Last time we were looking at prayers of confession, where we confess our sins, asking for and receiving forgiveness from our Father. Confession deals with the sins that were committed. Repentance deals with the state of the heart that committed the sins.
Many people think of the following verse as an example of repentant prayer:
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia defines the word turn as it is used in this verse:
The term שׁוּב, shūbh, is most generally employed to express the Scriptural idea of genuine repentance. It is used extensively by the prophets, and makes prominent the idea of a radical change in one's attitude toward sin and God. It implies a conscious, moral separation, and a personal decision to forsake sin and to enter into fellowship with God. It is employed extensively with reference to man's turning away from sin to righteousness.Prayers of repentance involve not only a conviction and confession of wrong but a turning away from the sins we are confessing.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:7 NIV
Prayers of repentance are truly life changing, we come clean before our Lord, ask Him to help us walk in His ways, and then can ask:
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. Psalm 26:2 NLT
Is your heart heavy laden? Are there things which you need to confess and turn away from? Run to the Lord, He is always ready and willing to listen, already knowing all your heart holds and waiting to assist and comfort you. Run to Him and receive His love and mercy beyond measure.
Next week, we'll look at prayers of petition.