Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Guilt is something that modern society may think people of faith have thrust upon it, and that it has little purpose or positive outcome. Why then, do we have this sense of dread? Why do we long for forgiveness and cleansing?
We experience guilt because we are guilty, and we know it. We have this dark feeling because of original sin. We have this sense that the world is not right, and somehow we are not right either. We know of things that we have done that have been harmful to ourselves and others and ultimately have offended God. We find ourselves both victim and victimizer in this dark cycle of sin and death from which only God can rescue.
David is the author of this Psalm. Psalm 32 is a maskil, which is a Psalm that teaches us something important. Here are the actions that David urges us to take in order to experience the blessedness of forgiveness: First of all, we must understand our real need for forgiveness. We then, turn away from all deceit of heart. We no longer are silent about our sin, living in denial, but we confess our wrong.
The Apostle John describes our guilty state and the remedy that comes through Jesus Christ alone. John echoes the message of Psalm 32.
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. -1 John 1:8-10, ESV
Confession of sin is a normal and needed spiritual practice of every follower of Jesus Christ. Make a point to regularly examine yourself, confess your sin and receive the great blessing of forgiveness and cleansing. Then, be truly free of all condemnation and guilt.
O Lord, my sense of guilt is only vanquished by your great work on the cross. I have often ignored my own sin, while confessing the transgressions of others. Forgive me for this wrong and help me to live in the blessedness of transparency and forgiveness. Amen.