‘Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10 KJV
In various Christian Gospel tracts and books the authors have often composed prayers for the reader to offer to the Lord as they seek forgiveness for their sins. Such prayers have been helpful to countless thousands of readers over the years.
What has surprised me as I have read these prayers is the fact that no writer has ever thought to use prayers of repentance we find recorded in Scripture. Why this is so is very difficult to understand. Prayers like Psalm 51 are full of instruction on how to draw near to the Lord for the first time in your life or when you have been trapped in some gross sin.
I believe in spontaneous prayers and I believe in prayers such as you find in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. But I am especially drawn to prayers recorded in Scripture. As you read the Bible there are inspired prayers of thanksgiving, worship, and repentance among other subjects.
The Bible is a divine flashlight that we may use to shine on the path of prayer and help us develop our prayer lives.
A model prayer taught by our Saviour to the disciples is recorded in Matthew chapter 6 as follows:
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
This prayer includes worship V.9, submission to God’s will V.10, petition for our material needs V. 11, repentance and confession of sin V. 12, petition for assistance in holy living V. 13.
May you find your prayer life enriched today as you study the prayers of the Bible and are instructed by them.