Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Confession Is Good for the Soul

This morning I came across a prayer from John Baillie's classic, A Diary of Private Prayer. His words reminded me of a forgotten discipline of the Christian life - the personal, prayerful confession of our sin. Baillie wrote these words back in 1949 with old fashioned, King James English, but his prayer struck home with me. I have to confess this morning that his prayer needs to be my own. Here's a portion of Baillie's prayer:

O Father in Heaven . . . I come to Thee in lowliness of heart . . . beseeching Thee to drown my transgressions in the sea of Thine own infinite love.
  • My failure to be true even to my own accepted standards;
  • My self-deception in face of temptation;
  • My choosing of the worse when I know the better; O Lord, forgive.
  • My failure to apply to myself the standards of conduct I demand of others;
  • My blindness to the suffering of others and my slowness to be taught by my own;
  • My complacence towards wrongs that do not touch my own case and my over-sensitiveness to those that do;
  • My slowness to see the good in my fellows and to see the evil in myself;
  • My hardness of heart towards my neighbor's faults and my readiness to make allowance for my own;
  • My unwillingness to believe that Thou hast called me to a small work and my brother to a great one; O Lord, forgive.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me, Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and give me the strength of a willing spirit. Amen.

1 comment:

Shane Vander Hart said...

My prayer as well. Thanks for the post!