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Whenever I find it difficult to pray (and that’s more often than I care to admit!), I turn to the prayers of others. I am particularly helped by prayers contained in the Old Testament Prayer Book (which doubles as a Hymn Book).  The example of these Old Testament saints encourages me to ‘keep on keeping on’ when it would be so easy to surrender and succumb to the ease of the moment. 

As an example, I refer you to Psalm 32.

King David failed big time when he abused his kingly authority. That abuse expressed itself in a number of ways (Read 2 Samuel 11)

1.      He committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah

2.      He manoeuvred and manipulated the circumstances at the battlefront thus accomplishing the death of Uriah which death was nothing short of murder

As best I can tell, some 12 months passed before David’s sin was exposed. The prophet, Nathan, was the human instrument of that expose and, to his credit, David acknowledged his sin, repented and sought forgiveness.

Psalm 51 is a record of the repentance he expressed.

Psalm  32 is a record of the forgiveness he experienced.

David knows the consequences of sin in his life. Listen to an edited version of his guilt. Psalm 51:1-6 (NLT)

“Have mercy on me, O God, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.   For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me”

I read that and I have some sense of the spiritual pain and agony David endured. It’s like an ‘anatomy of rebellion’. Or ‘an anatomy of disobedience’. He uses words liked ‘guilt’ and ‘haunts’.

But, Oh, what a difference a good confession can make!!

1 Oh, what joy for

a)     those whose disobedience is forgiven,

b)    whose sin is put out of sight!

c)     whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,

d)    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

 David now compares his experience pre confession and post confession
When I refused to confess my sin, (pre confession)

a)     my body wasted away,

b)     and I groaned all day long.

c)      Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.

d)    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. Hiding his guilt from whom? Not God, surely?!  He has earlier referred to those “….whose lives are lived in complete honesty!(v.2) Jesus taught us that the Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.

How honest are our prayers?





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