2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

Another dimension of prayer is the “prayer of repentance.”  Repentance means to “changes one’s mind and direction.”  Therefore, when people sin against God’s holy and just commands they should pray this kind of prayer to receive forgiveness.  Paul in the above verse notes that true repentance comes with “godly sorrow” and that it “leads to salvation” and “leaves no regret.”

Godly sorrow is a positive response brought about by God’s Spirit in our heart when we sin.  When we sin against God, the Holy Spirit convicts our conscience on the inside and lets us feel a sense of guilt and sadness.  This grieving in the soul is not to bring condemnation or hopelessness, but rather a sorrow produced by God that will remind us of God’s strong hatred towards all disobedience- whether it is big or small in the eyes of man.

Therefore, the prayer of repentance is first and foremost prayed when the sinner is convinced that they are a lawbreaker in the eyes of God who deserve eternal punishment.  As a result, when the sinner cries out to God from their sorrow of sin they receive forgiveness and salvation.

Also, the prayer of repentance is not just for the sinner but also for the saint when they sin and break one of God’s precious commands.  The Holy Spirit will come and grieve the heart of the believer and make them aware of their treason against God.  Thus, when the believer is made aware of his or her sin and truly feels God’s sorrow they can pray and receive forgiveness too.

In contrast, some people just “feel bad” about their sins and wrong doings with only a “worldly sorrow.”  A worldly sorrow is the mindset of self-pity and hopelessness.  They may say, “I’ll never change, I’ll always be like this- nobody is perfect.”  However, this sorrow doesn’t lead to life but rather death because it comes from man’s emotions.  Thus, true repentance produces sorrow brought about by God and leads to forgiveness and life.

Here is an example of the prayer of repentance in regards to the sin of perversion, “Father I come to You in the name of Jesus asking for You to forgive my sins of lust and perversion.  I know I have broken your law and have fallen short of your glory.  Please wash me in the blood of Jesus and make me as white as snow.  Create a new heart within me and give me a willing spirit to always obey you.  Thank you for your mercy and loving kindness, Amen.”

Therefore, make time everyday to search your heart and see if there is any wicked way in you.  And when God brings godly sorrow into your heart pray the prayer of repentance and receive blessed forgiveness.


Are there any things in your life you have godly sorrow for?


  1. Ask God, by the Holy Spirit, to convict you of any and all sins.
  2. Be sensitive in your heart to the Lord giving you godly sorrow for your sins.
  3. Pray the prayer of repentance and be cleansed and forgiven of all sin.