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Prayer, Plain and Simple

I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13)

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Coulda, shoulda, woulda… Those words (though they aren’t real words) plague us often. Certainly our regrets can be valid, and we would very much like to go back and re-do errors in our past. But the fact is we cannot.

We can’t undo what has been done. So do we just make the most of it? That’s one approach, but Jesus provided a much better one:

Repent and believe the good news.

The art of repentance is twofold. First is it recognizing where we missed the mark, acknowledging and owning precisely where we were at fault. It is as though we plead guilty in God’s court for a specific crime. The devil accuses us, we go before the Judge, and in some cases, we have to acknowledge that the accusations are valid. We’ve messed up. Blown it. Done the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or the right thing at the wrong time. Or didn’t do what we were called upon to do… Sins of commission and omission.

But repentance is a good deal more than just being or saying sorry. The second step of repentance is a heart and mind alteration. We literally ask the Lord for a renewed mind that won’t get us in the trouble we find ourselves in presently.

That’s where the beauty behind repentance begins: we reach forward to believe the Good News. What is that good news? That Jesus absorbed all our “stuff” on the cross, he paid not only the fine I accrued through my sin, but he took the sin itself so that from God’s perspective my slate, my record, is totally wiped clean.

God is so good.

Once we have repented and believed the Good News – the news that our sins are forgiven and wiped away – what’s next? Move forward! Lesson number one in driving a vehicle is keep your eyes on the road ahead of you. If we over-focus on the rear view mirror, we will miss what is in front of us and find ourselves in even more pain and trouble. As difficult as it is to forget our sin, we are told to focus instead on the path God has marked out for us, our destiny and purpose in Him.

Feeling stuck in the past and regret? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us today.

Our Father,

May Your name be praised! You have made a way for me to be forgiven. Jesus took all my sin upon Himself, and I get to go free.

It’s not fair. It’s not just. It’s just grace.

I throw myself at Your mercy today for all You have done for me and all You have won. You have cleared the path of my rubble and given me a second chance at a strong new start on life.

Upon repenting of my sin, I choose to believe the Good News. That news declares that I can change bad habits and sinful patterns through Your power at work in my heart and mind and soul.

I choose to leave the past in Your dumpster, and pick up where I left off, only this time hand-in-hand with the One who loves me! The only One who can help me! The One who will never leave me or forsake me.

The One who forgave me!

Holy Spirit, be my constant guide, dearest friend, closest confidant, truest companion, my source of strength, and all the supply of grace I need to overcome the enemy’s temptations and accusations.

I choose to forget what’s behind me and reach forward to You, with You! Pressing ever onward to the prize for which You have called me.

I love You. I celebrate Your grace at work in my life today. This is truly the Good News and it’s the Best News!

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen!

 

 

Photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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