Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:1-7, NLT)
Confession is when we invite God right into the messiest places of our lives and ask Him to cleanse and heal. It requires a truthfulness with ourselves and with Him. We abandon our attempts at self-salvation, admit our failures at self-righteousness, and simply turn to Jesus for forgiveness.
Set aside some time today to think back through the past few days or even weeks. Ask God to help you be honest about your thoughts, actions and attitudes during that time. If there is something there that you regret or feel guilty about, use this psalm as a guide for a confessional prayer.