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The Real Sinner's Prayer > Day 6

Scripture Reading: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (Psalm 51:3) 


Apart from the Holy Spirit convicting and convincing the sinner of his ruined, lost, helpless, and hopeless condition, there is no hope of the sinner’s salvation. Until the sinner sees himself clearly in the desperate straits of the fallen human condition, he will feel neither need nor urgency to cry out to Heaven for a miraculous redemption from his humanly inescapable and soul imperiling predicament.


However, after falling under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the sinner will be constrained to acknowledge his inexcusable transgressions to God, due to the inescapable guilt the sinner experiences under the Spirit’s conviction. It was the intolerable and inescapable guilt of his transgressions—“my sin is ever before me”—that drove King David to his knees in confession and contrition. The Spirit convicted and convinced David not only to acknowledge his sin to God, but also to agree with God about his sin. David offered no argument to God in his defense; instead, he acknowledged his guilt and pleaded to God for a merciful pardon upon the basis of his forthright confession.


In his Christian classic, My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers teaches that “the entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance.” He goes on to add that it is “the Holy Spirit who produces these agonies.” If the Rabbis of the Talmud are correct in their belief that King David authored Psalm 119, then, verse 71 of that phenomenal psalm becomes most pertinent to this one. David, along with all penitent sinners, could surely say of his Spirit-induced agonies, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.”


“I fled Him down the nights and days
I fled Him down the path of years…
I clung to every shallow friend
The whistling mane of every wind…
Cause those strong feet kept following the way I sped
But the love that followed overcame the fear that fled…

I shouted to the sky so blue
Please hide me from this One so set on loving me
Came back a voice that sounded like the bursting sea
None will shelter you [from] me…
Finally, I can flee no more
I yielded for Your open door
The prize You sought for so long is finally Yours
Your dark and gloom have hounded me…
Came back a voice that [said]…The dark and gloom…
You could no longer stand
Was after all the shadow of My loving hand
How little worthy of My love could anyone be
Who else could ever love you, save only Me.” (Taken from Michael Card’s lyrical adaptation of The Hound of Heaven, Francis Thompson’s famous poem about the Holy Spirit)

Don Walton