my sin. That is my source of joy, it heals the wounds sin has given me because it is a complete forgiveness. In Your love You erase the record of my rebellion against You.

Yahweh I ask you to recreate my heart & soul, spiritually renew my faithfulness to You. Lord, teach me to obey Your will. I ask you to allow me to experience Your constant presence, don’t let my sin separate us in any way. Lord fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Father please reignite the joy I have had in knowing I am Yours. By Your Spirit, give me a spirit of willful and persevering obedience. As You teach me I will display and proclaim Your ways to those who do not honor You so they may turn to You and abandon sin.

I believe that You are the Lord who redeems me, no matter the depth of my sin and guilt. You forgive it, just as You forgave David. Because I know Your infinite love I trust You, no matter what You do or what I can perceive. From that faith I will have a song in my heart that praises You.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit; I want to give You what You desire from me as Your child: a repentant attitude that yields a lifestyle of brokenness about my sin. May I plant repentance and reap brokenness regarding my sin against You Lord. I know this is what you want from my life as I surrender it to Christ.

Lord Jesus Christ please give Your Body favor, may You be pleased to protect it and guide it’s member to do what is in agreement with Your will by Your Spirit. AMEN!

PRAYERS OF LIFE

A prayer from Psalm 37

I Hope in the Lord and keep his way.

I will be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;

He is my stronghold in time of trouble.

I will refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

I do not fret—it leads only to evil.

I trust in the Lord and do good;

I dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,

and their tongues speak what is just.

The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

I take delight in the Lord, He gives me the desires of my heart.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him;

though he may stumble, he will not fall,

for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

I commit my way to the Lord; I trust in Him.

He makes my righteous reward shine like the dawn,

my vindication like the noonday sun.

I am humbled from being immersed in this collection of poetic prayers.Today we take on the category of Psalm about ‘Life’… When we use the term ‘life’ when talking to God it covers this life and eternal life

GOD CONTROLS BOTH. Praying the Psalms you will find many petitions for life, health, peace and provision. Model prayers that are about our well being; everything from food to heaven.

Christ has called HIS followers to live a sacrificial life, to lay down their earthly needs… So does that mean we should not ask God for anything that has to do with this life, whether it be physical or spiritual? Bonhoeffer says if we do that, we are trying to be more spiritual than Jesus / God Himself. Our Lord Jesus Christ called HIS followers to in the world but not of the world. The fact that you art here right now means HE has chosen to have you live this day. So how do we live it is the question. When we recognize God for who HE is we then look to him to provide for this life, as Christ prayed; ‘give us this day our daily bread’. Our Lord also taught us we are to pray that Yahweh’s will be done here on earth that means good things for us!

Jesus Christ also taught us to pray about what determines the next life. We are to pray for our spiritual life as well as our physical life. That we would be forgiven, and would become conduits of the grace we have received. We are to ask God to keep us from both the temptation to initiate evil and the effects of evil. Because HE can and He will!

As we pray through Psalms we discover there is a constant use of terms that can have both material meaning and spiritual meaning. Talking about this life and the next at the same time. This life is a shadow of the life to come, and the things that give us physical pleasure are but a taste of what we will find in eternity with Christ

Psalm 23 (14 Scripture references in 6 verses)

1 Yahweh is my shepherd; I lack nothing. 2 He has me lie down in grassy pastures, He leads me by quiet water.

  • The declaration is one of humble submission…admitting you are as a sheep
  • Yet in the giving up of everything those ‘In Christ’ need nothing but Him.
  • This is about how this life can be experienced knowing our Shepherd has us
  • A shepherd take the sheep where it is best for them
  • This is about peace in this life flowing from peace about eternity

3 He restores my inner person. He guides me in right paths for the sake of his own name.

  • Each of us has an eternal soul that has been degraded by sin
  • Only the creator of your soul can restore your soul
  • He does that by call you and making you HIS for the glory of HIS NAME
  • He takes HIS sheep where HE know it is best, not where they want to go
  • WE need god to take us HIS way

4 Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for You are with me; Your rod and staff reassure me.

  • ‘The valley of the shadow of death’… not the best rendering of original Hebrew
  • It is about darkness and lowness: low places & dark places
  • As you walk through these times in life we don’t have to expect the worst
  • We can ask God to teach us to trust HIM
  • We can Ask God to reassure us with HIS presence
  • We can ask God to use HIS people & HIS Word & HIS Spirit to encourage us

5 You prepare a table for me, even as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil from an overflowing cup.

  • ‘A Table’ speaks to physical needs & to something like the ‘Wedding Feast’
  • We can trust that even though we are in the midst of opposition God provides
  • Oil has both the understanding of earthly need and spiritual need

6 Goodness and grace will pursue me every day of my life; and I will live in the house of Yahweh for years and years to come.

  • The best prayer you can pray, is to pray that God would choose to pursue you
  • Grace and goodness emanates from a single source
  • This is a pray to be in God’s presence now and into infinity

Psalm 16: (27 scripture references in 11 verses)

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.”

  • The need for security: The idea of a ‘Safe Space’ is very appealing to humans
  • We need security in this life & to be secure in our eternal life
  • Here we are given to key to both kinds of security: ‘Lordship Salvation’
  • Biblical salvation is often refereed to as Lordship salvation
  • It means absolute & singular loyalty to the one you make your Lord
  • It means you live for your Lord, Christ calls HIS followers to make HIM Lord
  • It is black and white: All that is about Christ is Good, everything else is bad

3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.

  • This is about the who you associate with and share values with
  • Who do you model your life here on earth after?
  • What things do followers of CHRIST separate themselves from?

5 Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

  • When HE is your Lord HE is all you need
  • When this becomes your story then the place you have for eternity is the best!
  • What you get from your father (inheritance) is eternity with HIM!
  • But there is no half way in this… Lord, YOU alone are my identity & provision

7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night he instructs my heart. 8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

  • Humility to praise God for all the right things I think and learn
  • This is a commitment to not get complacent as a disciple
  • Knowing that you walk daily with Your Lord gives you confidence now & forever

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will You let Your faithful one see decay.

  • Because of this confidence…we rejoice!
  • The ultimate security of your person for eternity can be know
  • This promise applies to Christ and to all who give up their life for Him
  • This is a prayer born of relational confidence: Know God & Know Eternity!

11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

  • There is one path, this is singular ‘THE’ path of life
  • Jesus said HE is The Way & The Truth & The Light … THE LORD
  • The ultimate joy is the presence of God
  • This life we can have partial and indirect experiences of God’s presence
  • Heaven is the full out, intimate pleasure of His total presence FOREVER

WAYS TO PRAY:

Ask Yahweh to make you a sheep in His flock.

Ask Yahweh to enable you to lay down everything so you can lack nothing.

Ask Christ Jesus to give you peace in this life that flows from the peace He gives you about eternity.

Ask Jesus Christ to restore your soul to relationship with Him.

Ask Yahweh to make you an instrument of HIS glory.

Ask Christ that in low and dark times HE give you the confidence and reassurance of His presence.

Ask Yahweh to provide for you physically and spiritually in the midst of this world’s sin.

Ask Jesus Christ to pursue your soul and make you His.

Ask Yahweh to be your only shelter.

Ask Christ that He would make you undivided in your loyalty to Him.

Ask The Lord to give you the influence of the Body of Christ and it alone. Ask Him to give you total disdain for the worship of all idols.

Ask Christ to be everything for you and to give you contentment with whatever that is today.

Ask Yahweh to teach you HIS ways, to learn to always look to His will. Ask Him to teach you how to rejoice and praise Him.

Ask Christ to give you the assurance of your eternity and confidence of His presence forever.