The work of repentance begins with confession. Confession is agreeing with God about my condition. I have asked God to search my heart and to show me sin. I have acknowledged this in detail and confessed the specifics to him. Now I go the next step…
“If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
“Lord, I have confessed my sin to you, according to the Light of your Spirit shining in my life the specific law of your Word. I now ask for mercy. David himself, when he saw his sinfulness turned toward you not away from you. He asked for pardon. ‘Have mercy on me oh God, according to you never failing love.’ I see my sin and it is clear before me. Now I ask you to cleanse me and pardon the guilt. I lean now upon the work that you have already done in this. I am not asking for some fluky accident, or for you to randomly forget your justice. No! I am asking you to credit to me the pardon purchased by Jesus on the cross, that my sin would be substituted for his righteousness. I embrace this exchange in all the specifics I have acknowledged. I accept the exchange… I am pardoned and with that, cleansed and liberated and washed pure and made new!”