When we sin, when we backslide, when we grieve the Spirit of God by our wilful or non-wilful actions, how are we restored to The One we love?
We must repent.
What exactly does this look like? Are our tears enough? Is our heart’s resolution enough? Is making up our mind not to sin again enough?
“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto Him…”Hosea 14:1-2
Repentance is accompanied with prayer. We must pray with our words when repenting. The prodigal said, “I will arise and go to my father and *say* to Him…”
Psalm 51 is an account of David’s words of repentance.
Peter’s repentant words after denying Christ aren’t recorded in Scripture but doubtless, those bitter tears had some words with them, however few. He was probably too alarmed at what his mouth had just done for Him to open it to say anything immediately but there’s no doubt that He prayed.
No such thing as a wordless repentance. Yes, the state of the heart matters but out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speak.
How can we feel so much regret for sin so as to be silent?
“They who would have help and comfort against all sins and sorrows must come to God with words of prayer. Barrenness and want of words to go unto God are blameworthy. This is for consolation: if they can take words, and can pray well, they shall speed well.” – Richard Sibbes
Is He asking for an elaborate speech? Or a sequel to Psalm 51? No.
He tells us what to say to Him when we return in repentance:
“Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously…”(Hosea 14:2)
What we need is an acknowledgment of our sin and a request for restoration from God who has the prerogative of distributing His mercy upon whom He will.
Finally, who is the beneficiary of our words of repentance? The Uriahs we sinned against?
“Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.”Psalms 51:4
Please have mercy on me, Lord.
“He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, And it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, And his life shall see the light.”Job 33:27-28