Have you succumbed to harmful habits that are hurting your faith and testimony? We’ve all been there at one time or another. If guilt and shame now dot your life, and regrets are filling in the blanks of your story, take heart. God offers love, forgiveness, and restoration. If this fits you, here is a prayer for repentance and restoration that can help you find renewed joy, hope, and life (Remember the sacraments can heal in a powerful way):

A Prayer for Repentance and Restoration

Lord Jesus, I’m tired of the sin struggle in my life. I feel distant from You. My choices have not led me into the right places. I’ve listened to the whispers of my enemy instead of Your words in Scripture, and the result has been disastrous.

I once walked with you, my heart tender to Your leading. Yet little by little, I exchanged Your truths for temptations and deceit that led me away from You. Instead of taking thoughts captive and confessing them immediately, I allowed them to grow totally out of control. Repentance was not in my vocabulary. Blame, cover-ups, or trying to reason and rationalize sin never work. They only give birth to deeper sin entanglements.

You created me in Your own image, Lord. You know my thoughts before I speak them. You x-ray my heart and see through my excuses and intentions. Your Spirit warned me, but I ignored You. Disappointment and discouragement have taken their toll on me.

So today I’m confessing my desperate need for You. You have promised that if we will confess our sin, You will forgive us and make us clean again. Lord, I truly need Your forgiveness. Repentance is on my heart and lips. I want to turn around and head another direction—back to You, Lord. But I need Your help.

Just as You created the world out of nothing, Lord, create a clean heart out of my “nothingness.” You paid for my sin with your own death. Restore my life and the fellowship we once shared together. You don’t condemn me, and You won’t disown me; I am Your child forever. But I take all the blame—I own my own sin. I am the one who broke fellowship with You and am crushed over the way I treated You and Your name.

Lord, root out the darkness and light up my life with Your holy presence. Help me understand what went wrong. Show me how my destructive patterns first began. What did I allow to become more important than loving and honoring You? Why did I seek satisfaction in others or other things than You? You are the only One Who provides all my needs. You fill up the soul with deep down joy and peace beyond all understanding.

Lord, may your restoration include new boundaries around my life. I can’t flirt with sin and not be hurt. In restoring me, teach me how to say no again to things which could harm myself or my testimony. If my actions have wounded others, show me where and to whom I need to ask forgiveness or how to make amends. Help me to surround myself with positive encouragers who will hold me accountable and who will speak the truth in love. Truly, shame melts away and we are healed when we confess to others and ask for their help.

I understand that my repentance won’t eliminate the consequences of my sin. Knowing that You don’t hold our sins to our account—You remember them no more–and that You place them as far as the east is from the west both humbles me and fills me with amazement and gratitude. No consequence could ever be as painful as knowing how my sin hurt You or how You suffered for me out of love. Your crucifying death gave me eternal life with You. Lord, You place grace next to my regrets and give me hope for a new future.

Thank You, Lord, that sin does not disqualify us. Instead, like a runner who has fallen but who gets up again, I, too, am willing to start again and finish the race You have set for me.

With Your restoration, Lord, perhaps I can help others find their way back to You again. I will not give my enemy the victory. Instead, I will accept Yours. Instead of a meltdown, with Your help I will allow Your Spirit to give me a hot heart for You, one that seeks You and wants to live for You the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for Your sweet forgiveness and promised restoration.

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