Prayer Steps: From Condemnation To Confidence
BY RICK WARREN — MAY 21, 2014
“Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; yet now God declares us ‘not guilty’ of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins” (Romans 3:23-24 TLB).
For the past few days, we’ve been studying the biblical path from condemnation to godly confidence, and I consider this so important to our ability to make healing choices, that I want to lead you in a prayer today.
You’ve been under self condemnation, maybe because of some unresolved guilt, maybe because of some unrealistic expectations, maybe both. The Bible says, “All of us have sinned and we all fall short of God’s ideal; yet, now God declares us not guilty if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness, freely takes away our sins.”
Would you like to have that burden removed? Would you pray, “Jesus Christ, I want to ask you to forgive me for all the things I’ve ever done wrong.” If something specific comes to mind right now, just agree, saying, “Yes, and that . . . and that . . . ” As those pictures go across your mind, say, “Lord, I ask forgiveness for that and I accept your forgiveness because of Jesus Christ.”
Pray, “Jesus, help me to forgive myself and to look straight ahead with honest confidence and not to hang my head in shame. When my past failures come to mind, instead of me coming back and begging you to forgive me again, help me to remember that I’ve already been forgiven. I just need to forgive myself. Every time that memory comes back, instead of me being guilty, Lord, I will be grateful. Let that memory remind me, instead, that you are a God of forgiveness and grace, and that I am forgiven. When that memory comes to my mind, let it cause me to praise you and say, ‘What a great God you are! You’ve forgiven me. I’m a trophy of your grace.’”
Then would you pray, “Lord, help me to relax in your grace, to realize that you don’t expect perfection. You know what I’m made up, that there is no condemnation in Christ, that you’ll never love me any more and never love me any less because of what I do.”
“Father, I want to walk in your grace. I want to take off the yoke of guilt and put on the yoke of grace today. Lord, help me to eliminate the negative self-talk in my life. I know now that when I put myself down, I am really questioning You—because you made me the way that I am, the way I look, with the talents and abilities I have and the ones that I don’t have. You made me just to be me.”
“Help me to focus my mind on the positive things and to read my Bible every day and memorize it and meditate on it. And as I read it, remind me again and again how much you love me. God, help me to quit trying to please everybody. I know it’s an impossible task and it only causes anxiety in my life. Instead, let me focus only on doing your will and knowing if it’s your plan and purpose for my life. Help me to obey what you’ve told me to do; it doesn’t matter what others think. I relax in your grace.”
“Thank You, Father, that through your grace we can get off the rat race of unresolved guilt and unrealistic expectations—those things that push us to do more. Instead, may we relax and do the things that really count. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”