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How Do You Pray Confessing Prayers?

How to pray confessing prayers

Do you often find it difficult to pray—to have fellowship with God?  If we’re honest, we all have to admit that this is our case. We often feel dirty, guilty, and insulated from God.

So how can we  remove this barrier between us and God. That is, how can we pray in such a way that we make things right with God so that we can come to Him without hindrance?

The answer is confessing prayers.

So in this post we’ll talk about how to pray confessing prayers that remove our inner guilt and condemnation so that we can enjoy unhindered fellowship with God.

Before we get into the practice, let’s step back to the beginning of the story…

God created us so that we might express Him by enjoying Him and being filled with His life (Gen 1:26; 2:9). But, our forefathers, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God and ate of the wrong tree. Because of this, their conscience was defiled.  They felt guilty and naked and hid themselves from God’s presence (Gen 3:6-10).

This is all of our condition. When we consider God, we often feel guilty and unworthy of coming to Him.

Confessing prayers employ the blood of Jesus so that we can have a conscience that’s void of offense.

The organ we need to contact God and fellowship with Him is our spirit (John 4:24).

And our conscience is the leading part of our spirit (Rom 9:1; 8:16).

So when our conscience is defiled by our consciousness of sins, we find it difficult to fellowship with God. But thankfully, God has made a remedy for our defiled conscience—the cleansing of the blood of Jesus.

Heb. 10:22 says,

“Let us come forward to the Holy of Holies [the place of God’s presence] with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…”

We need to realize that no amount of regret, good works or time can cleanse those guilty stains—nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Whenever we sense a feeling of guilt, we need to immediately come to the Lord and apply His precious blood.

But how can we appropriate the effectiveness of the Lord’s blood?

Confessing our sins according to the shining of God’s light

Confessing our sins should be the normal response to the consciousness of sin we sense when we come into God’s presence. Since God is light (1 John 1:5), when we come before Him, our sins, failures and weaknesses will be exposed and we will sense the need to confess.

 1 John 1:7 and 9 tell us,

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin…If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

These verses present the conditions for fellowship—walk in the light and confess our sins. Then God is faithful and righteous to do His part—to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As the Lord’s blood is cleansing us, we enjoy true fellowship with God.

The following quotation from Lessons for New Believers by Witness Lee summarizes the points we’ve covered,

 “When we do not deal with our sins by confessing them in God’s light, but rather come hastily before God, abruptly asking for different things, our prayer will not touch God because there is still a barrier. Such prayer and supplication are like beating the air. We must, therefore, have a sincere heart and an open spirit when we come before God in prayer. We need to rely on the Lord’s blood and allow Him to shine in us. Then we need to confess our sins one by one according to God’s shining and the inward sense. This kind of confession is the dealing for prayer. A good prayer is often preceded by dealing with sins through confession. If we know how to pray, we will never neglect dealing with our sins by confessing when we come before God in prayer.” (Lessons for New Believers, Lesson 7, pp. 97-98)

 Some practical points for confessing prayer: 

  • Set aside a personal time for prayer (at least 10-15 minutes per day).
  • Call on the Lord and speak to Him in a normal conversational way.
  • Simply come before the Lord with a sincere heart and an open spirit. Allow the Lord to shine on you.
  • While in His presence, you may sense some sins that need to be confessed.
  • Be specific and thorough with your confession, confessing each item as He touches you.
  • Try to practice confessing prayers in a private place. Having others around may restrict the Spirit and frustrate you from fully opening up to the Lord and confessing thoroughly.
  • When you are confessing, don’t rush. Give the Lord the adequate time so that you may have a thorough dealing with Him.
  • Do not mistake introspection for divine light. Introspection is self-awareness and has no spiritual value. Light is divine enlightenment and will result in spiritual growth in God’s life.

“Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross for me, for shedding Your sinless blood for all my sins.  I confess that I am a sinner and I believe that Your blood answers all the righteous claims of God upon me.  Thank you, that Your blood removes the record and cleanses me of all my sins.  Remind me to confess my sins every time I think, say or do something that offends You and  receive the application of  Your blood so that I can maintain uninterrupted fellowship with You. Lord Jesus, I love You. Amen.”

Do you have some helpful experience in praying confessing prayers? Please share the benefit that you have received in a comment. You may also want to read the other posts in this series on our Prayer Life page.

Additional resources:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

12 Replies

  1. Edgar Hovhannisyan

    Amen! So practical! So real!

  2. Deborah Wang

    “Don’t rush. Give the Lord the adequate time so that you may have a thorough dealing with Him.” Too often, I come to the Lord hastily without giving Him time to shine on me.

    Thank you Lord for Your blood and for Your faithfulness. Thank you for forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. May we be reminded to not be in rush when we come to the Lord but to give Him the adequate time to so that He can bring us into His light and shine into all our inward parts. Thanks for highlighting this important point.

  3. GerryD

    Yes introspection only brings misery and constant looking at ourselves instead of the Lord. If we are looking at Him or come to Him, He can let us know when we are off and need to confess. After we confess we can believe His Word that He is righteous and faithful to forgive us of our sins. Then we can ignore the enemies accusations and turn our attention to Him fully.

    1. Tom Smith

      So true. introspection distracts us from the goal of gaining Christ, being found in Christ and knowing Christ to the fullest extent (Phil. 3:8-15). Yes, we should just look at Him, come to Him and let Him enlighten us as to when we’re off. In this condition it is profitable to confess (1 John 1:7-9). Otherwise, Satan, the accuser of the brothers (Rev. 12:10-11), will take advantage of us with his incessant accusing and steal our enjoyment of Christ causing us to be discouraged in our Christian life. In this regard, we must point Satan to the blood of Jesus and declare that he has been defeated by the Lord Jesus.

  4. I was saved when I was 18. I did not have the Pilgrim’s Progress experience of feeling laden with sins, but just in obedience to the gospel, I confessed I was a sinner and asked Jesus to be my Savior. Much to my surprise, He appeared, and the love of God was poured out in my heart. The point being, we don’t have to feel sinful before agreeing with the Word that we are sinners, and obeying the gospel to receive Christ as our Savior. The light comes when He comes, then we’ll be more aware of our real condition.

    1. Tom Smith

      Nancy, I like what you said about, “The light comes when He comes, then we’ll be more aware of our real condition.” We shouldn’t be “sin-centered.” We need to be “Christ-centered” and make our focus on coming to Christ. When we come to have fellowship with our Lord, we may at some point be enlightened to see our true condition in a deeper way. Then we simply need to confess according to the shining of His light so that we can maintain our fellowship and enjoyment of Christ. Good point and thanks for the confirming comment.

  5. Glenn

    What can wash away our sin?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    What can make me whole again?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    Amen, hallelujah! Praise the Lord for the blood of the Lamb

    1. Tom Smith

      Thank the Lord for such a hymn,
      “What can wash away our sin?
      Nothing but the blood of Jesus…”

      It speaks forth a wonderful aspect of Christ’s redeeming blood–washing us from our sin. This meets our need; it frees us from the guilt of so that we may enjoy fellowship with God. But there are also two other parties with whom the blood is effective–God and Satan. The blood speaks to God for our redemption, justification and reconciliation. Christ’s blood paid the full price for our redemption. So God can no longer righteously claim from us the payment for our sin. We are justified before God. Even further, this wonderful blood removed the problem between us and God so that we can be reconciled to Him and enter into His presence (Heb. 10:19).

      This same blood also speaks to Satan, the accuser of the brothers. It defeats him. We can declare, “Satan, the blood of Jesus defeats you.”
      What a blood–it satisfies God, releases us, shames the devil.

      “Precious Blood of Christ”, the third chapter in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Volume One free from Bibles for America covers this blood in more detail. It is also available as a separate booklet you can read online it at ministrybooks.org or download a free PDF of Basic Elements, Volume One at mass.ministrybooks.org.

      Thanks for the confirming comment.

      Tom
      In addition, the

  6. Christian

    What about those people who impose others to confess their sins directly?

    1. Tom Smith

      Christian, the confessing of our sins that is pleasing to God is not to be done by any outward demand. It is the result of the divine light shining within our heart as we are in fellowship with the Lord. When we are enlightened by the Lord and exposed concerning our sins, we spontaneously confess them to Him in our private prayer and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin. The proof that our confession is proper is that brings us more experience of the divine life. it restores our fellowship with God vertically and with our brothers in Christ horizontally. If confession is removed from this cycle it becomes improper. Please read 1 John, Chapter 1 according to this light and I believe that you will be helped to enjoy the Lord more.

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