Ever since the replant of Grace Baptist Church in Mid City Baton Rouge eighteen months ago, I’ve had a variety of conversations with a variety of people. Many times I’ve identified with Paul as he encountered the people of Athens, Greece (“Athenians, I see you’re very spiritual. You have an alter to every god imaginable, even one for ‘The Unknown God’ – well, let me tell you about Him…”). It has been frustrating at times to discuss Christianity with people who have a warped view of Christianity; thanks in part to a Bible belt culture, some wacky spiritual leaders, and/or folksy theology ingrained by well-meaning family members (some examples include God helps those who help themselves. Jesus would vote [insert political party]. God meets you halfway. The Bible says what you want it to say.)
To make a long story (about God’s grace at work in our lives) short, the following prayer was written by a person who has been gathering with us for a few months. This is the person’s “first prayer”. I’ve been asking God for discernment into this person’s spiritual life. After the person read their prayer to me (with some deeply emotional moments), I requested a copy; the person was very happy to share it.
Now I’m sharing it with you…I got your “sinner’s prayer” right here!
God almighty, bringer of life, all that is and all that is not. Maker of the world and universe. Leader to all, you who bring breath and life to all living and non living creatures.
I come humbly to you asking for forgiveness for I have been a sinner. I have ignored your commandments. I have refused to live and honor you. I continually ignore to love my neighbor. I have been blinded by greed and closed myself off to your love. I have closed myself off to your guidance and refused to walk the path you place before me.
I ask that you recall the promise you have made and remind me of it. I ask even louder that you open my being to that promise so that I may uphold it. I am your servant. I no longer do as I please and ignore your love. I beseech you to help me hear you and not my thoughts.
I am grateful for the guidance and love you present to me continually. I have sinned and yet you have stood beside me, guided me, loved me. My greed has blinded me and yet you sent me angel after angel to open my eyes.
I am humbled. I see the errors of my ways. My heart aches because I keep ignoring your love and requests. And yet, you have never stopped supporting me and loving me. You continue to bless me, your daughter, each moment with a love I can only strive to give to others.
God, I feel scared. I do. Our financial situation is presenting me with the opportunity to continue sinning against your love. I see that there is a natural order to life. It is stress that makes me want to overlook this order.
God, I ask that you please grant [husband] the insight and awareness to keep providing for all of his family. I ask that you help him hear your guidance and see the abundance that is. God, he as I have sinned. We have been lost for a long time in the wilderness. And yet, you have been there with us. You shone the light to the path for us to meet. The love and life you grant us has no words. God, I am your simple servant and yet you have blessed us with amazing gifts. We all have a love and respect for each other that all I can express is gratitude.
God, I ask that I may be cleansed of all unnatural and impure thoughts, feelings or activities that does not reflect you.
God, I am your servant. My mission is to do as you will for me. May this body be your vessel.
God, I also ask that you guide us out of the financial place we are currently at and into abundance and freedom as is your wish and plan. Please grant me the wisdom and capacity to pass your love and acceptance on to all of your children so that they may pass it on.
God, we have sinned so much. You have given us scriptures after scriptures of your love, yet we refuse to hear and believe. We continue to do as we please without any regards to your laws. Laws that are here to show us the way out of suffering.
God, please bless us, your people, so that we hear your voice and learn to truly embrace your love and life.
Finally, God, I ask that you grant me the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual maturity to fully fill your purpose for me.
In the name of your son Jesus Christ who embodies your love I pray,