Confessing Our Sins Using The Beautitudes
Our GBC prayer journal of 2022 includes a section explaining what a confession of sin is and why we pray it:
"What is confession? Confession of sin is acknowledging our sin to the Lord. It is our agreeing with God's assessment that we have wronged and offended God in our affections, thoughts, words and deeds. Confession occurs at the start of the Christian life as we repent of our sins and turn to place our faith in Jesus Christ. However, confession is also an ongoing practice throughout our Christian lives."
Deacon Bryan Tan led us in a exemplary prayer of confession in our worship service on 22 Oct. He modelled it on Jesus' teachings about the Beautitudes from Matthew 5:3-10.
"Father God, we come before You today, confessing how we have acted in ways that are contrary to Your kingdom purposes.
Though we profess to be Your children, yet we have often acted in ways dishonouring to You.
You’ve said “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (v3) but we confess that we’ve often harboured proud spirits in our hearts. Our pride has blinded us from seeing our spiritual bankruptcy and how desperately we need Your grace.
You’ve said “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (v4) but we’ve been guilty of making light of sin and ignoring how grievously it offends You. Forgive us for our lack of mourning with remorse over our sins.
You’ve said “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (v5). But Father, forgive us for being harsh in the treatment of our spouses, children, parents, and those closest to us. Forgive us for the times when we’ve lifted our hands against others to take revenge when we’ve been wronged.
You’ve said “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (v6). But forgive us for being far too easily satisfied by the lesser things of this world - things that we can touch and taste. Our restless hearts are consumed by cravings for better grades/salaries/material possessions/relationships. Lord, hear us, and forgive.
You’ve said “blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (v7). But we cry for pardon that we ourselves have faled to forgive our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We confess that our lack of mercy is a reflection of how little we have cherished the mercy You have shown us.
You’ve said “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (v8). Forgive us for having divided and distracted hearts. We have turned away from Your glorious majesty, and instead turned our gaze to lesser things. Forgive us for always casting our gaze at our bank accounts or social media accounts, instead of You.
You’ve said “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (v9). Forgive us for the times that we’ve quibbled with other Christians over matters of secondary importance. Instead of testifying to the world that Your children are peacemakers, we portray ourselves to be troublemakers.
You’ve said “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (v10) but we have often chosen the path of ease and comfort, over the path of endurance and suffering for the namesake of Christ.
For all these sins, we mourn, we lament, and we cry pardon. We confess that our shame compels us to hide our faces from You, O God. But where our guilt is most terrible, there also, we know that the mercy of Christ is most free and deep.
Spirit of God, I ask that You would unmask to us sin’s deformity, that we might hate it, and flee from it. May You help us to come to our senses like the Prodigal Son, and set our feet straight to run back to our Father’s house.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for receiving wayward Prodigals like us, back with tender compassion and lovingkindness. Our sins are many, but Your mercy is more. Amen."
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