But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
A prayer to live without regret
Holy God, it’s been many years since I accepted your gift of salvation, which along with that gift came forgiveness. And yet, so often I am unable to forgive myself. My heart still twinges when I think of the times I lived in sin. And once saved, I look back at the years I realize I wasn’t fully committed to obeying your Word. I’ve wasted enough time, however, not accepting your grace. I am learning how much you love me, LORD. And with that, I’m working to accept that I am a new person because of your son Jesus. The old me can’t take up any more precious time when you are filling up my heart with overwhelming love. I admit I sometimes need stern admonishment from you to keep me on track. But at other times please send me a gentle kiss or unexpected hug to remind to live in today, not the regrets of the past. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
I don’t know about you but I’ve done some very non-Christian things in my life. I spent about five years of my younger life seeking inappropriate relationships with men. I thought that if I turned over my precious gift of intimacy that I would find love. We can watch endless movies, read countless novels, and dispense wisdom about how fruitless this path is and yet never seem to apply it to our own lives.
The first time I said a desperate prayer was when, at 19, I thought I was pregnant. I begged God to save me from myself. And He did. I don’t really know why since I know others were not. I bargained with God to do His part and I would stop such reckless behavior. And I did not. I wasn’t a Christian at the time – although I believed in God. So maybe He was giving me a few allowances. I won’t know until the day of my eternity when I can ask Him.
Fast forward a few years and I was a young mother with two kids. I was a Christian by then. And yet I continued, time after time, to disobey God. Boy did that lead to a lot of unnecessary hardship. Of these two situations it’s actually this second that I tend to regret the most. Because I truly knew better. I think of all the wasted hours of tears and painful relationships I could have avoided. I think of the times I could’ve been a better mother and wife and friend had I just surrendered myself completely to God.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
I realize that by holding on to my forgiven past it’s like a log tied around one ankle. It hinders me to fully grab onto the joy of today and promises of God. It’s not that we need to forget our past. We can learn a lot from our choices and their consequences. But when we accept Jesus as our savior we must accept that we are now changed in our spirit. Sometimes we just need to remind our heart and mind of that change.
Friend, I don’t know what sinful choices you may have made in your past, but Jesus came so we don’t need to live an entire life of repentance for our past regretful choices. We need to turn those sins over to God only once. And turn our faces toward today.
There’s a lot from my past that I’m still working on fully releasing to God. He has already forgiven me for them. I just need to let go of the string and allow them to float into the heavens. With His gentle reminders of His love for us we can be free.
If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!