My study this week was on confession in prayer. And while most of the week was spent on confessing sin and confessing needs, today’s lesson was on confessing truths about God. I think today’s lesson was the most meaningful for me, so I’m going to spend some time summarizing what I studied, and then I’m going to attempt to make some confessions of my own.
To confess means to agree with. When a criminal confesses to a crime, he or she is agreeing with his or her accuser that he or she truly did commit that crime. When we confess to God that we have sinned, we are not telling God about something in our life that He didn’t already know all about. God is all-knowing, and nothing happens that He is not aware of. When we confess, we are agreeing with God that whatever it is we have done is sinful, and that it does not line up with his standards.
Another kind of confession in prayer is confessing our needs or the needs of others. As I mentioned above, God knows all and is never taken off-guard whenever we lift up a need to Him. So if you think about it, whenever we lift up a need, if it truly is a need, we are only agreeing with God that we have this need. If the thing we are requesting of God to take care of is not truly a need, but we ask it all the same, we are not confessing a need, since we are not in agreement with God. I think this is what James meant when he wrote “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3). We should also keep in mind that, although God cares about the needs of everyone, He has a special concern for the down-trodden. “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow…” (Psalm 146:7-9).
One last kind of confession in prayer, and the one that I mentioned was especially meaningful to me today, is confessing truths about God to Him. The first confession, or agreement, we make with God is about His son Jesus. Jesus said “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32, KJV). After confessing that Jesus is savior, we must continually confess that He is Lord. And a confession that I want to take part in today is confessing about God, about His ways, and the things He has said in His Word. Below I have written out a series of bullet points of areas that came to mind when I was brainstorming these truths that I want to agree with Him on.
- His creation is wonderful. “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8. Yes, the whole thing).
- He is always right by my side. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
- In living by the Spirit, I am free from condemnation. “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
- He is working on me to make me perfect. “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14)
- I can trust Him in everything. “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)
This is a pretty short list – it could go on and on.
What about you? What truth would you like to confess today? What would you like to agree with God about?