Prayer for Healing from Sin

Dried, Yellow Roses, Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Dried, Yellow Roses, Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayer for Healing from Sin

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Oh Lord Almighty:

Teach us to humble ourselves, to live into your call, to be your people in thought, word, and deed.

Teach us to pray aright,

to seek your face, and

to turn from all wickedness, but especially the wickedness of racism.

Hear our prayer, oh Lord.

Be not far away, but especially near when our hearts are weary.

Let not our youth or our old age be an excuse.

Forgive our sin in Jesus name.

And in the power of your Holy Spirit, heal our land. Amen

2 Chr. 7:14

 

Also see:

Prayer for Healing, Comfort, and Deliverance 

Prayer for Shalom 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2wVZtbb

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Lenten Prayer

Celtic Cross
Celtic Cross

Holy Father,

In the night, I hear your voice and it gives me comfort,

for I know that you are near and need not fear the darkness.

In the morning, I see your light and I find strength for the day,

knowing that you have ordained it and I need only play my part.

In the afternoon, I hear your footsteps behind me and I do not feel alone,

for your hedge of protection is strong and reliable.

In the evening, I feel your warmth and take comfort in rest,

for you rested on the seventh day and declared it to be holy.

In the shadow of your cross, I confess that my good works are filthy rages in your sight and not all my works are good.

Forgive me, Lord, for the unholy things that I had done and the righteous things that I failed to do,

that I might never leave your presence.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, grant me the strength to forgive the sins of those around me.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

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Heros and Children in the Faith: Confession of Sin

wedding-002Heros and Children in the Faith: Confession of Sin

Trinity Presbyterian Church, Herndon, Virginia Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Also, El Shadai in DC, Manassas, Virginia, March 2, 2017.

Welcome

Welcome. My name is Stephen W. Hiemstra. I am a volunteer pastor and a Christian author.

Introduction

Today is Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent, which starts the 40 days before Easter. Because Christ died for our sins, traditionally Lent is a time of reflection over our sins and also over the spiritual disciplines.

The text for today, Psalm 32, focuses on the theme of confession of sin, which can be both bad things we do and good things that we fail to do. Iniquity, the good things that we fail to do, are normally the sins most painful.

Prayer

Let’s pray.

Holy Father. Thank you for your presences among us this morning. We give special thanks that your word still moves our hearts and stimulates our minds. Make your presence especially clear in this moment and this place. In the power of your Holy Spirit, open our eyes and give us ears to hear. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Text

The scripture for today comes from Psalm 32:1-5. Hear the word of the Lord:

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Ps 32:1-5 ESV)

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Context

What should I confess? (2X)

During this past year, I wrote a memoir of my spiritual life of some 300 pages. This was the story of my youth, relationships, growing up, education, and professional life. In the middle of this life, I experienced many interesting things and also committed sins of various kinds. Many times the deepest pains of life came when I could not do good when the opportunity arose. This type of sin is described in the Bible as iniquity and, as North Americans, this is the sin that many times screams the loudest.

For example, as a young man of twenty-seven years, I was unable to accept the opportunity to be a missionary in Latin American because I did not have sufficient faith in God and paid too much attention to my personal life—I simply was not ready. In another context, I could not provide emotional support to a friend of mine after she was abused by her own mother because of alcoholism—I wanted to help but did not have the necessary emotional resources. In both cases, I was not obligated to do anything, but the opportunity to do something better in Christ was lost.

Many times iniquity is the most painful sin because we do not have the capacity to do good things when life requires a hero in the faith and we are still babies in the faith. For this reason, Lent also has a focus on the spiritual disciplines which help us to grow more capacity to do good things in Christ.

What do you need to confess? (2X)

Analysis

Psalm 32 was written by King David after his adultery with Bathsheba and his murdering of her husband, Uria the Hittite in 2 Samuel 11 and the disclosure of the Prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12. His confession is recorded in Psalm 51. But, in Psalm 32 described the experience of David with his confession.

So what did David Say?

In verse 1, David said that it is a blessing to be forgiving. But there is also an interesting sentence: “Whose sin is covered.” This is interesting because the sacrificial system did not cover intention sin, only unintentional sin.[1] God forgave David only because he prayed and his pardon was before the cross of Christ! Psalm 51 is a very important prayer.

What else did David say?

Dave uses different words for sin. Three words are most interesting: sin, transgression, and iniquity. Sin was taken from the word in Hebrew  (‎חֲטָאָֽה) which means to miss an objective like the archer whose arrows fall short of the target. Transgression (פֶּ֗שַׁע) means to break a law. Iniquity (עָוֹ֑ן) means to do something bad or fail to do something good. David’s sins—adultery and murder—were both transgressions of the Ten Commandments.

What elso can we learn from this Psalm?

In verses three and four, David spoke of his depression and guilt for trying to hide his transgressions. But even King David was subject to God’s Law and needed his forgiveness. And we see that his confession resulted in forgiveness and the blessing of God.

What do you need to confess? (2X)

Conclusions

In the context of the church universal, confession is a subjec that Roman Catholics manage better than Protestants perhaps because of their focus today on the spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, Biblical studies, meditation, and confession of sin. Confession, like forgiveness, makes room in our lives for relationships in the community of faith and makes room in the life for better relationships with God.

In the community of faith, confession means that our relationships in the community are more important than our personal guilt. In a competitive world this act of confession is immediately obvious and totally contra-cultural.

Confession is also very important in our relationship with God. Our lives in Christ grow because confession is the beginning of realization that we are not holy like God and we need him.

Consequently, the pain of confession appears in our lives like a sweet sacrifice before a Holy God and as a sign that community in Christ is possible in this time and this place.

What do you need to confess? (2X)

Closing Prayer

Let’s pray.

Holy Father:

Thank you for your love and for giving us the opportunity to confess our sins and be forgiven by means of the cross of Jesus. In the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to forgive the sins of our brothers and sisters in Christ and also the sins of persons that we see every day. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

[1] David recognized himself that he had this problem:  “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.” (Ps 51:16 ESV)

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Prayer for Those in Peril

Winter Trees by Sharron Beg
Winter Trees by Sharron Beg (www.threadpaintersart.blogspot.com)

Prayer for Those in Peril

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty God,

We thank you for the security of a roof over our heads, gas to power our heaters, and power to run our appliances.

Help us to remember those that lack these things.

We thank you for the accident of our birth that gave us food to eat, clean water to drink, and sanitary plumbing to use.

Help us to remember those that lack these things.

We thank you for the protection of honest police, the care of competent physicians, and the instruction of educated teachers.

Help us to remember those that lack these things.

Oh dear, Lord, give us discerning minds, tender hearts, and helping hands,

when we forget who we are and how you have called us.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, bridge the gap

between discerning minds and the ones we have,

tender hearts and the ones we have,

helping hands and the ones we have.

Forgive us, heal us, and save us from our gaps.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

Also see:

Prayer for Healing, Comfort, and Deliverance 

Prayer for Shalom 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2wVZtbb

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Prayer for Shalom

cherry_tree_04202016

Prayer for Shalom

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6 ESV):

We praise you for your example of shalom in the Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

in communion, in relationship, working together in love to sustain and empower and protect our world.

We thank you that you are ever-present and enabling us to become your sons and daughters in your family, which is the church.

We thank you for the gift of salvation and the hope of resurrection available to us through the death and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ.

Forgive us for our indifference to the suffering of the people of Syria; open our hearts and to mend our ways.

Forgive us for the intolerance of our society, eager to find fault and oblivious to the truth; open our eyes to our own faults and self-deception.

Forgive us for our injustice of poverty and illness among us in a land of plenty;  soften our hearts and open our hands.

Help us to live into our salvation, live into our sonship and live into  peace that passes all understanding knowing you and knowing that you will come in glory to bring us  even closer to you.

Teach our leaders humility; teach us to follow their leadership; help us to make room for you in our lives and share your peace with those around us.

Grant us peace in our hearts, peace in our relationships, and peace with you that made possible by the forgiveness secured by Jesus on the cross.

In Jesus precious name, Amen.

 

Also see:

Prayer for Peace 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2vfisNa

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God of All Wonders, Forgiving Lord

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty Father, Blessed Son, Holy Spirit:

All praise and honor are yours, Lord, God of our youth and times since then.

For you forgive our sins, overlook our transgressions, and set aside our iniquity for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ,

who lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sin, rose from the dead, and reigns in glory.

Forgive our haughty spirit; our passion for power; and our worship of money.

May we learn to forgive our neighbors; those that we do not understand; and those that make war on us, not because they deserve our forgiveness, but because our hearts belong to you and vengeance is yours alone.

Remember the fallen, heal our wounds, comfort the afflicted, and soften bitter hearts.

For our lives hang in the balance day after day, leveraged on your provision, not through any merit of our own–may your Holy Spirit rule our hearts.

In the sunshine of your love, may we replace hate with understanding, delight in the example of your son, and grow more like him day by day.

In the warmth of your grace, grant us ears that listen, eyes that see, and a heart for those that you love.

Through the power of your Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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23. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webGod of All Compassion and Mercy,
Forgive me, Lord, for the sins of my youth where I fell short of the plans you had for me. When in your great compassion you were kind to me and patient,teaching me your law and demonstrating your grace. Forgive me, Lord, for the transgressions of my youth when I disobeyed your law when in your mercy you looked the other way and disregarded my attitude, teaching me forbearance and gentle persuasion.
Forgive me, Lord, for the iniquity of my youth when I failed to help those around me. When in your everlasting love you sent your son to die to me, atoning for my sin, my transgressions, and my iniquity so that I might grow to be a man mindful of compassion, mercy, and love that were modeled for me all the days of my life through the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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22. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webCreator God,
We praise you for creating us in your image, complete in ourselves yet complementary with one another. In you and by your hand, we are never alone. Thank you. Gently remind us of our limitations so as to grow them—remind us when we are tired of the times and the seaons of life; remind us when we are forgetful that we need to keep our promises and realize our potential; remind us when we neglect ourselves, our neighbors, and you that we are not alone and not intended to be alone. Forgive us; restore us; redeem us—teach us to imitate you as you do so that we might grow more and more like you every day. May we ever hunger and thirst for your presence day by day. Through the power of your Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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21. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webAlmighty Father,

You are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end, the one outside of time that created all things. We praise you for providing the bread of life and well-spring of everlasting life which is your son, Jesus Christ—our redeemer, the author of our faith, and our only true friend. We thank you for simple things, like family, bread to eat, clean water to drink, work to do, and friends in Christ. Through the power of your Holy Spirit who makes all things clear, help us to share our physical and spiritual gifts with those around us—first our family, then our friends, and even those we do not know well so that your name would be praised among the nations. Forgive us when we play the fool out of pride, not for you, but out of our own ignorance. Humble us that we might become worthy servants of your church and not ourselves. Help us to find our identity in you—not in our accomplishments, nor our friends, nor our wealth, but in you—
so that if we play the fool, it is for you and you alone. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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19. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webPrecious Lord,
In our finitude, our sin, our brokenness, we yearn for your righteousness, oh God. As the hungry grasp for bread, as the thirsty cry for water, we search for your justice where no other will do or no other can be found. Through your Holy scriptures, remind us that you are ever-near, always vigilant, and forever compassionate. Through the desert of our emotions and in the wilderness of our minds, bind our wounds and forgive our sins—that our pains would be relieved and our search would not be in vain. Through the power of your Holy Spirit grow our faith even as our strength fails us. Through the blood of the lamb, restore us to your presence. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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