Prayers of confession may be framed as ‘the prayers of who we are’ (Dorothy McRae-McMahon) rather than the liturgist listing all the ‘failures’ that people might ‘confess’. Allow people to have silence, in which they may know themselves as beloved and have the courage to face who they are and to see themselves as God sees them. Provide an introduction (see example below), followed by silence, followed by words of assurance.
‘Prayer is an act of openness. When we pray, we participate in the ultimate practice of humanness as we yield to a Power greater than ourselves. Our best prayers engage in candor about our lives, practice vulnerability, run risks, and rest in confident trust’.
(Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People)
Scriptural links for prayers of confession/words of assurance here.
Listening God, sometimes we pray confidently, trusting in your love. Sometimes we approach you fearfully, conscious of our own failure. Sometimes we are reluctant to pray, evading your call to us. Sometimes our prayer is a snatched moment in the hassle of activity. But always you hear us. And so we have confidence in your company, to know ourselves as you know us, and to bring our confessions. A time of silence is kept.
(incorporating a prayer from InsideOut, Feb 2009, Issue 53, Council for World Mission)
Nothing is lost
(this would be beautiful to read in a reflective service, followed by silence for contemplation, and possibly a song like ‘Come and find the quiet centre‘ – lyrics here).
All through your life, the most precious experiences seem to vanish. Transience turns everything to air. You look behind and see no sign even of a yesterday that was so intense. Yet in truth, nothing ever disappears, nothing is lost. Everything that happens to us in the world passes into us. It all becomes part of the inner temple of the soul and it can never be lost.This is the art of the soul: to harvest your deeper life from all the seasons of your experience. This is probably why the soul never surfaces fully. The intimacy and tenderness of its light would blind us. We continue in our days to wander between the shadowing and the brightening, while all the time a more subtle brightness sustains us. If we could but realize the sureness around us, we would be much more courageous in our lives. The frames of anxiety that keep us caged would dissolve. We would live the life we love and in that way, day by day, free our future from the weight of regret.
(Source: John O’Donohue, Excerpt from ‘Beauty’)
Some folks are sure there’s no God there –
the one, of course, who never was.
Abandon proof of what you know to be imaginary.
Instead: Have you ever known love?
Have you ever felt the wash of a stream
flowing through you from the impossible?
Have you felt a surge of self-giving
not of your own making,
toward a neighbor, a lover, a child?
Has water ever flowed unexpectedly?
Have you ever followed a silent Voice,
from a dry rock drunk deeply?
Don’t argue over someone else’s fantasy.
Believe, not in the treasure in someone else’s field
but the gem you stumble on in your own.
What mystery allures, believe in that.
What deep root sustains, believe in that.
What births love in this world, believe in that.
You may doubt you have been provided for –
but are you here? Are you breathing? Are you –
your hands, your thoughts – not a work of wonder?
Ignore the idea that has nothing to do with you.
Turn to the One who draws you into wondering,
who gives you this thirst, who is this asking.
A time for silent reflection
Drink plenty from this deep-welled strangeness.
Throw your life into the fire of love
and whatever catches fire, follow that,
and believe in the fire.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes,Unfolding Light)
A poem for thoughtful reflection: Sweet darkness
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.
It’s time to go into the night
where the dark has eyes
to recognize its own.
It’s time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognise its own.
There you can be sure you are not beyond love.
The dark will make a home for you tonight.
The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.
You must learn one thing. You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong. Sometimes it takes darkness
and the sweet confinement of your aloneness
to learn anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
(Source: David Whyte, River Flow and The House of Belonging)
The word of Love is perfect, reviving the soul
the wisdom of God is solid, enlightening those who are open. …
But who can see themselves clearly enough?
Save me from my own hidden faults.
Don’t let me be insulting; don’t let nastiness come over me. …
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
(Psalm 19.7, 12-13, 14)
God of love, may I think and speak
in harmony with your graciousness.
May I speak only what is truthful and loving,
what is born of your grace in me.
May I speak with compassion and humility
in blessing, not cursing,
in reverence, not pride.
Give me wisdom to see myself honestly,
to know my own faults,
to see your light in me and all that hides it,
and the same in others as well.
Keep me from blaming born of a fearful ego,
but let me speak your encouragement and truth.
May the words I speak and the thoughts I harbor
reflect your tender compassion,
your forgiveness of me and all people,
O God, my truth and my love.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)
Prayers of who we are: We Are Holy and Blameless
We are holy,
Not in the sense of any rightness within us,
But because we are in a relationship of rightness,
In connection with you,
Set in meaning and purpose,
Enfolded in love and grace,
For you hold us in special significance.
We are holy because you gift that it is so.
We are not called to into a division of us and them,
Nor an in and out of righteous and unrighteous.
People should see you in us,
Just as we should see ourselves in each other.
Our holiness should not set ourselves apart from others,
But bring others into connection with you,
For that is what it means to disciple others,
That is to turn our minds to you,
And how we are to you. A silence is kept.
We are blameless,
Not excused from our wrong or failings
But not held to blame,
Held without blame,
Enfolded in love and grace.
For blame relates to blasphemy,
That is it is an out of sync with who you are,
A standing outside your will, purpose and way.
We are blameless,
For you look at us in love,
Seeing us as your own,
Overlooking our frailties, flaws and failures,
Focusing on the who you know we can be and may be. A silence is kept.
We are holy and blameless,
Enfolded in love and grace,
Set in meaning and purpose
In connection with you,
That we might hold others,
and be a conduit for such connection with you.
So may it be. Amen
(Source: Rev Jon Humphries)
Forgive My Trespasses
God of all sides,
I have trespassed,
I have crossed to where I should not go,
I have transgressed boundaries and rules,
I have overstepped to where I thought the grass was greener.
I have stepped over the line you have drawn in the sand.
Forgive me as you forgive the trespasses of others,
May I forgive others as you forgive the trespasses of me.
Lead me back to your pastures,
Teaching me humility and grace on the way.
This I return to you in prayer,
In your Christ. Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries)
Unto whom all hearts are open
‘Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open….’
We rush to the next phrase, but now we linger there.
We ponder our hearts…
our deepest feelings of love and devotion,
our closest organ of vitality,
our place of deep decision-making,
our instrument of being fully ourselves.
Our hearts – that throb for contact with you –
our hearts are always open.
They are not always open by our choice,
for we would like sometimes to
close our hearts and our minds and our hands.
But they are open, because
our hearts cannot resist
your steady care and address.
Our hearts are open for you, very God.
You are the one who has made us
so that our hearts are restless
till they find rest in you. (a time for silent reflection)
Do your mysterious, majestic God-ing with our hearts:
that we may leave your presence
become by your attentiveness whom we
have not yet embraced,
open and receptive,
honest and undefensive,
unafraid and committed to obedience.
Let the pulse of our heart throb now,
according to the cadences of your rule;
command and we will obey,
overrule and we will yield,
lead and we will walk
where we never thought to go.
not unto each other,
not unto our pet projects,
not unto our favourite charity or passion.
Unto you… our hearts are open;
we are yours; be your God – yet again.
(Source: Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People)
Good in Us
Despite the shadow in our souls,
And the evil that we do,
There is much good in us,
For you sowed the seeds of such into our being.
There is much to find hope and joy within the human spirit.
For a people being playful, whatever their age,
For the joy of holding hands,
For smiles from strangers,
For friendship and comradery,
For connection and enrichment,
For compassion and understanding,
For story and meaning,
For creativity and ingenuity,
For moments of kindness given and shared.
For the caring act of someone who stops to help another in need.
For great philanthropy and acts of altruism,
And for small acts of benevolence,
For all who give of themselves to make the world a better place.
For the hope-bringers,
For the care-givers,
For the peacemakers,
For the love-livers,
For all that is good and worthy.
Let us look beyond the sad and lamentable,
The dark and depressing,
The negative and deflating,
And in your vision of who we can be,
Find our better selves,
Just as you set before us in Christ.
Thus, we pray. Amen.
(Source: Jon Humphries)
All desires are known
‘Almighty God, unto whom…all desires are known’.
We rush to the next phrase, but now linger there.
We are creatures inhabited by many desires.
When we hear the word ‘desire’ we first of all think of sex,
and we are propelled by such sexuality
that you have called good but that we fear and distort.
But some of us are shrivelled in sexuality
and can scarcely remember desire.
But the word ‘desire’ reaches deep and wide:
Some of us have traded off sex for money
and we can never have enough;
Some of us are so anxious and we desire
most of all control – to have control, to be in control;
Some of us are so full of hate and resentment,
that we desire most of all to see our enemies overwhelmed:
an old sibling threat,
an alienated lover,
a rival, a competitor,
an Arab, a Jew, a Communist, a gay person.
We spend our energy managing our desires,
waiting on them, investing in them, keeping them hidden.
But you know, and you know by your presence how to change our desires,
because in your presence,
our desires lose their power
as we receive again your look of love,
your powerful embrace,
your steady summons,
and then we know our desires
are all too self-indulgent,
interrupted by the precious psalmist,
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And here is nothing on heart that
I desire other than you”. (A time for silent reflection)
You have made us to desire only you,
you, our beginning and our end,
you, our food and our rest,
you, our joy and our peace.
Turn us from our desires that obsess us.
Unburden us that we may know
our true desire and end in communion with you,
you, who desire us as companion and lover.
(Source: Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People).
Words of assurance: To come home to myself
May all that is unforgiven in you,
May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.
May all that is unlived in you,
Blossom into a future,
Graced with love.
(Source: John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space between us)
“I Will Talk To My Heart” (Tune: ‘Stillness’, Barry Brinson) 69 HoS
(the words may also be spoken to frame prayers of confession)
I will talk to my heart in the stillness,
I will talk to my heart when I pray,
I will let go of all my resentment
till compassion is my inner Way.
Trust the stillness,
trust the oneness,
trust the Way on inner prayer;
trust the stillness
trust the oneness,
trust the life of God we share.
I will watch all my thoughts in the stillness
I will watch all my thoughts when I pray,
I will watch all the stream of my thinking
till compassion is my inner Way.
I will dwell in the space of my oneness,
I will dwell in that space when I pray,
I will let go of all my divisions
till compassion is my inner Way.
(Words: William L Wallace)
A poem by Kevin Hart (Australian poet): “To Christ Our Lord”
My only friend whose face I could not recognise in a crowd,
Whose voice would not make me turn.
Forgive me for thinking such things important,
For trusting in only what I can touch.
How often I tell myself you are not real,
And how often I see you more real than the houses, trees and people that pass and leave me nothing.
When I am left alone in the cool of the evening,
you comfort me .
When I think of all the dead beneath, you open your hand and show them a star is beginning to rise.
How can I speak of you, you without whom there could be no world?
You who saw the first beam of sunlight cling to the world.
Why must silence be so much a part of us,
with you hiding behind a mountain, resting on the other side of the desert
Watching you as I come towards you As I slowly learn about your ways,
about the world that is always between us.
And why I cannot remain the way I am. © Kevin Hart
A silence is kept, followed by Words of Assurance.
A Prayer of Confession
God of mercy and grace,
In this time we pray.
We are good people.
We try to do the right thing.
However, if we think deeply on our lives and connections,
We see that we fall short of being the best that we can be a lot of the time.
We seek to love others,
but at times get caught up in our own problems and issues
We seek to love ourselves,
but at times get caught up in other’s problems and issues.
We seek to be caring,
but at times we end up caring more about ourselves
rather than the deep needs of others
Help up to find forgiveness,
for things that we have done that need forgiveness for which others have been left hurt or disillusioned
Help us to find forgiveness,
for things that we have failed to do or which have gone undone, and for which others have been left in need or uncared for.
Help us to find forgiveness
for things that others have done or failed to do for us, and for which we have been left wounded or disappointed.
God of love and forgiveness,
God of love compassion and redemption
May we find all good things that undo that which is bad
May all share them in this world
So we may each be transformed
and that the world might be transformed with us and through us as we live your love.
This is asked in the name of the Christ, who embodied all these things in his life shared with us. Amen
(Source: Jon Humphries)
Prayer of Confession:
God of Justice and Mercy, we know that we have fallen silent when we should have spoken up. We have ignored the cries of the innocent and joined the crowds in calls of judgment. We have mistaken justice for revenge and have sought punishment to ease our pain. Forgive us, God, for not seeing our own faults, our own sins, and for not holding ourselves responsible for our inaction and injustice. Restore us, God, to the ways Jesus taught us, to drop our stones and instead seek forgiveness and restoration. Call us into the paths of love and reconciliation, knowing Your mercy extends to all of us, Your grace is a gift, and there is nothing we can do to deserve or earn it. Guide us into living into Your forgiveness, peace and reconciliation, in the name of the Prince of Peace. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon:
God has opened our ears and our hearts to know God’s love and forgiveness. There is nothing we need to do other than love one another and love God, for all things come from God’s love. Go forth knowing You have been forgiven and You are restored to God. Live in the way of Christ. Amen.
Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell, http://rev-o-lution.org.
Leslie Brandt paraphrases Psalm 131 as…
“O God, I have failed because I expected too much of myself.
I have fallen because I focused too much on my own success
and reckoned too little with my humanity.
It is time that I still my restless heart and quiet my overambitious spirit. It is far better that I centre my aspirations on God and His will for my life.”
This prayer of confession (used for Pentecost 23C, Luke 18: 9-14)
Lord, spare me from the comfort that would sedate me,
from the certainty that would dull me,
from the beauty that would blind me to injustice,
from the peace that would hide the world’s grief from me,
from the security that would frighten me from the edge of you.
Grant me the blessing to be unfinished, discomforted, unknowing,
to be homesick in this world for the one within it,
to ache for your little ones,
to grieve with the Beloved,
to be powerless for your grace,
to empty myself into your heart.
Lord, spare me from my wishes, that I may be free for you.
Spare me from my little self, that I may be my divine self.
Spare me from my life, that, dying, I may become yours. Amen.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)
Words of Assurance
Friends, Christ calls us to be community together. Everyone has worth, and we are called to protect and uphold the dignity of all, to suspend judgement and to offer welcome, to suspend criticism and to offer hospitality, that with our open arms and open hearts, and expressions of generosity and hospitality, we may enable others to find the freedom to flourish, to live life in all its fulness, and to be all that we have been created to be. Let us therefore join together, woven together as one by Christ’s spirit of compassion, love, hope and generosity.
Words for a sung confession: God of Forgiveness
Words: William Wallace; Tune: Slane
Your Spirit brings freedom
Your Spirit brings freedom,
and so often our lives
are weighed down
by burdens we carry within us.
Forgive us, Lord, we pray.
Your Spirit brings peace,
and so often our lives
are ill at ease,
concerned by what the day will bring us.
Forgive us, Lord, we pray.
Your Spirit brings wisdom
yet we find it so hard
your gentle whisper speaking to us.
Forgive us, Lord, we pray.
May we know the power
that breaks these chains that bind
our hearts and souls,
and grace to live the life you give.
Renew us, Lord, we pray.
©John Birch, from “The Act of Prayer”
God of extravagant love, we acknowledge that your beauty and your presence is not always lived out in our lives.
Forgive us for what we have done which has not honoured you…
For words spoken in anger, wrong priorities, poor attitudes
and deeds that deny or ignore your life transforming love.
Forgive us for what we have failed to do…
Lost opportunities, silence when we should have spoken,
love withheld or forgiveness refused.
Loving God, the Scriptures record the words of the Prophet Isaiah
“do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”
(Source: Frontier Services Sunday 2013)
Life-giving Wind, blow through our souls today!
Show us where we have dug in our heels and refused to grow.
Teach us that we have nothing to fear from change – that Christ’s only power is love,
and that this love, without any weapons, is stronger than death itself.
Source of All that is Good, we offer our silent prayers of confession…….
(Jack Lohr, adapted)
We confess to you, Lord, what we are:
we are not the people we like others to think we are;
we are afraid to admit even to ourselves what lies in the depths of our souls.
But we do not want to hide our true selves from you.
We believe that you know us as we are, and yet you still love us.
Help us not to shrink from self-knowledge;
teach us to respect ourselves for your sake;
give us the courage to put our trust in your guiding power.
Raise us out of the paralysis of guilt and fear
and take us into the freedom and energy of forgiven people.
And for those who through long habit find forgiveness hard to accept,
we ask that you would break their bondage and set them free.
Through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
God of love,
we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed:
we have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.
But you have kept faith with us.
Have mercy on us; strip us of all that is not worthy;
and help us to live up to our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen
we confess to you now that we have sinned.
We confess the sins that no one knows
and the sins that everyone knows.
We confess the sins that are a burden to us
and the sins that do not bother us
because we have grown used to them.
We confess our sins as a church.
We have not loved one another as Christ loved us.
We have not forgiven one another as we have been forgiven.
We have not given ourselves in love and service for the world
as Christ gave himself for us.
Forgive us, O God.
Send the Holy Spirit to us,
That the Spirit may give us power to live as by your mercy, you have called us to live.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gracious God, please forgive our sins,
and set us free from them.
We confess to the sin of pride:
We have been sure of our own goodness and importance
and have looked down on others.
Help us to appreciate the true worth of other people.
We confess to the sin of envy:
We have been displeased when others have been more successful
or sought after than we have been.
Help us to be glad when others prosper.
We confess to the sin of self-indulgence:
We have had enough and more.
Yet we have neglected the needs of others.
Help us to deny ourselves so that others may not be in want.
We confess to the sin of anxiety:
We have worried about many things.
Help us to trust you to see us through.
We confess to the sin of laziness:
We have been lukewarm Christians.
Make us eager to do your will.
We confess to you our sins
and we ask for your forgiveness.
In the name of Christ we pray, Amen.
God of grace and mercy,
you love us, but we have not always loved you.
You call, but we have not always listened.
We know the times we walk away from neighbors in need,
wrapped in our own concerns.
We condone – by our inaction and inattention – evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed.
God of grace, help us to admit our sin,
so that as you come to us in mercy,
we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
in your gracious presence
we confess our sin and the sin of this world.
Although Christ is among us as our peace,
we are a people divided against ourselves
as we cling to the values of a broken world.
The profit and pleasures we pursue
lay waste the land and pollute the seas.
The fears and jealousies that we harbor
set neighbor against neighbor
and nation against nation.
We abuse your good gifts of imagination and freedom,
of intellect and reason,
and have turned them into bonds of oppression.
Lord, have mercy upon us;
heal and forgive us.
Set us free to serve you in the world
as agents of your reconciling love in Jesus Christ. Amen.
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be,
so that we may delight in your will
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Prayer of confession
You create us and accept us as we are, O God:
in the times when we have failed
in our relationship with you and with each other;
in the times when we have passively accepted
injustice done to others;
in the times when we have enjoyed your creativity around us,
but have been afraid to ask for our own healing.
Life-giving Trinity, raise us from our pain and brokenness;
touch us, heal us and strengthen us,
so that we may live in the wholeness you desire;
to the glory of your name. Amen.
For use in worship, with acknowledgement. © Jeff Shrowder 2000, 2012.
you pardon all who truly repent and turn to you.
We humbly confess our sins and ask your mercy.
We have not loved you with a pure heart,
nor have we loved our neighbor as ourselves.
We have not done justice, loved kindness,
or walked humbly with you, our God.
Have mercy on us, O God, in your loving-kindness.
In your great compassion,
cleanse us from our sin.
Create in us a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within us.
Do not cast us from your presence,
or take your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation
and sustain us with your bountiful Spirit. Amen.
In his book on emerging or progressive Christianity, The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg questions whether “sin” is the best term for describing our human condition before God. His argument isn’t merely theological, but liturgical: “The nearly universal liturgical element of ‘confession of sin and absolution’ might be replaced or complemented by a ‘declaration of what ails us and God’s promise to us'” (p. 170). He continues in a note: “I am not suggesting these exact words as ‘liturgical headings.’ I would hope more elegant phrases could be found, but I am suggesting the notion that lies behind these words” (p. 185, n. 8).
(adapted from http://worshiphelps.blogs.com/worship_helps/2007/01/emerging_confes.html)
Dorothy McRae-McMahon uses the headings The Prayers of who we are (our human condition), and Words of Assurance.
Here’s another couple of headings that can provide the framing for prayers of confession.
Recognition of Exile and Hope of Restoration
God, alone in whom our hearts find their rest, we have awakened to find ourselves far from home. Our paths have led us away from you. We feel lonely and fear we are abandoned. Here, your word seems foreign to us, and we struggle to join in the music of worship. In your faithfulness, show us your presence once again, that we, too, may rejoice with all who call upon your name.
We have a good shepherd who searches for lost sheep. The Spirit of God still blows through the wilderness and prays for us. Thanks be to God. Amen.
(btw, this would be especially appropriate to use on Easter 4, when the Good Shepherd reading and Psalm 23 are included in the RCL lectionary)
Words of Assurance
Our actions sometimes show we do not know God. Our words and lives show we do not understand God’s hopes for us. But with utmost patience, God sets aside our foolishness, and fills us with mercy.
Mingled with faith and love, grace is poured into our sin-parched souls, giving us new life, restoring us as God’s children. Thanks be to God. Amen.
(Source: Thom Shuman)
Admission of Bondage and Words of Deliverance
(this needs a particular pastoral context)
Listening God, hear our cries. We are not free. We have enslaved ourselves and others to debt and despair. We are bound by vain desires, and our liberty to love is curtailed by bad habits. Our emotions hold us hostage to wrongs, real and imagined. In our bondage we are less than what you call us to be. Hear and answer us, we pray, in the name of him who came to set prisoners free.
The God of the Israelites has shown us the way of exodus. Forsaking what lies behind, we follow our liberating Lord. When we are weak in faith and strength, the Holy Spirit provides daily bread and springs of living water, that we may complete our journey in the land of promise. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Here’s a prayer by Bruce Prewer along the lines of ‘the prayers of who we are‘ (our human condition) rather than a focus on ‘sin’.
Jesus said: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. You are truly my friends if you do what I command you.” Let us make our confession.
Most holy God, most of the time we see ourselves as nice people, who are trying to do the loving thing in a difficult world. We try not to lie, cheat, malign, abuse or injure others. We try to serve you through the church and within the community. We pray for peace and justice, and we attempt to forgive those who sin against us. By the standards of love in the wider community we have not done so badly.
Yet deep within we know how far we fall short of the love-standard set by Jesus, and we even fall beneath the level that our own ideals have set us. We feel compromised and mislead by this hustling world with its glitter. We become frustrated and undermined by a negativity within ourselves which diverts us and leads us into withholding love.
Loving God, we certainly need your pardoning grace and humbly we ask for it. But also we need much more.
We seek the grace of self honesty, and a sharper awareness of our own hearts.
We need your illuminating Light, helping us to see through the humbug of society.
We need to allow ourselves to become saturated with your love.
We ask for the spur of your Spirit to make us more eager for the art of true loving, and more determined to practice what we preach.
Grant us these graces we pray. Amen!
Words of Assurance
In God, Source of Life,
our deaths are not the final word,
our moments of crisis are part of eternal possibility,
and our weakness is taken up into the courage of God.
As followers of Jesus of the Way,
our humanness is touched with divine life,
our tears are mingled with longing love,
and our solidarity with those who suffer
is joined by divine presence.
In the Spirit of Creativity,
there are no boundaries on the dream,
there is no end to hope,
and we will never live beyond the cherishing of God.
God of grace and truth,
in Jesus Christ you came among us
as light shining in darkness.
We confess that we have not welcomed the light,
or trusted good news to be good.
We have closed our eyes to glory in our midst,
expecting little, and hoping for less.
Forgive our doubt, and renew our hope,
so that we may receive the fullness of your grace,
and live in the truth of Christ the Lord. Amen.
God of glory,
you sent Jesus among us as the light of the world,
to reveal your love for all people.
We confess that our sin and pride
hide the brightness of your light.
We turn away from the poor;
we ignore cries for justice;
we do not strive for peace.
In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin,
and baptize us once again with your Spirit,
that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth your glory
shining in the face of Jesus Christ. Amen.
God of mercy,
you sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost.
We confess that we have strayed from you
and turned aside from your way.
We are misled by pride,
for we see ourselves pure when we are stained,
and great when we are small.
We have failed in love,
and ignored your truth.
Have mercy, O God, and forgive our sin.
Return us to paths of righteousness
through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
God of power and vulnerability,
in raising Jesus from the grave,
you shattered the power of sin and death.
We confess that we remain captive to doubt and fear,
bound by the ways that lead to death.
We overlook the poor and the hungry,
and pass by those who mourn;
we are deaf to the cries of the oppressed,
and indifferent to calls for peace;
we despise the weak,
and abuse the earth you made.
Forgive us, God of mercy.
Help us to trust your power
to change our lives and make us new,
that we may know the joy of life abundant
given in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, you poured your Spirit upon gathered disciples
creating bold tongues, open ears,
and a new community of faith.
We confess that we hold back the force of your Spirit among us.
We do not listen for your word of grace,
speak the good news of your love,
or live as a people made one in Christ.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Transform our timid lives by the power of your Spirit,
and fill us with a flaming desire to be your faithful people,
doing your will for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.