5 Steps to asking God to Forgive my Sins

So, the question is, “Do I really want God to forgive my sins enough to honestly seek His forgiveness?”  If so, what does it mean to honestly seek His forgiveness?  The following are five steps for honestly seeking God’s forgiveness.  While it’s not a plan that you have to follow every day, it is important to remember that we do sin every day, so it’s important to ask for forgiveness every day.

  • ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REVEAL EVERY SIN.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

  • CONFESS EACH SIN SPECIFICALLY.

“You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins.  Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.”  Proverbs 28:13 (GN)

  • COMMIT TO DEAL WITH MY SIN.

It’s not enough to recognize my sins and ask God to forgive my sins.  He also expects us to turn away from our sinful behavior.  He will give us the wisdom to know how to do so and  the power to follow through.  But we have to supply the “want to”.  Do I really WANT TO eliminate this sin from my life?  If so, what am I willing to do to make that happen?

  • MAKE AMENDS TO OTHERS WHEN NECESSARY.

“… if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift … First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”   Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) 

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus had little interest in the performance of religious rituals.  His focus was on loving God and loving others.  So, if our sins impact others and cause relational discord, Jesus calls us to do everything in our power to make amends.  What’s more, He indicates that making amends is more important than performing religious acts like giving your tithe, attending church services, singing hymns, or taking Communion.

  • BY FAITH, ACCEPT GOD’S FORGIVENESS.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:9 (NIV)

Accepting and embracing God’s forgiveness frees us from guilt and shame.  This allows us to receive His love for us, move forward despite our sins, and grow in our relationship with Him.

So, let’s get honest about our sin.  I hope and pray that you are able to accept God’s forgiveness and move on free of guilt and shame.

 

P.S.:  Here’s an interesting prayer fact.  Many Eastern Orthodox Christians are acutely aware of the need to ask God’s forgiveness throughout the day.  They also understand the need to be constantly aware of God’s presence in their life.  So, throughout the day they pray this short prayer:  “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Try it out and let me know how it goes.