Practical Prayer Life

Lesson 04 — Confession: Step 3 For Cultivating Daily Delight in Prayer

Confession: Step 3 For Cultivating Daily Delight in Prayer

“Could you not watch with Me one hour?”Matthew 26:40 (NKJV)

Step Three ____________________________  

Basic Definition
The Act of Declared ________________________
Action Focus: Humble _______________________
Key Word: ______________________

Voices from the Past:
“If you go back to the Scripture records, you will find that the men who lived nearest to God and had the most power with Him, were those who confessed their sins and failures…. It was when Job was confessing his sin that God turned his captivity and heard his prayer. God will hear our prayer and turn our captivity when we take our true place before Him, and confess and forsake our transgressions.” — Dwight L. Moody

Note: Both the Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) words for “Confession” mean: “To __________ with.”

CONFESSION: A Biblical Basis

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long… Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. — Psalm 32:3, 5 (NLT)

Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away. But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers… I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.Leviticus 26:39-42 (NIV)

For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin.Psalm 38:18 (NKJV)

The New Living Translation reads: “But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.”

Note: The Hebrew word for “declare” in Psalm 38:18 (translated as “confess” in the New Living Translation and the New International Version) is from the Hebrew word NAGAD, meaning “to put before” or “to open up oneself in total honesty.”

Scripture: When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their fathers. — 1 Kings 8:33-34 (NIV) 

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.1 John 1:9 (NLT)

Summary Definition of CONFESSION…

A time to ____________

Voices from the Past:
“Before you can pray effectively for others, you must first be a clean channel through whom God can work. Your heart must be clean and free from unconfessed sin.” — Hope McDonald

CONFESSION: A Prayer Application
Admit personal ____________________.

Voices from the Past:
“Confession cannot be omitted from our regular prayer life. The reason is obvious; sin is part of our daily existence. The purpose of our confession is for us to let Him know that we take seriously our faults and failures.” — David A. Hubbard

CONFESSION: A Life Application
Be honest about ____________________.

Where to Next?

Four Ways to Get Started and Keep Going!
Following are four suggestions to help you personally apply this aspect of the 12 in daily prayer.

A Practical Prayer Summary
Step 3 in World Changing Prayer

  1. After your time of silent waiting, immediately ask God to search your heart for any unconfessed sin.
  2. Mentally examine your recent activities to discover possible areas of spiritual failure that need confessing.
  3. Confess any specific sins you may be guilty of, either against God or your fellow man.
  4. Confess your need for specific divine guidance and supernatural unction.

Afterthoughts...Ponder and Pray

Ponder Points:
Discuss (or ponder) why confession of our sins and shortcomings is so vital to effective prayer. Why do you feel we need to confess our sins daily even when we are convinced that we have been saved, in Christ, from our sin nature?

Prayer Points:
Although confession is very personal, biblical prophets like Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel confessed not only their own sins, but the sins of their people. Take time to confess the sins of our culture, including how you feel you may have been impacted by those sins. Pray also that God will help you personally be more transparent in all your daily relationships.