Tuesday, April 19, 2022

A Prayer of Contrition

Here's a wonderful prayer I stumbled on last Saturday. I believe it can attributed to one of the Reformers. It goes like this:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

I've begun praying this prayer several times a day. It reminds me of my constant need of a Savior. It goes hand in hand with the first of Luther's famous 95 theses:

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Matt. 4:17), he intended that the whole life of believers on earth be one of continual repentance. 

A continual spirit of repentance and contrition reminds me of a petition in the Lord's Prayer -- "Lead us not into temptation" -- meaning, "Lord, when there's the opportunity to sin, keep me from the inclination, and where's the inclination to sin, keep me from the opportunity."

Knowing that our sin prompted such a sacrifice that Christ had to be killed on our behalf awakens holy sentiments in our innermost being. True Christianity means not only that the "big" sins matter but that we can't separate Christianity from following Christ's righteous example in very literal, everyday ways, and that he himself enables us to obey. 

Remember that the next time you take a good long look at the dark side of your soul.