"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 LB)
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.
Maybe you've been under self-condemnation because of some unresolved guilt or unrealistic expectations — maybe both. The Bible says, "All of have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal; yet now God declares us 'not guilty' ... if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins" (Romans 3:23-24 LB).
Would you like to have that burden removed?
Then pray: "Jesus Christ, I want to ask you to forgive me for all the things I've ever done wrong. 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. Every time that memory comes back, instead of me being guilty, Lord, I will be grateful. 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.'
"Lord, help me to relax in your grace, to realize that you don't expect perfection. I want to take off the yoke of guilt and put on the yoke of grace. 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 I am, the way I look, with the talents and abilities I have and the ones 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. 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. Help me to obey what you've told me to do."
"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."
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.