We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ Nehemiah 1:7-9 (Context: Nehemiah 1:1-11, 9:31-38)
A prayer of repentance is not something we hear often enough, even in the Church, but God kindly gives us models like Nehemiah. Repentance confesses specific sin and humbly acknowledges that it makes us unworthy of God’s kindness. Repentance commits to renewed faithfulness, yet does not rely on that faithfulness to earn favor. Repentance boldly appeals for favor on the basis of God’s own faithfulness, confident that God’s kindness can be trusted.
- Practice a prayer of repentance:
- Confess specific sins.
- Commit to renewed faithfulness.
- Appeal for grace on the basis of God’s own faithfulness.