In this article, we will look at how to confess your sins directly to God through prayer. This text is only meant to be a rough guide; it is not a fixed ritual that must be performed exactly like this. What is important here is the personal connection with God and the sincere connection with Him more important than the exact form.
Furthermore, this text assumes that you already know what a sin is and that it is not good. It also assumes that you already know Jesus (a little bit) and trust Him!
Table of Contents
Step 1: Become aware of your sin
The first step in confessing sin is to become aware of your sin. Since you landed on this article, I strongly assume you are already far along in this step.
Be very specific about sin. An “I messed up” is not a description of sin. What sin exactly do you want to confess? Have you been unkind to a person? Then become aware of which person.
Since there are many sins that can be described here, here are some examples of what a good description looks like:
- I grumbled at the cashier for no reason.
- I took something from my brother without asking
- I denied being a Christian when asked about it.
Put this in writing or memorize it.
Step 2: Begin your prayer with thanksgiving
It’s best to go to a private room where it’s just you. Confessing your sins is between you and God. No other person needs to sit in between. However, it may be useful to have an experienced Christian help you with the confession. This does not have to be the case. (And yes: that includes priests).
Then begin your prayer. Tell God that you trust Him and that He will give you your grace. Begin your prayer directly with gratitude for this possibility.
Step 3: Confess your sin to God
In the third step, you tell God what exactly you did wrong and see that it is wrong. What you formulated in the first step will help.
If you want to add more at this point, you can! It is not a problem to confess several sins to God at once – it does not matter how big or small the sin is; you can confess all of them.
However, more important than the exact listing of every little sin is the attitude that you have done something wrong. Admit it without any excuses!
It is very easy to blame others or to find a reason why it might have been okay. Classic examples of such “justification” are sentences like:
- But he started it!
- But I had a really bad day!
- But then I would have gotten in trouble again!
Please leave out these sentences! Just say it out!
Step 4: Thank God again
After that, thank God again for allowing you to commit your sins and for forgiving you for them!
At the latest at this point your sins are forgiven and you have no more punishment to expect from God. This message is always great news!
Step 5: Draw consequences
However, you should still draw personal consequences. Even though God forgives everything when you confess the sin to Him, you should make it a habit not to confess your sin too often.
Therefore, think about how you should react next time in the situation where you committed the sin. Then try to react better or say something different next time.
You certainly won’t always know exactly what would have been the better thing to do – but for that, as Christians, we have been given a helper: The Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you not to sin in the future.
He will follow your request and somehow show you what to do. Often you already know what “would be better” to do: For example, apologize or make payment or something like that.
Summary: This is how you confess your sins to God through prayer
To confess your sin(s) to God do the following steps:
- Recognize your sin
- Confess your sin
- Thank God for forgiveness
- Ask God for help
Please take this only as a guideline, a good guide for practice, and not a fixed ritual that is unchangeable. Always let God guide you.