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The Prayer of Confession: Psalm 32:5-7

By Gordon Robertson
CEO, Christian Broadcasting Network

CBN.comWelcome to CBN’s Week of Prayer. We want to teach you some principles of how to pray what the Bible says about prayer, and today I want to start off with Psalms. Psalms, I think, is one of the great hymnbooks of the Old Testament, but it is also a record of King David’s prayers. These aren’t just songs; they are also prayers to God.

Within these prayers, you find many keys of how to approach a righteous and holy God and get answers to your prayers. What I want is for you to directly experience the promises of God where He says, “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things.” It is through that calling-out-to-God process, what we commonly call prayer, that you find your answers. That’s where God communicates directly to you. God is no respecter of persons. What He has done for others, He will do for you. What He did for King David, He will do for you. And Jesus specifically promises that we will do even greater works than the Old Testament prophets.

So let’s walk through one of my favorite Psalms, if you will, because I think it is the starting point of any prayer to a holy and righteous God: that is, to understand where we are and the fact that we are sinners and we need His forgiveness. If we use that as a starting point for prayer, then I am confident that you will be able to enter into His throne room and come boldly to the throne of grace to get answers for your prayer.

Watch Gordon teach on Psalm 32:5-7.

Here it is in Psalm 32. I will just start with verse 5:

I acknowledged my sin to You,
and my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalm 32:5 NKJV

Gordon RobertsonNow, in the original Hebrew, they had a notation at the end of that, Selah. And what Selah means is it’s a musical notation for a pause. In this pause, the musicians were expected to improvise, but the congregation was expected to stay silent and then meditate on the true meaning of the previous verse of the Psalm. So, here we have the previous verse, where it says, “You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” We need to meditate on that.

If you keep your sin hidden, if you don’t confess it before the Lord, then He is not going to be able to come and give you forgiveness. It is when you pour out your confession before Him that you find that He forgives the iniquity of your sin. The Bible says, if we are faithful to confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if we are cleansed before Him, then we get to go directly into the throne of grace and ask for what we want. But if we are holding onto our sin, then we will find that our sin is blocking us from a righteous God.

Then the Psalmist goes on after the Selah:

For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve my from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:6-7 NKJV

Everyone who even considers himself godly needs to pray that prayer that I confess my sin to You. Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee who came to the temple and offered up a very self-righteous prayer, and then He contrasted that with a man who said, “Have mercy on me, for I am a sinner.” And that man, he was the one who came away from the temple justified.

So, consider that and consider confession as the starting point for every prayer. When you do, then you get the promise of verse 7, which is “surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him (meaning you). You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” What a wonderful promise that we get surrounded by songs of deliverance when we come before Him and confess our sins.

Make this a daily habit. Bill Bright, the great founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, had a daily habit with his wife at the end of the day. They would review what they had done in light of the Ten Commandments. And if they had fallen short in any area, they then confessed it before God and asked for forgiveness. And if we do that, I guarantee that your life will change.

Well, our next teaching is going to be on perseverance in prayer, so you don’t want to miss that.

Gordon Robertson became the Chief Executive Officer of CBN on November 30, 2007.  Prior to being named CEO, Gordon was the Executive Producer of The 700 Club for the past six years and a member of the board of directors for the past five years. He is also founder and president of CBN Asia, Inc. and founder and president of the Asian Center for Missions.


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