Workplace Prayers:
When You’ve Done Something Morally Wrong

By Mark D. Roberts

January 8, 2021

Scripture – Psalm 51:1-2 (NRSV)

Have mercy on me, O God,
+++according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
+++blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
+++and cleanse me from my sin.


When you have done something morally wrong in the workplace, it’s important to own it before God, to confess what you have done so that you might experience God’s forgiveness and cleansing. God will give you a clean heart. He will put a new and right spirit within you, by his grace through Jesus Christ.


Gracious God, I come before you today with a heavy heart. I come to confess my sin to you. I don’t want to pretend anymore. My soul needs the clarity and cleansing that comes with confession.

Lord, you know what I did, but I need to tell it to you straight. [Tell the Lord plainly what you did wrong. Don’t make excuses. Just tell the truth.]

O Lord, I know I shouldn’t have done that. In fact, I knew at the time that I was doing something wrong, something dishonoring to you. But I gave in to temptation. That’s not an excuse, Lord. It’s just what happened. “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” (Psalm 51:3-4).

As I confess to you, I count on your grace. Thank you, dear Lord, for your forgiveness. Thank you for cleansing my mind and heart.

If the wrong I did injured others, help me to go to them, to seek forgiveness, and to make amends. Help me, I pray, not to give in to this temptation in the future.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

If you are honest with God about your sin, God will forgive you, cleanse you, and renew you.

This week I’ve been highlighting our Road Ahead cohorts. If you’re in a time of transition, whether you’re just getting going in your career, or you’re considering retirement, or you’re somewhere in between, the Road Ahead can help you clarify God’s calling in your life.

For Further Reflection

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
+++slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
+++nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
+++nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
+++so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
+++so far he removes our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:8-12

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  – 1 John 1:8-9

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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Best of Daily Reflections: What Can You Offer to God?

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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