My Pastor used this prayer in a sermon a few weeks ago. Sometimes (often) other peoples words do a better job than my own. I am not sure of the author (can prayers have “authors”?)
Pardon all my sins of this day, week, year,
all the sins of my life,
sins of early, middle, and advanced years,
of omission and commission,
of morose, peevish and angry tempers,
of lip, life and walk,
of hard-heartedness, unbelief, presumption, pride,
of unfaithfulness to the souls of men,
of want of bold decision in the cause of Christ,
of deficiency in outspoken zeal for his glory,
of bringing dishonor upon thy great name,
of deception, injustice, untruthfulness in my dealings with others,
of impurity in thought, word and deed,
of covetousness, which is idolatry,
of substance unduly hoarded, improvidently squandered,
not consecrated to the glory of thee, the great Giver;
sins in private and in the family,
in study and recreation, in the busy haunts of men,
in the study of thy Word and in the neglect of it,
in prayer irreverently offered and coldly withheld,
in time misspent,
in yielding to Satan’s wiles,
in opening my heart to his temptations,
in being unwatchful when I know him nigh,
in quenching the Holy Spirit;
sins against light and knowledge,
against conscience and the restraints of thy Spirit,
against the law of eternal love.
Pardon all my sins, known and unknown,
felt and unfelt,
confessed and not confessed,
remembered or forgotten.
Good Lord, hear; and hearing, forgive.
Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
(Psalm 10:1 ESV)
“The presence of God is the joy of his people, but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure.” –Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David
This is what I love most about the Psalms; the sheer humanity of it! The Psalmists are bold and honest and so authentic in their prayers to God, in a way that I rarely see anymore. For a few months now I have been seriously and honestly evaluating my relationship with my God in terms of my own authenticity. At some point or another, everyone has doubted God’s presence, that he was near and present. I think they’d be fooling themselves (or perhaps trying to fool God) if they didn’t admit that. I know I have felt like that, many times. Yet I continued to pray as though nothing were different, as though I wasn’t feeling the way that I was feeling.
But look at the Psalmist here! “Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?” When I read this, I can almost feel his uneasiness, his restlessness, even his desperateness over the thought of God being far away and indifferent to his struggles. He’s not being disrespectful. He’s being authentic.
I want to be authentic. I don’t want to gloss over the rough spots of my life. I want to be real and honest with God and in all of my relationships. I want to be real.