Part 1: Confession And Repentance
In the Garden Of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to his Father, seeking strength to face the sacrifice he would soon make for our sins. As Jesus prayed, Jesus experienced sorrow and grief as he fully understood the weight of the sin that he would bear on the Cross.
As we come to Jesus in confession and repentance, we too can experience the weight of our sins and the sorrow they cause. We are called to confess our sins, to openly acknowledge the ways we have fallen short of God’s commandments. Through confession, we come to an understanding of the harm our sins have caused to ourselves and others, and the separation our sins create between us and God.
In Psalm 51, David sings a prayer of confession and repentance, acknowledging his sins and asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness:
‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.’ (Psalm 51:1-3, KJV)
Like David, we too can turn to God in confession, asking for forgiveness and cleansing from our sins. We can acknowledge the ways we have fallen short, confessing our sins to God and seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness. We can be assured of God’s forgiveness and grace, knowing that God is faithful to forgive us when we turn to Him in repentance.
As we come to Jesus in confession and repentance, we can be assured of Jesus’ love and mercy. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins, and through his Resurrection, Jesus conquered death and sin. We can turn to Jesus with confidence, knowing that he will hear our prayers and offer us forgiveness and new life. Let us pray:
‘Lord Jesus, I confess my sins to you and ask for your forgiveness. I acknowledge the ways I have fallen short of your commandments and the harm my sins have caused. I ask for your mercy and cleansing, knowing that you are faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Thank you for your sacrifice on the Cross, and for the new life you offer us through your Resurrection. Help me to live a life of repentance and faith, trusting in your love and grace. In your holy name I pray, amen.’
Part 2: Forgiveness And Renewal
The Parable Of The Prodigal Son is a story of forgiveness and renewal. The son in the story squandered his inheritance in a far-off land, only to return home in shame and repentance. But his father, upon seeing his son, ran to him and embraced him, welcoming him back into the family.
Like the prodigal son, we too can come to God in repentance and find forgiveness and renewal. Through Jesus, we can be assured of God’s love and grace, and we can be confident in God’s willingness to forgive us when we turn to Him in humility and faith.
In Psalm 32, David sings of the joy and relief he experienced when he confessed his sins and received God’s forgiveness:
Through confession and repentance, we can experience the same joy and relief that David felt when he was forgiven. We can be assured of God’s love and mercy, and we can find renewal in God’s grace. As we turn away from sin and turn to God, we can be transformed by God’s love and power, becoming new creations in Him.
Through baptism, we are symbolically buried with Christ and raised to new life in him (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism is a sign of our repentance and faith, and it represents our commitment to live a new life in Christ. As we confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and are baptized, we can experience the renewal and transformation that comes from being united with Christ.
Let us pray:
‘Lord Jesus, thank you for your forgiveness and renewal. I come to you in repentance, seeking your forgiveness for my sins. I ask for your cleansing and renewal, knowing that you are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I commit myself to you, Lord, and I ask that you would help me to live a new life in you. Thank you for your love and grace, and for the transformation that comes from being united with you. In your holy name I pray, amen.’
Part 3: Protection From The Enemy
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to his Father in anguish, knowing that he would soon be betrayed and crucified. Jesus prayed not only for himself, but also for his disciples, that they would be protected from the evil one. At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed:
‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:15-17, KJV)
As followers of Jesus, we too face spiritual battles and attacks from the enemy. The devil seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and he will stop at nothing to try to separate us from God’s love and grace. But Jesus has given to Christians his word and his Spirit as protection and strength.
In Psalm 91, the psalmist sings of the protection and refuge God offers to those who trust in Him:
‘He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.’ (Psalm 91:4-6, KJV)
Through prayer and the study of God’s word, we find protection from the enemy and strength to resist his attacks. We trust in God’s promises and take refuge in His love and grace. We can also pray for one another, asking God to protect us from the evil one and to strengthen us in our faith.
Let us pray:
‘Dear Lord, I pray for your protection and strength in the face of spiritual battles and attacks from the enemy. I ask that you would cover me with your feathers and keep me under your wings. Help me to trust in your truth and to take refuge in your love and grace. I pray also for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that you would protect them and strengthen them in their faith. May we stand firm in your promises and find strength in your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.’
Part 4: Baptism And New Life
When we confess our sins, repent, and ask for forgiveness, we are cleansed and renewed by the blood of Jesus. But this is not the end of our journey – it is just the beginning. As followers of Christ, we are called to live new lives, no longer controlled by sin, but empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is a powerful symbol of this new life. In the book of Acts, we read of many who were baptized after believing in Jesus, including the Ethiopian eunuch and the apostle Saint Paul. Baptism represents a dying to our old selves and rising to new life in Christ.
‘Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.’ (Romans 6:3-4, KJV)
Through baptism, we publicly declare our faith in Jesus and our commitment to follow him. It is a powerful moment of transformation and renewal, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to live out our faith.
But baptism is not just a one-time event – it is the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith and growth. We must continually seek to live in the power of the Spirit, dying to our old selves and embracing the new life that Jesus offers.
Let us pray:
‘Dear Lord, I thank you for the new life that you have given me through your death and resurrection. I thank you for the cleansing power of your blood, and for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you would help me to live out this new life, empowered by your Spirit and committed to following you. I pray also for those who have not yet been baptized, that they would come to know the power of your love and make a public declaration of their faith through baptism. May we all walk in the newness of life that you have given us, to the glory of your name. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.’
Part 5: A Prayer For Parents And Children
As parents, we have a special responsibility to raise our children in the ways of the Lord Jesus. We are called to teach them Jesus’ commandments, to model Jesus’ love and grace, and to pray for their spiritual growth and wellbeing.
Likewise, as children, we are called to honour and obey our parents, to learn from their wisdom, and to grow in our own faith.
Let us pray for all parents and children, that we may grow together in our love for the Lord and for one another:
‘Dear Lord, I lift up all parents and children to you. I pray that you would give parents wisdom, patience, and love as they seek to raise their children in your ways. May they model your grace and forgiveness, and may their children grow in their love and knowledge of you.
‘I also pray for children, that they would honour and obey their parents, and grow in their own faith. May they be filled with your Spirit and empowered to live out your calling on their lives.
‘Lord, I pray that you would strengthen the bonds between parents and children, and that families would be united in their love for you. May they grow together in their faith, and be a witness to your love and grace in the world.
‘I pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.’
‘Dear Lord, we come before you with grateful hearts, thanking you for the healing power of your love and sacrifice. We confess our sins, and thank you for your forgiveness and renewal. We ask for your protection from the enemy, and for your guidance and strength as we seek to follow you.
‘We thank you for the gift of baptism, and for the new life that you have given us in Christ. May we continue to grow in our faith, and to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
‘We pray for all parents and children, that they may grow together in their love for you, and for one another. May families be united in their faith, and be a witness to your love and grace in the world.
‘We thank you for your constant presence in our lives, and for your unfailing love and mercy. May we always be mindful of your goodness, and may our lives be a reflection of your love.
‘We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.’