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4 Prayers to Pray when You’re Repentant

This article is part of the 4 Prayers to Pray series.

1. Read 2 Chronicles 36:21 and Pray

O merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering and of great pity, make me earnestly repent, and heartily to be sorry for all my misdoings; make the remembrance of them so burdensome and painful that I may flee to you with a troubled spirit and a contrite heart; and, O merciful Lord, visit, comfort, and relieve me; excite in me true repentance; give me in this world knowledge of your truth and confidence in your mercy, and, in the world to come, life everlasting. —Samuel Johnson

2. Read Isaiah 57:14—21 and Pray

I am comforted in my heart, that you do not will the death of a sinner, which you have sworn and confirmed with an oath: that you will not be angry with me forever, nor yet forever punish me. You call and entice all them that are weary, oppressed, comfortless, sorrowful hearts and consciences, to you and your holy Word, and name yourself a heavenly physician, who takes upon you our woes and miseries (wherein we see through sin are fallen) and bring to us your everlasting help and refreshing, by preaching of your holy gospel, with which we may be helped forevermore. Upon such your gracious promises come I to you, and pray you from the bottom of my heart . . . to be merciful to me poor sinner, as you have promised such mercy. —Martin Luther

3. Read Jeremiah 23:1—8 and Pray

Lord Jesus Christ, who carries the lost sheep back into the fold in your arms, and deigns to hear the confession of the publican, graciously remit all my guilt and sin. Lord, who hears the penitent thief, who has set a heritage of mercy for your saints, and has not withheld pardon from the sinner; hear the prayers of your servants according to your mercy. —Wilhelm Loehe

4. Read Malachi 4:1—3 and Pray

Oh! You who have come to seek and to save lost things, buried things, I lift my eyes to you. Many have offered me a golden tomorrow; you alone have offered to retrieve my yesterday. Restore to me the waste places of my heart. Reveal to me the meaning of my failures. Show me that there was manna in my desert that even Canaan did not hold. Then shall mine be a harvest joy, a resurrection joy, the joy of gathering the buried past. Then shall my heart be satisfied that the travail of the soul was autumn’s gain. —George Matheson

This article is adapted from the ESV Prayer Bible.


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