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A Prayer of Repentance

Raúl Latoni | May 5, 2022

On Nov. 1, 2016, I was asked to lead in a prayer of repentance at the Billy Graham Association in Charlotte during a day of fasting and prayer that included a diverse crowd of pastors from varied churches, races and ethnicities.

I share it with you and pray you may find it valuable. Here it is:

Abba, as we assemble this morning, we are reminded in your word that he who conceals his sin will not prosper but whoever confesses it and forsakes it will find mercy.

We are thankful that our relationship with you has been made possible by the shed blood of Jesus which cleanses us from all sin, but we dare not presume on your grace by walking in unconfessed sin.

Even as we struggle to pray as we ought, we are thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in this endeavor—we ask first and foremost that you may search us and know our hearts, test us and know our anxious thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.

For you desire truth in the inmost parts and in the secret place you will teach us wisdom.

• We confess and repent of allowing ourselves to be swept in this season by an inordinate obsession with the affairs of our American republic at the expense of the affairs of the kingdom of God.

• We confess and repent of the subtle and covert shift from our wholehearted, preeminent, and absolute trust in you to a trust in men, women or institutions.

• We confess and repent of being obsessed with the restoring of our personal and national fortunes at the expense of a sober acknowledgment of a personal and corporate wretchedness, misery, poverty, blindness and nakedness.

• We confess and repent of having been more passionate and bold in sharing our political affiliation than we are in sharing the truth of the gospel.

• We confess and repent of words, actions and attitudes that have been an exclamation point to the rhetoric and vitriol that has divided our country, instead of being a question mark that challenges the status quo and the progressive hellish descent into godlessness that sweeps the land.

• We confess and repent of losing our prophetic edge through compromise. This is the result of aligning ourselves uncritically with individuals and organizations that sanction and promote the values of the world and of the prince of this world. We have lost our saltiness.

• We confess and repent of having failed to lead with conviction and instead have chosen to lead by consensus which is sanctioned by the court of popular opinion. Your word says that the fear of man brings a snare.

• We confess and repent because we acknowledge that under the guise of seeking justice we have been seduced to focus on equity with no preoccupation for righteousness which is the hallmark of Godly justice.

• We confess and repent of speaking truth without love without realizing that these two are not mutually exclusive. Truth without redemptive love is bound to hurt somebody and love without truth is bound to enable somebody. Your word says that open rebuke is better than hidden love.

• We repent and confess that in our lives and ministries we have dismissed your Word as normative, universal and absolute truth. Instead we have taken our cues from the world and society at large in pursuing comfortable and convenient narratives which are but pretensions that stand against the knowledge of God.

Your word tells us that the grass withers, the flower falls off but the word of the Lord endures forever.

So at this point we don’t want to presume on the grace which brought us near and in which we now stand. It is thus, that convinced of your holiness and our sinfulness we confess and repent of our sin resting on your faithfulness and justice to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. 

We come humbly to reason together with you assured that though our sins are as scarlet they will be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.

Raúl Latoni is the Senior Director of Spiritual Growth and also serves as a pastor on the teaching team at Vineyard Cincinnati Church.

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