Week 3: Confession

1 Be gracious to me, God, 
according to your faithful love; 
according to your abundant compassion, 
blot out my rebellion. 
2 Completely wash away my guilt 
and cleanse me from my sin. 
3 For I am conscious of my rebellion, 
and my sin is always before me. 
4 Against you—you alone—I have sinned 
and done this evil in your sight. 
So you are right when you pass sentence; 
you are blameless when you judge. 
5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; 
I was sinful when my mother conceived me. 
6 Surely you desire integrity in the inner self, 
and you teach me wisdom deep within. 
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; 
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; 
let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 
9 Turn your face away from my sins 
and blot out all my guilt. 
10 God, create a clean heart for me 
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
11 Do not banish me from your presence 
or take your Holy Spirit from me. 
12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me, 
and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. 
13 Then I will teach the rebellious your ways, 
and sinners will return to you.

Psalm 51:1-13


Last week, we learned about the “ACTS” format for prayer and that the first letter stands for Adoration. This week, we will look at the “C”, which stands for Confession. Simply put, confession is the act of telling God about the sins that you have committed and asking for forgiveness.

We often hear people say that God cannot love us any more than he does at this moment. This statement, although biblically true, can mislead Christians to think that our actions cannot displease God. Think of a father who loves his child unconditionally, but feels pain and sadness when his children disobey him. Like this father, God the Father, who loves his children even more, feels displeasure when they walk in disobedience to his Word. At the same time, unconfessed sin causes God’s children to groan inwardly which robs them of their joy in Christ. But what does a Christian do, who finds themselves hiding unconfessed sin? God has graciously given his people the discipline of confession.

Confession is the act of acknowledging and repenting of one’s sin to God. David says in Psalm 51:4, “Against you—you alone—I have sinned and done this evil in your sight.” There is also a horizontal aspect of confession as we confess our sins to one another. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” God graciously uses these confessions to bring his people into amazing restoration. This confession and restoration ultimately point the believer to the cross of Christ where the Son of God died once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God’s people can have great confidence that they are cleansed from all their unrighteousness, and God cannot love them any more than he does right now because of their advocate Jesus Christ. Let’s spend time confessing our sins to one another and to God with the assurance that we will be restored and refreshed through Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions

  •  Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

  •  To whom do you regularly confess your sin? If not, then who would be a good person to start?


Lord, we come to you to confess our sins. We are unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. We all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind, our sins sweep us away. We ask that you would forgive us for our sins. Forgive all of our sins, both known and unknown. Forgive all of our sins of this day, week, year, and life. You are a merciful and righteous God. We thank you for your continual forgiveness of our sins. In Jesus name, Amen.


Kyrie Eleison
by Keith and Kristyn Getty

As we come before You 
With the needs of our world, 
We confess our failures and our sin, 
For our words are many 
Yet our deeds have been few; 
Fan the fire of compassion 
Once again. 

When the cries of victims 
Go unheard in the land, 
And the scars of war refuse to heal, 
Will we stand for justice 
To empower the weak 
Til their bonds of oppression 
Are no more?

If we love our God with all our 
Heart, mind, and strength, 
And we love our Neighbors as ourselves, 
Then this law of love
Will heal the nations of earth, 
And the glory of Christ Will be revealed. 

Lord, renew our vision 
To be Christ where we live, 
To reach out in mercy to the lost;
For each cup of kindness 
To the least in our midst 
Is an offering of worship 
To the throne.”

Kyrie eleison; have mercy. 
Christe eleison; have mercy. 
Kyrie eleison; have mercy. 
Christe eleison; have mercy. 

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