By Tyson Thorne

December 18, 2013

Penitence large

Every moment of every day there are as many reasons for prayer as there are people on the planet. What are some of your reasons for prayer? How often do these reasons stimulate you to prayer? The answer to these questions will provide you with an insight to the quality of your relationship with God.

Perhaps as important as why we pray is how we pray, for while there are billions of reasons for prayer there are only five patterns of prayer.

Prayers of Penitence

Perhaps the most important form of prayer is the one we’re most likely to avoid. With the importance our world places on self-esteem, its difficult to spend our time with God confessing sin. Even so, one of the most beloved of God spent his mornings sacrificing for himself and his family, that no offense would hinder their relationship with the Almighty. We read in Job chapter one:

When the days of their feasting were finished, Job would send for [his family] and sanctify them; he would get up early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts,” This was Job’s customary practice.

Only one with a proper understanding of sin can offer a truly penitint prayer, and only one who is properly broken over his transgression can offer up a confession worthy of forgiveness. Perhaps the finest example of this form of prayer is found in Psalm 51. Probably none of us have sinned as greatly as King David did with Bathsheba. Not only did he not turn from his lust, he entertained it. After entertaining his passions he had her brought to him, where he committed an act of adultery. This act lead to an unwanted pregnancy and, in an attempt to cover-up his ignoble activities, he had an innocent man -- Bathsheba's husband – murdered. He would have continued to go dark-side had God not sent his prophet, Nathan, to confront the King.

So broken was David over his sin that he penned a psalm of such contrition that it has endured for thousands of years. Take the time today to read Psalm 51.

Today we do not offer burnt sacrifices to atone for our sins. We live in an age where Jesus has opened the very throne room of God to our prayers, and it is the prayer of penitence that not only aligns our heart with God’s, but also invokes the forgiveness of God made possible by the last blood sacrifice made upon a cross.

Tomorrow we will examine another of the five forms of prayer

Click for part two:

Learn Biblical Hebrew Online


English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish



How to setup an RSS of Windows Reader Service