Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Public Confession of Sin and Giving Thanks - Attracting God's Attention

The last few years we have begun our Week of Prayer with a time of confession. Of all our meetings I think this one freaks people out the most. Get together and publicly confess sin!? Who does that?

I admit my own hesitation to this early on. In fact, it was only upon reading a description of Spurgeon’s Week of Prayer at the Tabernacle that convinced me it was worth a try. At the end of this meeting I am always left asking why we do not do it more.

            But this is the one to whom I will look:
                        he who is humble and contrite in spirit
                        and trembles at my word.
                       (Isaiah 66:2b ESV)

I think this is the power of public confession. We attract the attention of God. When my brothers and sisters are pouring out their hearts to God and admitting their failures over the past year, God gets glorified. His forgiveness, His patience, His longsuffering, indeed, His abundant grace, all get made much of. And He looks toward them - He gives them "more attention."

Tonight we will seek to spend the hour of prayer thanking God. Thanksgiving tends to work like water breaking through a dyke. What starts as a slow trickle ends up gushing forth in abundant praise to the One who has done so much for us.

I think it is great to prepare for these meetings. One thing you could do for tonight is spend the rest of the afternoon jotting down things for which you are thankful. Bring your list to our meeting and help us all glorify the One who has given us so much.

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