Pray BIG Prayers – Repentance

If you look up repentance in a dictionary you’ll find something like this for a definition, 

sincere regret or remorse.

This isn’t talking about trivial things like ‘I regret not buying any more milk, now we’re out‘,

or ‘I am remorseful that I honked my horn at that guy on the highway earlier‘.

Repentance is a serious thing, a sincere thing.

It’s more of a ‘I’ve committed adultery and had the former husband sent off to the frontlines and killed‘ kind-of feeling.

It’s a feeling of ‘At the core I know I’m a sinner and that my sin will have consequences‘. 

Psalm 51 carries a lot of repentance. You can read it in full here. In the middle of the lamenting prayer we read this,

 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51.10-12

Have you reached a point in life where you know that you will never, hard as you try, work yourself into becoming a better person? 

Have you arrived at the point where you know that in your own strength, you cannot control your eternal destiny and destination?

Have you accepted that, left to your own devices, sinful thoughts and actions just pour forth from your heart?

If you have, then today’s BIG prayer is absolutely for you. Although fair warning, be prepared for a radical life transformation. Be prepared to reevaluate and reconsider everything in your life. Be prepared to be shown a completely new way of thinking, speaking, acting, and reacting.

It starts with create in me a clean heart, O God. We cannot create this new heart, God must (Genesis 1, Ezekiel 36.36). 

We follow that by praying for a right spirit within me. Alone we are utterly powerless to resist the temptations, trials, and tribulations that the world, the flesh, and the devil can throw at us. We need the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to do so. 

Accepting that we cannot change ourselves and our life means that we need to trust and rely on another, so we pray cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. We know that being separated from the Lord and devoid of His Spirit is the consequence of our sin. 

Try as we might, we will never save our own souls. We can never work for our own salvation, so we pray restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. We will never feel more alive, live more abundantly, and experience more fulfilment than when we know the joy of [the Lord’s] salvation

Psalm 51.10-12 is a BIG prayer. Praying it sincerely will surely result in a change in your life. If, as Charles Spurgeon wrote, your own sin disturbs and disgusts you, I would challenge you today to take it to the Lord in prayer with these verses and this BIG prayer, and then watch what God can do with a life yielded to Him. Ready?

 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51.10-12

How God Measures A Man

Today’s guest contribution comes from:
Josh Sorensen (@joshsorens3n),
Associate Pastor, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (@calvarychapelcostamesa)
••••••

Being measured and evaluated is a part of life we just can’t get out of. From the moment of birth, no sooner than we take our first breath, we’re being measured by how long we are, what we weigh, what time we were born. As we grow into childhood we are yearly measured by what percentile we are compared to other children. In school we get stars for performances, grade point averages, and these kind of evaluations continue throughout the rest of our lives.

But how does God measure and evaluate a person’s life? In 2 Chronicles 16:9 it says “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” God is looking for a heart that is postured towards Him. When Samuel was talking to King Saul in 1 Samuel 13:14 he says “the Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart.” Of course he found this person in the obscurity of a little town in Bethlehem, a young, humble shepherd boy by the name of David.

What was it about David that made God take note of his life in such a way? It wasn’t that David had a perfect heart (far from it), or even a big heart, but he had the right kind of heart. David’s life is marked by many failures, but his failures were marked by genuine sorrow, confession, and repentance. He was so desirous to please the Lord that he would turn from his sin and take the steps to keep himself close to God. In all of his struggling, he maintained a heart of worship and an attitude of gratitude.

Today God’s eyes are still looking for this kind of heart. What will He find in our generation in 2020? Is there another David out there? He is not looking for perfect performance, but a surrendered life. Because once He has your heart, He is more than willing to change your heart.