When You Pray, Give God Your Guilt
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
“Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us” (Matthew 6:12 TEV).
We all make mistakes. We all have regrets. I don’t measure up to my own standard for myself, much less God’s standard of perfection. It’s not very hard to admit you’re not perfect. So what do we do when we fall short?
I was listening to a psychologist on the radio recently. A guy called in and was pouring his heart out about how guilty he felt for things he had done wrong. He asked, “How can I get rid of my guilt?” This psychologist said: “You can’t. You’ve got to learn to live with it.” I almost shouted at the radio: “Wait a minute! Give me that guy’s phone number! He doesn’t have to go through life filled with guilt!”
There is no reason in the world you have to live with guilt. God has given us a way to get rid of guilt. It’s called confession. God promises that when we confess, He forgives us instantly, totally, completely, freely, and continuously. If a Christian is carrying guilt around, it’s because they’re not taking advantage of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Give God your guilt. Doing this, asking for pardon, is the next step in making contact with God.
God wants to forgive you. You don’t have to beg for forgiveness: “God, please, pretty please with sugar on it!” You don’t have to bargain: “God, if You forgive me, I will never do it again.” You don’t have to bribe: “God, if You’ll forgive me, I promise to always read my Bible.” You simply believe you are forgiven.
If you ever run out of things to pray about, just get specific about your sins and weaknesses. When I talk with God about my weaknesses and sins, I never lack for subject matter. In fact, I’m always coming up with new material! There’s plenty of things to talk about in my life that need to be changed.
You worship God through prayer when you give Him your love (praise), your life (purpose), and your worries (provision). And also when you ask Him for forgiveness (pardon) of your sins.