Effective Prayer

where to start

Sometimes prayer begins with a confession of wrong-doing.

… 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 32:5

For the child of God, confession of sin without an understanding of grace, can destroy our sense of relationship and intimacy with the Father. Our God is not, and has never been, an unloving,  unforgiving, tyrant. We are to confess all wrong-doing as a trusting child approaching a loving Father—confident that he will forgive and all guilt will be removed.

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

Jesus taught, “forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” We try to pray this daily, but sometimes in life it is necessary to go to the Father and ‘fess up. When we really mess up, and as long as this dirt ball called earth is our home, we will mess up, going beyond  the pattern Christ left us for prayer may be wise.

This High Priest of ours (Jesus) understands our weaknesses since he had the same temptations we do, though he never once gave way to them and sinned.  So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need. _Hebrews 4:15-16 (TLB)

So, like King David, the man after God’s own heart, we’ve made a mess of things by our wrong-doing. What then? When that happens, we can confidently approach our Abba Father, knowing that we have an advocate (Jesus) who sits at his right hand and had given us everything needed to assure our acceptance . This means we can and will walk away forgiven…all our guilt can be gone.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. _1 John 2:1-3(NLT)

God invites us to bring ALL of our needs to him in prayer

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