At our church over the summer we’ve been taking each Lord’s Day to examine our hearts with one of the ten commandments, each in their own order. The goal is to feel in our hearts the same way David felt in his heart for the Law. Psalm 119:77 says, “Let your mercy come to me that I may live; for your law is my delight.” David saw that the fulfillment of the Law was beyond him. He also saw that the Man behind the Law was none other than the one who would show mercy to anyone who asked for it. When David saw the Law he saw the Righteous Character of God in Christ, which included a merciful Savior.
One for each Sunday, here are some of our corporate prayers:
Our Confession as Law-Breakers
I am a murderer because I have used angry, soul-killing words. Murder is ultimately an offense against God because humans are made in the image of God. To assault a human is to assault God. Through Christ, God forgive Me!
I am a whore (Exodus 34:11-16; Ezekiel 6:8-10; Revelation 17:1-6) because I have been unfaithful in my devotion and covenant with God. I agreed to love him and no other god. But anytime that I affectionately put my trust, hope, refuge, or identity in anything else than God, it is spiritual adultery and a betrayal against God. Through Christ, God forgive Me!
I am a thief, a glory-stealer, a reputation-robber, a tare-trickster who tips the scale to my advantage. I am discontent with what God has allotted to me. I cannot be patient and wait and work and trust and prayerfully ask for my needs and desires. I steal what does not belong to me because at times, I do not trust God to provide, and I do not love others as I ought. Through Christ, God forgive Me!
I am a liar, an information tweeker, a smooth talking lexicon of disinformation: I add or omit to make myself look good and my neighbor bad. I’ll say anything or say nothing at all to create a false-positive perception of myself and a false-negative perception of a certain other. Even when I do tell the truth, I do not do it in love, for the edification of another. I am rash with my words, causing division and discord. I gossip and slander. With my tongue I set the world on fire because I covet: I want what is not mine, and I don’t want what is God’s: His Glory. Through Christ, God forgive Me!
And for this coming Sunday, August 18:
Our heavenly Father, at the heart of it all is a coveting heart; a heart that is driven with discontent and unbelief. We covet because we want what you will not give. So we take what we think we have a right to – we believe we are entitled to whatever we believe we have earned, or whatever we believe you have failed to provide. We covet things and reputation because we feel insecure or defenseless or lonely or ugly or poor or helpless. Coveting breeds Jealousy and Envy in the heart. O that our longing for safety, self-worth, value, and identity, would find Jesus Christ to be everything that we need. Would that our hearts be cleansed of worthless and unsatisfying idols.
Through Christ, God forgive Me!