What’s the Point of the Prayers of Confession?

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Image borrowed from http://www.thejerusalemconnection.us

Every Sunday as part of our regular worship we take time to corporately and silently confess our sins before God.

Of all the things we do in worship, the highlight for me is always the Assurance of Pardon. I love that I show up to church as a sinner in need of grace and forgiveness and every time God offers mercy and forgiveness and makes me new.

Each week when I hear, “In Christ, you are forgiven!” I want to shout a shout “Woo hoo! Forgiven!!!”

But here’s the thing. Why do we even bother with the whole confessing thing?

I mean God already knows everything, right?

If God knows everything, if God already knows what’s on our hearts, if God already knows everything that’s been done and been left undone, if God already truly knows everything, what’s the point of confession?

Why confess stuff that God already knows? It kind of seems pointless.

One of the reasons why we confess our sins is to renew and heal our broken relationship with God. Confession is not only about acknowledging a bunch of stuff that we did or that we left undone. The main purpose is restoration. It’s about renewal. It’s about healthy relationships.

You see, sin always breaks relationships. Sin is always a violation of trust.

One of the things all healthy organizations and healthy relationships have in common is that they are able to recognize when a “foul” has occurred. It’s because folks can recognize that a foul has occurred that the offending party can ask for forgiveness and the offended party can offer forgiveness.

Without that mutual recognition, neither asking for nor receiving forgiveness is possible. Without that mutual recognition, all you are left with is the pain of broken relationships, hurt feelings, and offended souls.

One of the worst things that can happen in an organization or a relationship is when fouls are regularly committed and that foul is never recognized. When that happens, it kills relationships. It destroys trust.

The reason why we confess our sins corporately and silently is so that we can all acknowledge that a “foul” has occurred. That we were the offending party and that we are the ones who need grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Prayers of Confession…Assurance of Pardon…It’s a beautiful thing!

Thank God for grace!

Thank God for mercy!

Thank God for forgiveness!

Woo hoo! We are forgiven!!!

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