I began to see something a while back that has changed my view of my prayer life and especially the concept I have always had of "confessing" sins.  It all began one day as I was reading I Jn. 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."  Earlier (v.7) John had said if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have FELLOWSHIP one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from ALL sin."  That got me to thinking. . . this says I can have fellowship with God!  To me, fellowship is always a two way communion.  So if I am in the light, I have fellowship with God.  To put it another way, I send and receive.  In my prayer life, I have spent most of it sending, and most of the time receiving only from the stand point that God hears and may answer a request with a yes, no or not now.  But these verses seem to indicate a more intimate and definite fellowship we can have with God.  So I dug a little deeper.

I discovered that the word "confess" really means agree or acknowledge. That was a real eye opener!  Then I thought, hmmm..that means that my confessing does not originate with me.  I am merely repeating or agreeing with what God calls sin.  I don't know about you, but I had been taught and tried to practice that we must come to God often and tell Him how we sinned, name them one by one (remember that hymn?).  But that is *me* coming up with a list.  It seems to me John is saying that in our fellowship, communing, meditating, praying, God will take the initiative
and point out what offends Him.  THAT (what He points out) is what we confess (in the light of His presence).  It's so simple, what God shows us to be confessed is what we confess.. we just agree with His assessment and say, "Yes Lord that is a sin, I agree, thank You for the blood of Jesus.  This is such good news!  I have even had times when I knew of a bunch of sins (big pile I hadn't "confessed" yet), but in the light, in fellowship with Him, I do not sense any need to go through MY list, but maybe one or two "lesser" sins (in my eyes), is what I am brought to confess.  The key, to me is walking in the light, being in fellowship with Him and letting Him touch an area in my life.  Once you see that in His light, you have two choices: either agree, or call Him a liar and say *that* is not sin (I Jn. 1:10).

One final point, kinda technical, but it just confirms the idea of confessing.  In using a Greek study guide, I learned that the Greek word confess (Strongs # 3670) grammatically, is written in what is called the Present Subjunctive Mood which means it infers "continuous or repeated action, without implying anything about the time of the action."  What I get from that is this: confession is not a one time a day thing.  It goes on over and over through out our day.  As we are walking in the light, maybe driving in the car, listening to music, sitting at work, or alone with God in our prayer closet, anytime, anywhere, He can point out something in our life that offends Him (and usually it has offending someone else).  We simply acknowledge that in spirit and continue on with our daily living.  Perhaps later more is required, such as going to the one that was offended or seeking the Lord further about this particular sin.

 Here's the best part.  In the light, in the fellowship, the blood of Jesus cleanses us of ALL SIN; notice that is singular not plural (IJN. 1:7).  That doesn't mean we don't have sins (plural) but it is all taken care of automatically.  But notice again v.9, He forgives our sins (plural) the ones we confess at that time (in the light of fellowship), but it gets even better!  He even cleanses us of ALL unrighteousness. 

Seeing this has helped me so much.  It has changed my prayer life and lifted such a heavy burden off me.  It has proven once more how desperately God wants an intimate, personal relationship with each one of us.  The thing that hinders fellowship is our sins.  God initiates our restoration by pointing out what He desires we need to confess or agree with Him that is standing in the way of our continued fellowship with Him.  We just say amen Lord, and the blood of Jesus does the rest!