Jesus, please give me the fresh start you gave to Peter on the beach. O Lord, help me to love you and to learn from his journey of change into a man you used so powerfully. O God, I pray his words back to you now, and cry out for courage to take the next step—one step back towards faithfulness.
Read John 13:38. Father, I thought I meant it. I really did want to resist this time. . . to turn away from the desire that has bullied and hounded me. I’m sorry, Lord. I didn’t see temptation coming. Like Peter, I denied you last night—running away from you, refusing to pray, ignoring the Spirit’s warnings—even as I stepped toward sexual sin.
Read Psalm 40:1–2; 32:1–11; Mark 9:23–25. Oh Lord, I’m so discouraged. . . sad. . . beaten down. Help! Help me to not slide into despair. Hear my cry, Lord. Help me believe that you can reach my heart and lift me up out of this sinful mess I jumped into. Again. Cause me to hear your words of forgiveness, mercy, and hope. I want to believe but, God, it seems impossible that the change you promise actually works.
Read James 5:16, 1 John 1:5–7. God, I know that if I make friends with this sin, like I’ve done so many times, it will crush me. I’ll be honest: I don’t feel bad about how this grieves you, Father. I hate the guilty way I feel afterwards. I hate the shame and self-hatred that pounds me down into the ground. And I’m so angry that now I must tell my accountability helper that I lied about how I was really doing.
“You’re with me, God, and that will never change.”
Read Psalm 32:3; 143:7–8. I want to want godly sorrow. O God, give me the gift of tears (2 Cor. 7:9) over my fantasy life/pornography addiction/secret affair/cravings toward sex with my same-sex bestie/hooking up with my girlfriend every weekend/wearing my wife’s clothing/sex with myself. I can’t stay silent for another day about this pattern that controls me. Groaning, sighing, crying—please hear me and let me hear a fresh word of your love today, Lord.
Read John 21:15–17; Luke 22:31–32. Lord Jesus…thank you. I just remembered your walk on the beach with Peter after he had messed up so badly in denying you. You had just fed him, and I wonder if he feared what you’d say to him after breakfast? Would you mock, shame, or call him out in front of his friends? And me—will you finally crush me down, Lord, after confessing the same thing to you for the hundredth time?!
But your conversation with Peter warms me. You invited him to express his love for you on that beach.