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Thursday, February 28, 2019


“Who can discern his errors?  Declare me innocent from hidden faults.  13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!  Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.  14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
 Psalm 19:12-14

The hymn “An Evening Prayer” is a beautiful and moving song. It is precious to me because shortly before my mother’s passing, she asked us to teach her that song. It humbly asks the Lord to cleanse us from our faults and shortcomings. It shows us the many ways we can sin, finding ourselves in need of forgiveness.  When we sin against one another, we run the risk of wounding the one whose conscience is weak; thus, we sin against Christ (1 Cor. 8:12).  When we behave in this way, we become stumbling blocks to others by leading them astray (Matt. 18:6-7).  We do this because we haven’t crucified the old man but still live according to the desires of our flesh, in selfishness rather than caring for others, loving them and putting their needs above ourselves (Romans 15:1-3; Phil. 2:3-4).  We also find ourselves sinning with our words.  How often do we utter idle or vain words toward one another, Matt. 12:36-37?  How often do we fail to speak the Truth in love (Eph. 4:14, 25) and choose rather to turn aside from want or pain?  How often do we end up sinning against one another and of course, against our Lord and Savior when we ought to avoid at all costs the terrible consequences of not speaking the Truth in love toward one another?   We ignore or don’t care that the Word of God stresses that we Christians must suffer through the strain, for our faith and not be ashamed (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:16).

We can also sin when we choose darkness, allowing our hearts to be perverted and hard because of the deceitfulness of sin, thus becoming cold to God’s commands and our responsibilities as children of God (Heb. 3:12-15; Rev. 3:15).  We forget or don’t care that our God abhors the lukewarm heart, for He will spit such a heart out of His mouth.  And though there might be times when we feel weak or vulnerable and find ourselves in need of shelter in the fold, we must not forget but acknowledge that God has called us to holiness and godliness.  God commands us to be faithful soldiers of His Son, willing to suffer hardship, refusing to partake in the ways of this world (2 Timothy 2:3-4).  So, we must determine to wage the good warfare and fight tooth and nail for our faith, for if we fail to do so, we are shipwrecking our faith and the destiny of our souls (1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12).  We must examine our hearts to see if there are any sins, even secret ones that we fail to see that we must confess before the throne of our God that we might have forgiveness (1 Jn. 1:8).  We must humbly ask God’s forgiveness and ask Him to guide us and keep us from all evil, that we might walk in His path of righteousness and be pleasing to Him.

May we humbly confess to God in prayer when we sin, expressing our brokenness and repentance, making our confession to Him in secret, pleading to Him that He forgive our sins (those we know and don’t know). May we seek to do better that we may receive His mercy which leads to eternal life (Jude 21-24).  May we confess our sins, asking His forgiveness for any sins before we rest our heads in sleep (“An Evening Prayer”), for it is the perfect time to examine all that we have done during the day.

I hope the words of the hymn, “An Evening Prayer” stir our heart to do better in confessing our sins, especially our hidden faults to God that we might be pleasing to Him and receive His mercy.

If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive.

If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive.

If I have been perverse or hard or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in the fold,
When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord, forgive.

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee;
Forgive the secret sins I do not see;
O guide me, love me, and my keeper be,
In Jesus’ Name.


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