Jesus told a parable about two people who prayed to God.*  One person thought that he was great and he told God how good he was.  He looked for justice, to get the heavenly reward he thought he deserved.  The other knew how much he had done wrong, as he simply asked God for mercy instead.  Many have similarly found peace with God by sincerely praying a prayer like this one:

“Dear Father in heaven, you know all about me and my situation.  I am truly sorry for my sins, where even my best efforts do not reach your standard of holiness.  I accept that I deserve your judgment, and that on my own there is nothing that I can do to improve myself enough or make up for my sins.

Please forgive me.  I know that I can be forgiven because Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross in my place, for my sins.  I know that you will forgive me because of your great love for me, in Christ.  

Please heal me from the brokenness of the past.  From this moment on, please help me to trust in the risen Jesus, not only as Saviour, but also as Lord of my life.  Thank you for the Holy Spirit in my heart to give me the strength and guidance I need to do your will, and to teach me from your Word, the Bible.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your great love and forgiveness, my new relationship with you, my new life in Christ, and for the certainty of eternal life with you for ever.  Amen.”

*Read the story in Luke 18:9-16.  See also; Romans 2:1-11, 3:20-28, 8:9-39, 12:1-21, John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians. 2:8-9.