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Prayer & Forgiveness

Question:  As a life long church attending, Bible believing person is it right when you pray to ask forgiveness for our sins, past and present. My husband does this in spite of the fact that I feel ifwe pray and ask forgiveness of sins and repent, that those sins are gone! Otherwise that is unbelief in God’s word that He will forgive us our sins, Please clarify.

Dear friend,

It is true what the Lord promises that ‘if we confess our sins, that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.’ (1 John 1:9) In numerous places God’s Word speaks in similar promises, such as Isaiah 55 and Luke 15. That means that when someone genuinely confesses his or his sins with a look of faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, that God will no longer look upon such a guilty sinner. The publican who approached God with ‘God be merciful to me a sinner’ while he stood looking in faith to the sacrifice altar in the front part of the temple, went home justified, Jesus said.

But not everyone will have the sweet assurance of these truths. Perhaps your husband is one of those. If he doesn’t have the faith to believe the promises of God then it makes sense that he continues to plead at God’s throne for forgiveness. Pray that God will help him to appropriate the great gift of forgiveness.

However, even if you have a sweet assurance of the forgiveness of sin in the past that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to seek God for forgiveness for the daily sins we commit. Is there ever a day that we are not to seek the Lord for forgiveness while we live in this earth with a heart that is still cleaving to the dust, fleshly and carnal, insincere and often wandering. The closer one lives to God, the more confession of sin will be the practice of each day. Even the night hours are not innocent as often sinful dreams and vain thoughts can fill our minds while we sleep.

Have you ever noticed that David in Ps. 25 still petitions God ‘not to remember the sins of long ago?’ If it is true that David wrote that Psalm in the latter stages of his life, then we know that he has experienced the forgiveness. Still the memory of his past sins often bring a sad reflection upon his heart.

May God bless you and your husband as you discuss this answer together.

Pastor Vergunst