Preparation For Prayer

Psalm 66:18 says, "18If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;"1 One key step in coming before God is to confess your sin. Basically you need to get right with God. He already knows who you are and what you have done so confession is basically agreeing with Him.

God desires our honesty. Read this portion of king David's prayer of confession.

Psalm 51:1-71Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6But you desire honesty from the womb [or from the heart], teaching me wisdom even there. 7Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.2

So we begin by being honest.

In order to be honest we may need to spend some time in reflection. Often we repress past occasions of sin or live in denial. So take a few minutes and ask God to show you any sin in your life, things you have done wrong or broken relationships. Use the following checklist as a guide you as you pray. Do you struggle with any of the following:

  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Lust
  • Unforgiveness towards others
  • Unkind words
  • Unkind actions
  • Jealousy
  • Pride
  • Unfaithfulness
  • Lying
  • Selfishness
  • Immorality

If you do struggle with any of these, confess them to God and ask for His forgiveness. Then receive His forgiveness. This is the wonderful thing about being a Christian, we are forgiven.

1 John 1:9 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.3

Next if you realize you have offended someone, go to them and ask their forgiveness and seek reconciliation.

Matthew 5:23-24 23“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.4

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1Psalm 66:18, NIV.
2 Psalm 51:1-7, NLT.
3 1 John 1:9, NIV.
4 Matthew 5:23-24, NIV.