It was many years ago. I was just doing some chores around the house, thinking about God, enjoying the sense of His presence. I had had a good quiet time with my Savior that morning, though nothing extraordinary. I hadn’t just come out of any recent rebellion, where I felt the weight and guilt of an unconfessed sin lifted from my shoulders. No. I was simply at rest in my heart, knowing I was right with the Creator of my soul. That’s when the Holy Spirit led me to pray this prayer:
Lord, if You make me aware of me of any sin and I don’t repent immediately, please make me so miserable that I can’t stand it!
I’m sure to some of you, that seems like the craziest thing to pray.
Things we want, life to go smoothly, the removal of a trial, comfort, wisdom, etc.—those are the type of requests we make to our Maker. But asking for misery? That’s preposterous!
May I suggest that it’s a prayer that honors and pleases God.
It shows that you:
- Have a healthy reverent fear of God.
- Are humble and submissive.
- Realize the seriousness of your sin and how it displeases Him; that you want to stop sinning against Him.
- Have tasted and seen that He is good.
- Nothing else compares to being right with the Savior of your soul
- Consider your relationship with Him of utmost importance.
My Lord has never not answered that prayer and I am glad!
Do I like the heaviness of conviction on my soul at the time? Do I enjoy seeing the ugliness of my sin? Silly questions.
However, I have finally come to the place where
I no longer dread the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
In His kindness, He is simply making me aware that I am, or about to go, off course—much like an air traffic controller tells a pilot he’s off course. If he’s off track by just 1 degree, he will not wind up where he wants to land, and possibly end up in disaster. I don’t want that in my Christian walk—and neither do you.
God desires that you and I remain in right fellowship with Him.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Lk 13:34; see also Deut 10:12-16, Deut 30:9-10, Jn 15:9-11, Rev 21:3).
But since our hearts (due to our sinful nature) often deceive us (Jer 17:9), we need Him to point out when we’re not right with Him. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult for me to admit my guilt. How about you? That’s when I need Him to help me repent—hence my prayer: “Lord, make me miserable if I don’t repent.”
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. (2 Cor 7:10)
So I dare you to pray this prayer. And I also promise that you won’t be sorry if you do!
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Ps 16:11)*
Search me, O God, and know my heart…. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life [i.e. His right path]. (Ps 139:23-24)
*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
All other Scripture taken from New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.