Let us Feel and Mourn the Atrocity of Our Guilt

 O Lord God, the great I AM, we do confess and cheerfully acknowledge that all come of Thee. Thou hast made us and not we ourselves, and the breath in our nostrils is kept there by Thy continued power. We owe our sustenance, our happiness, our advancement, our ripening, our very existence entirely unto Thee. We would bless Thee for all the mercies with which Thou dost surround us, for all things which our eyes see that are pleasant, which our ears hear that are agreeable, and for everything that maketh existence to be life. Especially do we own this dependence when we come to deal with spiritual things.

O God, we are less than nothing in the spiritual world. We do feel this growingly, and yet even to feel this is beyond our power. Thy grace must give us even to know our need of grace. We are not willing to confess our own sinfulness until Thou dost show it to us. Though it stares us in the face, our pride denies it, and our own inability is unperceived by us. We steal Thy power and call it our own till Thou dost compel us to say that we have no strength in ourselves.

Now, Lord, would we acknowledge that all good must come of Thee, through Jesus Christ by Thy Spirit, if ever we are to receive it. And we come humbly, first of all acknowledging our many sins. How many they are we cannot calculate, how black they are, how deep their ill-desert; yet we do confess that we have sinned ourselves into hopeless misery, unless Thy free undeserved grace do rescue us from it. Lord, we thank Thee for any signs of penitence—give us more of it. Lay us low before Thee under a consciousness of our undeserving state. Let us feel and mourn the atrocity of our guilt. O God, we know a tender heart must come from Thyself. By nature our hearts are stony, and we are proud and self-righteous.

Charles Spurgeon, Adapted from The Pastor in Prayer