Telling God the Truth…About Ourselves.
My favorite written prayer is an odd one to like.
It’s from the Scottish Confession and in reciting it you confess that you have broken each one of the Ten Commandments with impunity and then you ask God for His forgiveness for doing so.
“I, a poor sinner confess to you Almighty, Eternal, Merciful God and Father that I have sinned in manifold ways against you and your commandments.
I confess that I have not believed in you my one God and Father, but have put my faith and trust in creatures more than in you my God and Creator, because I have feared them more than you and for their benefit and pleasure I have done and left undone many things in disobedience to you and your commandments.
I confess that I have taken your holy name in vain. I have often sworn falsely and lightly by the same, that I have not always professed it or kept it holy, as I ought, but even more I have slandered it often and grossly with my life, words, and deeds.
I confess that I have not kept your Sabbath holy, that I have not heard your holy word with earnestness, nor lived according to the same, Moreover, I have not yielded myself fully to your divine hand nor rejoiced in your work done in me and in others, but have often grumbled against it stoutly and have been impatient.
I confess that I have not honored my father and mother, that I have been disobedient to all who I justly owe obedience, such as father and mother, my superiors, and all who have tried to guide and teach me faithfully.
I confess that I have taken life, that I have offended my neighbor often and grossly by word and deed, caused him harm, grown angry over him, borne hatred and envy toward him, deprived him of his honor and the like.
I confess that I have been unchaste. I acknowledge all my sins of the flesh and all the excess and extravagance of my whole life in eating and drinking, clothing and other things, my intemperance in seeing, hearing and speaking, and in all my life, yes, even fornication and adultery and such.
I confess that I have stolen, I acknowledge my greed. I admit that in the use of my worldly goods that I have set myself against you and your holy laws. Greedily, and against charity have I grasped then and scarcely if at all have given them to those in need, the need of my neighbor when he required it.
I confess that I have borne false witness, that I have been untrue and unfaithful toward my neighbor, I have lied to him, I have told lies about him, I have failed to defend his honor and reputation as my own
I confess that I have coveted the possessions and spouses of others; I acknowledge in summary that my whole life is nothing else than sin and transgression of your holy commandments and an inclination toward all evil.
Wherefore I beseech you heavenly Father that you would graciously forgive me these and all my sins. Keep and preserve me henceforth that I may walk only in thy way and live according to thy will. All of this through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our Savior. Amen”
I can pray that every day and never in my prayer do I lie or exaggerate.
I’m a leader of sorts in the church with a larger platform than most.
I’m a pastor.
I still can pray that prayer every day in truth and ask for forgiveness from real sins.
I’m not good, I’ve been redeemed.
Because I’ve already told God the truth about myself, I have no problem sharing that truth with you.
I am no different, no more anointed, no more holy than you…I just have a different calling.
If your expectation for me is that I am different, more anointed, more holy than you, then you force me to lie to you about who I really am.
I’ll lie to you and far worse, I’ll lie to God.
If my position depends on my goodness, I’ll live a life in front of you that is a carefully crafted series of lies in order to keep my position.
I won’t repent in front of you and because I don’t, you won’t either.
Should I be at risk of being exposed, I’ll do whatever I must to cover myself and ruin you.
I just explained to you how things work in the church today…and how splits happen and why they can’t be healed.
Make your own application…
I usually don’t like written prayers so much. This one however spoke to my heart.
It covers all the bases… 🙂
I can’t wait till Heaven. No more facades. For once, we won’t have to put on an act of any kind.
AMEN to this prayer, but…
it’s one thing to confess this and quite another to wallow in it…
why do i say that? wallowing in it is not an accusation that applies to most of us, but if we can just confess (and we should) and then move on to growing in the Faith day by day…
still, doesn’t hurt to confess this list… once a month maybe?
maybe as a congregational reading right before participating in the communion table?
A big Amen to this prayer….and a powerful post, Michael. We are all broken, sinful, and limping toward sanctification.
Thanks, Linnea…and I’ll guess Disillusioned also said the amen…
Michael, posts like these are why we love you so much. You are truthful, open and honest with us. You are real and don’t put yourself up on a stage that we have to look up to you…we look up to you because you are like us…struggling to keep our faith and confess our sins daily. We look up to you because you treat us with respect and as equals. We love your wisdom, knowledge, guidance and humor.
Thank you big brother
Thank you, Dusty…you’re too kind.
I think at this point everyone knows I can be an ass, so it’s silly to pretend otherwise. 🙂
We love you for that too. Lol 😉
Michael, thanks for this post…..I needed the humility check.
Oh, and even donkeys have uses…. 😉
Wow!! I am undone.
That’s a beautiful prayer of confession. I’m going to print it out and make it a part of my devotion time.
A definite “Amen” to Dusty’s #8!!!
“I think at this point everyone knows I can be an ass, so it’s silly to pretend otherwise.” Hahaha…yes…I’m a card carrying member of that club too.
I seems odd to me that anyone can like this prayer, continue to pray this prayer, see themselves in this prayer and still hold to a doctrine of progressive sanctification.
How can that be?
Well Martin Luther I one would have to consider themselves a sinner before a Holy God to understand it ay
#14 – it’s easy 🙂 2 Cor. 10:3-4 gives a hint … the object of a war is to conquer, to gain ground, is it not?
#14 – it’s easy 🙂 2 Cor. 10:3-4 gives a hint … the objective of a war is to conquer, to gain ground, is it not?
that double post was a computer god’s work – not fast enough on my spell checking
i realize the argument can be made that the reference is to gain new converts, but i think that there is also seen the flesh doing battle with the spirit inside an individual, not just external … dunno, tho, do i ?
It seems to me you can’t continually confess not obeying the 10 commandments for 30 or 40 years and also claim that the Holy Spirit has been increasing your sanctification. Some of those paragraphs should start falling off.
Progressive sanctification is not a true doctrine.
but it is …
we are given men to lead us in growing (progressive sanctification by my definition)
from the letter to the Christians at Ephesus:
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
and Peter’s admonitions:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:…”
” even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
[old fashioned term “backslide” – remedy confession]
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
IMV and from where i sit 🙂 the confession is important, not because we continually do all that is listed, but because we are prone to do so and do do so to one degree or another… confession isn’t just to make us worthy to partake of the communion table, it is for the purpose of clearing the slate, lining up with Divine Viewpoint, coming as a learner to take in more knowledge, more Christ and to … progressively gain sanctification (grow)
probably not “true doctrine,” but it sure rings true (and works) for me