A Prayer of Repentance
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
The truth of this verse lights the way for times of crisis. Today, our world is in crisis. So, what do we do? Our first response should be to seek God in prayer. I ask you to listen and join your heart with this prayer offered humbly to God by our Dean, Dr. Lee Brand.
Michael Spradlin, PhD
President, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
(Mobile: Click image to hear prayer)
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Dear Lord of Heaven and Earth,
We come before You with thankfulness in our hearts. Father, we are so thankful to come to
You, the only true and living God. You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are good
beyond our understanding and gracious beyond our comprehension.
Father, we come to You with many more questions than we have answers. The world is
burning with hatred. Pestilence sweeps the land. Iniquity abounds, and people lash out in
anger rather than seeking Your face. As much as we want to judge the condition of those
around us, we come because we are much more broken over our own sin. We ask You to
forgive us for our gross negligence in things pertaining to You. Lord, we don’t honor and adore
You the way we should. We find ourselves responding more like the world around us than the
Christ within us. So, we ask You to cleanse us.
We also ask You to move graciously to revive Your people. Lord, we are guilty of following the
patterns of this world. We allow worldly thinking and acting to thrive among us. When we
engage the lost world around us, we often rely on its philosophies, rather than the truth You’ve
revealed, to affect change. We say we know You, but we act as if You are a stranger. Lord, we
are guilty of making idols of our own opinions and selfish desires. Today, as believers, we cry
out in repentance for the role we have played in allowing worldliness and spiritual apathy to
beset the believing community.
Father, we need You more than we realize. Our churches are devoid of real power. Our
preaching many times is not centered on the Gospel but built upon the weak foundation of
humanistic self-help. We are content to address the symptoms of sin but fail to call lost people
to repent before You, our holy God. We speak vainly of prayer for we devote so little time to
communing with You. We devote little time in the disciplining of our souls. We gaze upon a
broken world unable to affect change for we have not made Your kingdom our highest priority.
Even though we call ourselves by Your name, we too often neglect to do what You say. At this
moment, we humble ourselves before You. We pray in sincerity for You to stir our hearts until
they are hot for You again. Father, we commit to seek Your face. We will seek Your face as we
turn in repentance from our wicked ways.
I ask You, Holy Spirit, to breathe upon us. Stir in us with the fire of holiness and burn away the
dross of our sin, iniquity, and transgression. Use the sword of Your Word to cut away the
callouses on our hearts. May You shine the light of truth into the deep recesses of our soul and
rid us of the ungodliness within. Revive us, Lord, that we may bring You glory. Revive us, Lord,
that we may give You praise and worship. Revive us, Lord, that we would exalt our Christ above
our color, our culture, and our comfort. Do a work of revival in the body of Christ that is so
great that those who don’t know You would stand in awe of Your transformational power
within us. Would You take us back to the days of Acts 2 when Your power manifested so richly
among Your people that even the lost world looked upon Your people with favor?
Lord, without You sending revival we will continue to flounder in our spiritual apathy. If You
don’t revive us, we will continue to wither in the drought of our weak condition. Our hearts
break because without You working among us in power, we will continue to shrink back from
the fight for the souls of people and the advancing of Your Kingdom.
Lord, cause us to long for You as the deer pants for the water. Give us the boldness of the
prophet Nathan as he spoke Your Word to King David. Give us the graciousness of Stephen,
who begged for Your mercy upon his killers as they stoned him to death. Lord, would You give
us the heart and mind of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ?
Great and gracious God, as we ask You to revive Your people, we also ask You to shake this
unbelieving world. We intercede for this world with a plea for awakening. Please bring life to
those who are spiritually dead in trespasses and sin. Within our nation, we embrace evil and
reject good. We exchange right for wrong and wrong for right. Human beings treat each other
worse than they treat brute beasts. Lord, some people have forgotten Your truth, and others
brazenly deny it. All people are made in Your image, but we treat each other with less decency
than we treat the lower creation.
You know better than anyone the sickness of our nation. Economically, we sit as the richest
land in history, but spiritually we are as bankrupt as all who ever lived from Adam until now.
Lord, even our cries for justice are steeped in self-interest. The reality before us is a
manifestation of what we reap when we sow the seeds of rejecting You. As our world rejects
You and Your truth, we stand today with no idea of certain truth. We are awash in the floating
principles of relativism. Lord, we have planted man at the center of our universe and our
efforts are now to exalt ourselves to divine status.
The work of our true enemy, Satan, is ever on display before us. He goes about his mission to
steal, kill, and destroy while we attribute his activity to each other. Even in these moments
when we humble ourselves in prayer, our intercession comes against the backdrop of the bitter
expression of satanic work. We’ve seen a man crushed to death under the weight of another
man. The satanic narrative pushes the colors of both men more than the hard truth. That hard
truth is that both men are made in Your image. The hard truth is that our world groans in
outrage more over color than over principle. Father, the world’s cries for justice have become
theatres for rioters who destroy other people’s property and livelihoods. These actions reflect
the hypocrisy of all humanity. But, in all of our attempts to understand our day, Lord, don’t let
us forget that You know perfectly the days in which we live. Iniquity abounds and the love of
many has waxed cold.
People in our world are allowing themselves to be played like chess pieces in the hands of the
devil. He is working with all of his might to inject as much darkness and ungodly anger into
these situations as possible. Truthfully, we are watching the enemy be the enemy and lost
people act like lost people. The chasm of division widens as the burning hatred in the hearts of
humanity grows hotter.
Lord, though this world is marching toward its end, we cannot abandon our post. You have
called us and assigned us to labor in this field, share Your Gospel, and live a life reflective of
biblical truth. We ask You to empower us to do the work assigned to us. Remind us the work
assigned to us is work You will do through us, but You will not do for us. Therefore, we pray.
We ask You to give us the heart and the mind, the passion and the wisdom to carry out the
assignment of shining the light of Christ in this world so filled with darkness.
We pray for You to do the work that we cannot do. We can sow the seeds of truth, but we
cannot change the soil of human hearts. Father, we can stand for righteousness and true
justice, but we cannot align human hearts and minds with Your ways and Your Word. We can
tell lost people of the goodness and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, but we cannot make them
receptive to the Gospel. So, we humbly ask you to soften the hearts of those who do not know
you and are confused by the prince of this world. Soften their hearts that they might surrender
to Jesus Christ and trust in His sacrifice for their sins. Father, we ask You to send a spiritual
awakening to our nation and to this world.
Lord, we are reaping the rewards of rejecting You, and we don’t want this anymore. We ask
You to manifest Yourself in and among us. We lay our hearts open before You. We want to see
churches, our nation, and our world be a better place. We desire to see people act with a
civility that exudes from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We long for all of those things.
Some measure of that desire may rise from the impure motives of selfishness, and we repent of
that. The things that we seek from You, we seek for Your glory. We pray that You are exalted
in these things. May You be lifted high in reviving Your people! May You be exalted in
awakening our land! Lord, may You be exalted in working in the hearts of people and bringing
us to our knees in worship of You, the One true God!
We ask these things of You, not because we are worthy. We are so unworthy. Lord, we ask You
for revival and awakening because these are the things that ushered Jesus to the cross. Our
inability to do Your will led to the crime scene of Calvary. Our rebellion and self-exaltation
ushered Jesus to the redemptive sacrifice of Himself on the cross. I ask You, Lord, to revive and
awaken because only You can. Father, we have nowhere else to go, no one else to seek, no one
else with the answer, for You alone have the Words of eternal life. Thank You for prayers
heard. We thank You in advance for prayers answered.
We offer this prayer in Jesus’ name.