Must I Name Every Sin?

Q. Thanks for an awesome site. Question: In the last paragraph of your article on “Psalm 83” you state that any unconfessed sin will hamper our fellowship with God. How do I know what this unconfessed sin might be? When in prayer, I confess all my sins that I’m aware of and ask God to forgive me for all these sins and also all other sins that I’m not aware of. Am I still out of fellowship with Him because I did not confess those sins that I’m unaware of by name?

A. No. The Lord won’t get you on a technicality. He knows if the intent of your heart is to confess and if it is, you’re covered. What I was talking about is a sin we are aware of but refuse to confess for one reason or another, like pride, stubbornness. or some other feeling of self justification.

I’ve always believed that David’s prayer in Psalm 19 is a good one for confession.

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

David was saying that we don’t always know all the ways in which we’ve sinned, but God does and will forgive us for our unknown sins when we ask in faith.

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