What David Said: Paper Confessions

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” (Psalm 51:4-6)

On some cop shows, perps are dragged into a holding cell and grilled by the detectives until they’re ready to spill. (Maybe I’ve watched too many cop shows.) The goal is often to get the bad guy to write out a confession to the crime on paper.

whatdavid_350That’s not a bad idea for you and me, either. David did that here. First, he confessed to his sin verbally with Nathan. Later, he wrote out his confession. Especially when we struggle to believe that we are truly forgiven and loved by God, writing down our prayer of confession to Him can help us have something to hold on to as evidence of the conversation we’ve had with Him.

Notice what David included: 1) He admits that he sinned against God. 2) He throws himself on the mercy of God’s court, understanding He deserves any judgement God chooses. (We know Jesus has already paid our punishment, but we will often suffer the real-world consequences of our wrong choices.) 3) David admits he’s a criminal from the womb; this isn’t a one-time offense. 4) He says he knows he can change only with God’s help by honestly learning in his heart the wisdom God teaches.

Think: Have you ever confessed your sin to God as David did here? Do you see any value in writing out prayers to God, especially prayers of confession?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be honest with Him and with yourself in your heart and to learn the wisdom He teaches in your inmost place.

Do: If you want to, try writing out a prayer to God. If you have unconfessed sin to deal with, follow David’s pattern of written confession. Otherwise, just write what you would normally talk to Him about.