Lives Transformed through Confessing and Repenting
As a little girl back in the 50’s I remember going to Wednesday night prayer meetings with my mom and dad. We’d first have a potluck dinner and then the youth would go to their youth room and the adults would go to the upstairs meeting room and I would join my parents in prayer. I remember the smells of the room and the hard folding chairs. When it was time for prayer, everyone would get on their knees on the bare linoleum floors. The hard floors would hurt my knees so I would lay down on the floor as the parents would pray. I would often just fall asleep.
As we moved into the 60’s, prayer began to stop in the church. And yet, as a teenager, I never stopped praying. I knew in my heart that God heard my prayers. I just knew if people would pray, God would answer and move on their behalf.
Fast forward to the late 80’s. We moved to Nashville, TN and I was a leader in woman’s ministry at our church. We had many programs for the women, and many Bible studies. But, surprisingly, there was no prayer. I knew God wanted me to start a class on prayer but I knew nothing about teaching prayer. My friend suggested I buy a little book called “What Happens When Women Pray”. So I went to the Bible book store and bought this book by Evelyn Christenson. I never realized how this book would change my life and the lives of so many woman in our Baptist church.
The book was interesting because it was the story of how God taught Evelyn to pray effective prayers. The first two or three chapters described how her prayer group was asked to be the assigned prayer group for a Billy Graham Crusade that was coming to their city. The first meeting Evelyn opened up by reading Ps. 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not hear my prayers”. She said, that is where we start…by getting rid of sin in our hearts.
The group followed James 5 by confessing their sins one to another. The Holy Spirit showed them sins they never recognized before. One woman confessed pride, she never saw herself as a prideful person before. And yet the scriptures tell us we all deal with the Pride of life, the lust of the eye, and the lust of the flesh. God used His Word to expose sin and to teach them about what sin was. One of the women loved to talk about others, she never thought of it as gossip. They soon realized they all gossiped and so they confessed and repented of their sins of gossip.
They soon realized that confessing sin wasn’t enough. They had to stop doing the sin and repent of and change their behavior. Words are cheap, you can say you are sorry all day long, but your behavior has to be a demonstration of your words. It was amazing how God kept them in this process of confessing and repenting for several weeks. And through the process their lives were totally transformed. Evelyn Christenson said over and over in her book, “prayer will change you,” and she was right.
I remember teaching my first little group of ladies and together we learned about sin and repentance and then we would practice what we learned. Some of the ladies had never prayed out loud before. I learned how to encourage them by teaching them how to pray subject by subject and to pray short sentence prayers. It was awesome to watch the transformation, they not only got the confidence to pray boldly, they became prayer leaders.
I remember a conversation I had with one of the women in the group. I said to her, “I don’t know what is making the woman change so quickly” these women have been in Bible study for years”! Suddenly, I had a download from the Holy Spirit. I knew immediately what the cause was for their change. And I spoke it, “it was because the women were confessing and repenting of their sins moment by moment and God was coming in and the sin was going out!
This is a mystery of God! And the enemy, for generations has kept Christians from understanding the power of confessing and repenting of their sins. It’s not enough to talk about confessing and repenting of sin. We have to do it, and in order to do it we must be taught how to do it. I remember sitting under Evelyn Christenson’s teaching. She would lead everyone in her audience through the process so that we all knew how to confess and repent.
It’s now 2016 and my husband and I have been using the teachings about repentance in our State Capitol for years. It’s been miraculous! This principle of confessing of sin and repentance is powerful. It not only transforms individuals but also changes cities, counties, states, and nations. It’s so simple, that even children can learn and see their lives transformed.
It’s true…confessing and repenting is not a one-time transaction, it’s a moment by moment lifestyle that keeps us in right relationship with the Father.
My question to you is, do you want breakthrough in your life or marriage? Do you want transformation in your church? Do you want to see the Great Awakening in our nation? True confession and sorrowful repentance is the Key to opening the door.
Global Intercession/Worship Nashville
State Capitol, Nashville Tennessee USA