“I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:3 in the New International Version of the Holy Bible). I think all of us remember being asked by our parents to apologize for hurting someone or doing something wrong. Sometimes it was said under our breath and without conviction but we managed to mumble the words, “I’m sorry.” Have you ever apologized to God without really meaning it? God requires an attitude of penitence like, David, the writer of this Psalm describes. It’s the kind of apology or repentance that comes from deep down in your heart where only God can see it. This plea for God’s mercy was a big first step for David who had committed the terrible sins of adultery, lying and murder (see 2 Samuel 11-12). What makes this prayer acceptable to God was David’s complete honesty about his sin. He saw his mistakes clearly and admitted the seriousness of his offense against God. Inner honesty like that gets God’s attention and His pardon.
Prayer: Lord, I come before you today in complete humility. I must confess that I find it hard to be honest about my sins. My heart resists acknowledging my wrong doing. Help me to be willing to throw myself upon Your mercy confessing all of my faults and failures. Cleanse me, O Lord! In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
“Buck-up” therapy. You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? In fact, we all have probably subscribed to the philosophy. Pretending that nothing is wrong, we gamely appear to be unaffected by the conflict and stress that fills our lives. After all, asking for help is often perceived as a sign of weakness. The tendency to bluff our way through our problems often prevents us from receiving the help and support we desire. We need each other, and we need God. None of us are capable of maneuvering through the obstacles of life without a Savior.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You are our refuge, a very present help in the time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Thank You for allowing us to come before You without masks or pretense. You are our safe place.