1 John 1:5-9
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
2 Chronicles 7:14
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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. ”If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(Pray out loud if you are in a place where you can do so, and remember, that today’s prayer is crafted using the scriptures above):
Jesus, I know that without Your grace, I am doomed to repeat history or start patterns of sin in my life through my own judgements and/or repetition of the sin that was modeled for me, done against me or initiated by me. Please forgive me for any times I have expected change to happen around me without first pursuing you to bring change within me. I am equally capable of hurting others the ways that I have been hurt when I operate apart from Your grace and divine empowerment to walk in the fruit of your Spirit.
Therefore, I want to humbly come before you, seek you through prayer, and turn from unhealthy patterns. I know it is only by you and through you that true transformation can happen within me and that transformation around me happens first through transformation in me. I choose not to live life as a victim but rather to pursue you for healing and instruction on how to live in your empowerment.
I thank you for choosing to go to the cross for my sins past, present and future. I come to you for forgiveness today. I ask you to reveal to me anything that I need to repent for (turn from, change with your help, need forgiveness for) Please help me to not only receive your forgiveness but forgive myself the way you forgive me. As I experience your forgiveness today, I ask that you would empower me to walk in the fruit of your Spirit as described in Galatians 5. Amen.
Take your time and don’t feel pressure to complete all of this in one sitting. You can extend your journaling throughout the month if you don’t have time to complete responses to all prompts today.
**Remember, as you connect with God in prayer, it is two-way conversation with Him. He responds to our prayers, questions, worship, etc, with thoughts, promptings, sensings, creative ideas/strategies, etc. Record what He shares with you and follow His counsel.
- Ask God to reveal to you anything you need to come to Him for forgiveness for. Write down anything he reveals to you. In addition to the scripture used from Galatians 5, the sample list below may be helpful in identifying patterns of sin our lives:
Examples of sin include (not exhaustive):
Lack of love Stubbornness Judging Bitterness Unforgiving spirit Pride Selfishness Boasting Stubbornness Lack of submission Rebellion Disobedience Ungratefulness Impatience Discontent/Complaint Covetousness Grumbling Disrespect Provoking others Jealousy Strife Losing temper Bodily harm Anger
Addiction Adultery Pornography Covetousness
Control Manipulation Lying Self-Hatred
Gossiping/Slandering Worry/Succumbing to Anxiety
Bad language Idle words Bad motives Complacency Hypocrisy Other gods Worry (fear) Cheating Stealing Prayerlessness (lack of dependance on God)
Note: this is not a time to carry a weight of guilt or shame, but rather, a time to surrender that guilt, shame and your mistakes to Jesus and trust Him to help you to do your best to make it right and turn from any unhealthy patterns. It is humility and honesty before God and others that opens the door for healing and experiencing God’s forgiveness and empowerment to forgive ourselves.
Prayer after journaling: God forgive me for the ways that I have sinned against you and others. I specifically ask you to forgive me for ____________________. I ask you to cleanse me of this sin and reveal to me how to partner with you in not continuing to repeat history. Jesus, I thank you that you are the one who empowers me to not repeat history.
From this day forward, if I step back into default sin patterns would you help me to quickly see my sin, repent for it, and make it right with the people it affected. Thank you for your kind and loving forgiveness that welcomes into participating with you in the new patterns you have for me. I thank you that through your forgiveness I have a way of hope in front of me that separates me from the dark path my sin was creating.
I reject the shame or guilt that the enemy or others may try to place on me, and I receive your love and forgiveness now. Jesus, I invite you to show me anything you want me to do to make things right with others and what you want me to have in place in my life to help me step out of default, unhealthy patterns and walk “in step with the Spirit.” (Write down anything he shows you and commit to walking that out in 2023 and beyond)