[reprinted from July 5, 2010]
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you; what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. Â Â Â 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NIV)
I first received this Scripture a few months after I learned about intercessory prayer. I was part of a group that met every week and we would pray for 2-4 hours. It was a powerful time of praying for our country, for elected officials, or for our children and their schools, or for specific people who had cancer, etc.
Intercessory prayer is simply prayer for other people and an intercessor is someone who is called to spend time in prayer for others. The Holy Spirit speaks the need and guides the prayer. As our group continued we noticed fatigue in each other. And this Scripture revealed the guidance to always pray through to the victory. By that I mean that whatever the burden of the prayer, God always has the need and always answers the prayer in His wisdom and time. It is not a burden for me to carry like a weight. It is Godâ€™s desire to carry our burdens.
This Scripture also speaks to me about how the Holy Spirit brings His conviction on me that produces sorrow and leads me to ask forgiveness and turn (repent) in a new direction, God direction. This conviction brings the Light that reveals my sin in my thoughts or my actions. It sees every dark corner where I might try to hide a secret sin that has literally plagued my life.
The Godly sorrow produces eagerness in my heart to change. When I spend time with Jesus every day, I learn how wonderful it is to be close to Him. The Holy Spiritâ€™s conviction teaches me that distance from Jesus sets off an alarm that replaces the peace that characterizes my life close to Jesus. I have experienced that unrest and confusion when sin has come between me and God. The alone-ness of that is totally eclipsed by the joy that comes after repentance and restoration!
I leave you today with a longer Scripture than usual but read this like a prayer to our LORD who desires that we stay in a close relationship together.
Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness.
According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.
Cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions.
My sin is constantly before me.
Against you, and you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight;
that you may be proved right when you speak, and justified when you judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. In sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts.
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness, That the bones which you have broken may rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all of my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
Donâ€™t throw me from your presence, and donâ€™t take your holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
Uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways.
Sinners shall be converted to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation.
My tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Lord, open my lips. My mouth shall declare your praise.
For you donâ€™t delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it.
You have no pleasure in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Â Psalm 51:1-17 (WEB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart written and sung by Donnie McClurkin