Monday, July 24, 2017

Prayers of Confession, First Half of 2017

Every week at Kish we have a prayer of confession. While sometimes I use or adapt something from another source, I usually write these prayers myself. The other day, someone asked me if there was a place they could find past prayers of confession to use for themselves. I thought, given the request, that I'd share the ones I've written over the last 6 months.

LEADER: God of All,
PEOPLE: We come to You and confess that too often we have forgotten that we belong to You. We often live as if You were not there. We regularly fail to bear witness to Your love. We place our identity in so many things that are not You and Your kingdom. Forgive us, we pray, for the atheism of our hearts.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Give us clear eyes to see you, open ears to hear Your voice, and hearts that are tender to Your presence. You have paid for all our sins in Jesus; help us to live our lives testifying to this truth. All we are and have is found in You.
AMEN



LEADER: Gracious God,
PEOPLE: You have made us new creations. In His death, Jesus Christ killed the power of sin. In His resurrection, He opened the way of life to us. At His return, we will rise and live lives filled with the Spirit and life.
You have done this, but we often live much in the old and little in the new. We walk the familiar paths of dead sin. We turn aside from the true life You call us into. We live as if we should eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Teach us to walk in the paths of Your Son, Jesus Christ. As He covers our sin and suffers its guilt, may He also lead us in the ways of truth that we might live forever for Your glory and our true good.
AMEN

LEADER: Sovereign God,
PEOPLE: You are at work in the world. You are moving by Your Spirit. You are speaking through Your Word. Your strong right hand is mighty to save. All of this, but we are timid and half-hearted. We are slow to share the hope of Christ. We are afraid to take the risks of love. We are hesitant to pursue the cause of good. We often let evil grow, not because we cannot stop it, but because we are too cowardly to confront it.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Help us to shake off the chains of fear and to stand confidently in Your love. Forgive us for all the good we could have done, and draw us forward into the good works You have prepared beforehand for us to do.
AMEN

LEADER: Gracious Father,
PEOPLE: We are sinners. We fail in so many ways to live up to our callings in Christ. We do not love You with all that we are; we do not love those around us as much as ourselves. We are sinners, but even more than that, we are proud. We do not acknowledge our failures. We hide them with excuses. We paper over them with bluster. When they are pointed out to us we go on the attack, insulting those who seek to correct us and so multiplying our evils.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Father, forgive us for our crooked hearts and our stiff necks. Convict us of our sin, bring us to repentance, and then cover that sin by the blood of Jesus Christ.
AMEN

LEADER: Merciful Father,
PEOPLE: You are the God who is there. You are not far off from us. You have spoken to us in Your Word. You have come into our midst in Jesus Christ. You dwell in our hearts through Your Spirit.
You are near to us, but we often stray far from You. We make light of Your words. We seek many things besides Christ. We hide from You, and we do not spend time enjoying Your presence.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Though we are faithless, You are faithful. Hear us now as we pray. Forgive our sins, pour Your love into our hearts, and work in us that we might be people who long for and live for Your presence.
AMEN

LEADER: Holy Lord,
PEOPLE: We confess to you that we are sinners. In all kinds of ways we have turned aside from the path of truth. We have thought things unthinkable, said things unspeakable, and done that which You have commanded us not to do. Even more, we have failed to think your thoughts after You, speak the words You have given us, and done the deeds prepared beforehand for us.
[Silent reflection]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Forgive us for the many ways we turn aside from Your will. Cover our sin by the work of Jesus and so work in us that nothing but what is pleasing to You remains. Do this we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ,
AMEN

LEADER: God of Grace,
PEOPLE: You are kind to us. You offer us all that we need, and abundant blessings besides. But we are often ungrateful. We easily turn aside from Your kindness to chase things which will only bring us grief. We take for granted Your provision, and we seek blessing in the fleeting pleasures of sin rather than the joys at Your right hand.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Teach our hearts to savor Your goodness. Help us to seek after the sweet gifts You alone provide. Cover our sin and our draw us back when we stray through the salvation we have in Jesus Christ our Lord.
AMEN

LEADER: Almighty Father
PEOPLE:We enter your presence confessing the things we try to conceal from you and the things we try to conceal from others. We confess the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow we have caused - those things that make it difficult for others to forgive us, the times we have made it easy for others to do wrong, and the harm we have done that makes it hard for us to forgive ourselves.
[Silent Confession]
PEOPLE: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Hear these, our confessions, and may we know Your forgiveness. Have mercy on us and pardon our many faults through Christ Jesus the Lord.
AMEN

LEADER: Gracious God,
PEOPLE: Our first parents, after they had sinned, hid from You in the garden. You who were their creator and the source of all that is good and beautiful - they hid from You. We often hide as well. We seek to hide our sin, we seek to hide our brokenness, we seek to hide ourselves.
Father, in this moment we hide no more. We acknowledge our errors. We confess the many ways we have done wrong and failed to do good. We own our sin and we come to You, desperate for forgiveness.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Father, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: We acknowledge our sin knowing that You are not a God who condemns, but a God who forgives. Cover us in Your mercy. Cover us by the blood of Christ. Pardon us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This we pray in the name of Jesus, our atoning sacrifice.
AMEN

(From Romans 3)
LEADER: Father, this we confess:
PEOPLE: There is none of us who is righteous. Not even one. None of us truly understand; none of us fully seeks God. We all, in our sin, have turned away and become worthless. None of us does good.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Father, this we confess:
PEOPLE: Our throats are open graves. Our tongues lie. Our lips drip with poison. Our mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Our feet are swift to shed blood. Ruin and misery mark our ways, and we do not know the path of peace.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Father, this we confess:
PEOPLE: There is often no fear of God before our eyes.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Father, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: We see in Your perfect law our failures. May all of our mouths be silent and all the earth held accountable to God. None of us will be declares righteous before Your by Your law. All it does is remind us of our sin. Help us to recognize this fact, and draw our hearts towards Jesus so that we might hope in Him.
AMEN

LEADER: Father,
PEOPLE: Our instinct is to cover up our sin. To hide it from You, from the world, from ourselves. We pretend like we are better than we are; we get angry when our faults are on display.
In the face of this hypocrisy, we confess to You the truth: we are broken people. Our hearts often run in wicked directions. We break Your law, and we fail to do the good it commands. We have sinned in our minds, in our speech, and with our hands.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Father, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: The greatest tragedy of hiding our sins is that we don't get to experience Your grace in covering them. Forgive us now in Jesus, we pray, and speak to our hearts the good news that we are forgiven. We have the righteousness of Your Son, and it is on His righteousness we stand and in which we pray.
AMEN

LEADER: God of Comfort,
PEOPLE: While we tell ourselves we are seeking happiness, too often what we truly chase is selfish slumber. We seek only a calm surface rather than the depths of joy You offer in Jesus. We pursue fleeting pleasures instead of lasting gladness. We are too easily satisfied, too quickly placated, when we should be pressing ever onward and upward into You.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Hear our prayer,
PEOPLE: Forgive us, Father, for our half-hearted passion. Unsettle us and stir our desires. Remind us that we will always be restless until we find our rest in You. Let us be diligent in seeking after joy, and teach us to recognize that true joy comes from You. All of this we ask in the name of Jesus,
AMEN.

LEADER: Gracious God,
PEOPLE: In Jesus you sum up all the law in but two commandments: to love You with all we are, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We confess that we fail on both counts. We love ourselves much more than You, and place our interests far above our neighbors. We love you with so little of our mind, heart, and strength. We hate and curse those You created, and we hate Your commands and hide Your glory.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: We give thanks that Your call to love rests on the fact that You first loved us. You saved us while we were still sinners. You sought us when we were far off. You love us and forgive us, and this is our hope. Show us Your love and cover these sins even as we confess them.
AMEN

LEADER: God of Healing,
PEOPLE: There is great need in our world, great damage from sin. And You are a great God, worthy of great praises. But despite the greatness of our calling and our Lord, we are often lukewarm and lazy in obedience. We do so little of the good we might. We make so little of most opportunities. You call us to redeem the time, but instead we so often waste it. We confess to You our slowness and sloth.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: Forgive us, Father, for all the ways we fail to embody Your mission. Make up what is lacking in our righteousness with the righteousness of Jesus. Let us experience His grace, and let that experience awaken us from our slumber and drive us toward faith and love.
AMEN

LEADER: Righteous Lord,
PEOPLE: We confess to you our sins, not only in what we have done, but in all that we have failed to do. We have not been diligent in seeking Your face. We have not been wholehearted in loving our brothers and sisters. We have often left good deeds undone, often been content with our comfort and our sloth rather than showing the zeal for Your glory that it demands.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: Forgive us, not only for our sins of commission, but our sins of ommission as well. Fill up all that is lacking in us with the righteousness of Christ, and lead us ever onward into that righteousness as we seek to make Him our own.
AMEN

LEADER: Lord of Truth,
PEOPLE: We confess to you that we often sin in both directions. Your way is a straight path, and when we are not turning aside to the right, we are tempted to turn to the left. In one breath we seek to justify ourselves by our obedience; in the next we disobey. We are both the Pharisee and the publican, the self-righteous and the unrighteous. Forgive us for our legalism and our license, our religious and our irreligious sins.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: Though we like sheep so often stray, You are the good shepherd. You protect us, you seek after us, and you lead us by streams of pure water. Though our sins are as crimson, you wash them white as wool. Forgive us and lead us in the paths of life everlasting.
AMEN

LEADER: Maker and Sustainer,
PEOPLE: You are the God of all glory and grace. Every good thing we have comes from You. All of the greatest things are contained in You. Yet we are so easily distracted. We think little on Your glory. We make little of Your grace. We so quickly focus on created things and lost sight of their Creator. Father, forgive us, we pray.
[Silent Confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Lift our gazes to the heavens that we might remember from whom our help comes. Let Your love draw us ever back to You. Teach us to look ever to Your presence for our hope and to Your throne for our life. Cover our sins in the death of Christ and breathe His new life into us.
AMEN

LEADER: God Alone,
PEOPLE: We confess to you our heart's many idols. We might not pray to statues of stone or wood, but we nonetheless seek after the things of this world rather than You. We put our trust in human approval, our hope in worldly power, our confidence in the bottom line. We serve and sacrifice for money, for pleasure, and for that which passes away. Though we know we should not seek to serve to masters, there are a dozen that compete for our affections with You.
(Silent confession)
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer...
PEOPLE: Cover these our idolatries and the sins they lead us to. Draw us once more to behold Your glory and praise Your name. Bind our hearts to You, that we might not go astray.
AMEN

LEADER: Holy One,
PEOPLE: As we draw near to your presence, we are undone. We are slow to obey and quick to follow our own ways. Your words are life, but we often choose the things of death. Your law is light, but we quickly turn and walk in darkness. Your presence is love unimaginable, but we prefer our petty hates and pride. Forgive us, Lord, for our independence and our self-centeredness.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: Though we are sinful in all these ways, your grace abounds more and more to us. As we repent so you faithfully forgive. Cover our sins, we pray, and cleanse us from our crookedness. Restore us and teach us to follow in Your ways.
AMEN

LEADER: Mighty God,
PEOPLE: We are people who fall far short of Your glory. Your power is shown in the world all around us, but we are often blind to it. Your goodness abounds in a million blessings, but we rarely give you thanks. Your law is written on our hearts, but we deny it with our minds and break it with our hands. We have truly sinned in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. Forgive us, we pray.
[Silent confession]
LEADER: Lord, hear our prayer.
PEOPLE: We are sinful people, but your are far more gracious than we could ever dare to hope. Let the blood of Jesus wash us of our guilt. Let His righteous life stand as our obedience. Let His resurrection be for us new life, and let the power by which you worked in it be at work in us as well.
AMEN

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