‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
I have a friend who feels guilty every time she asks for prayer, or when she herself asks God for anything. This, in turn, causes her great anxiety as well, and it doesn’t matter that I repeat the verse above to her over and over again, she still feels like she has no right to ask the Almighty for anything.
Many Christians share this same guilt and anxiety. They hold on to the things in their lives that need to be dealt with, the trials, the heartaches, the past mistakes, and the ‘old man’ they once were. They tend to miss the very meaning of the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ Because of guilt from their pasts, many Christians still carry their forgiven sins around with them, like a badge that has some merit. However, we are told in scripture that once Jesus has forgiven our sin, He tosses it away, to be remembered no more by Him. Unfortunately, sometimes we are the ones who choose to remember it, much to our detriment.
Forgiveness of sin is one of the many promises in the Bible. Once we are saved by our acceptance of Christ Jesus, we have no further need for guilt, or self-condemnation. It is true, that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but because of the cross, because of Jesus’ sacrifice and subsequent resurrection, all we need do is confess our sins to Him, and He will forgive them. There is no need to walk around in misery, reliving our guilt, our bad choices, all the sorrow we have suffered, and possibly caused others. It is a new day, every single day, made possible by a loving God who gave His only begotten Son so that we may have eternal life (John 3:15).
So go ahead and present your requests to God. Take the time to have a personal conversation with Him, give Him due praise and worship, and include thanksgiving for all He has done for you. He loves to hear from His children, and He will never heap guilt on you, or any kind of rebuking, simply for asking Him for the things that you have need of. He already knows this before you even tell Him. He is your Father, and He loves to hear and answer your requests!
‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)