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  • Nick McDonald

The Sinner's Prayer


There was a day this week when I ate too much, and not just too much, but far too much, like my body had been invaded Hyde-like and pounced upon every scrap and morsel it’s barbaric nostrils got wind of. And that is the way temptation always comes to me, not like a little offer or a clever Satanic witticism but like an invading barbarian sacking all my ramparts.


Paul says when he sins it is no longer he who sins but sin that lives within him. Well I don’t relate to that. I for one wish my sin would decide on its address instead of breaking in through the cracks of my windows and sacking all of my belongings at midnight, plundering me when I’m depleted.


I feel more like the man Jesus describes whose demon takes a hiatus and returns with seven of his cronies, flicks on the football game and fries chicken wings in the basement. And, Jesus adds, “the final condition of that man is worse than at first.” No kidding.


In Christian circles there is a prayer we’re taught, the “Sinner’s Prayer”, to receive Christ and become a Saint: “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.” But the Saint’s prayer isn’t all that different as it happens. Here’s Paul, reprised:


“Wicked man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?”

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