prayer of confession and assurance of pardon – wash and be clean

submitted by Gord Waldie, St. Paul’s United Church, Grande Prairie, Alberta

God of grace, you call us to wash and be clean,
but we are proud.
You offer us a simple solution to our dis-ease,
but we think we are important enough for wonders and grand acts.
In those times when our pride blocks our sight of your graciousness,
wash the scales from our eyes, that we may see.
For those times we grow too sure of our own importance,
forgive us.
…time of silent prayer…
Here is Good News! God is willing to cleanse us from our pride, our blindness, our stubborn insistence on having things “our way”. Through God’s grace we are washed and forgiven.
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah! Amen. 

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call to confession / declaration of grace: exhausted / restored

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

It takes a great deal of energy to live the life for which God created us…
and sometimes, we are simply too exhausted.
So please join me in the prayer of confession, printed in the bulletin,
followed by a moment of silent reflection and personal confession.

This is good news:

We may grow weary…
We may grow tired and indifferent…
But the Holy Spirit breathes into the very depths of our being,
restoring us to lives that reflect the profound goodness of God.

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

Simple Confession based on Psalm 139

From Laura Becker, Pastor, Northminster Presbyterian Church, Chattanooga, TN

Call to Reconciliation
The psalmist declares that God who creates us – God who loves us, God who redeems us – searches us and knows us completely. Before a word is on our tongues, God knows it completely. And we are assured that there is nowhere we can go that is separated from the presence of God. Let us pray our prayer of confession in silence, and then speak the words of the psalmist together.

Prayer of Confession

(Silent Prayers)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Call to worship, confession, & assurance for Advent 4

From Rev. Jenny McDevitt, Bayside Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, VA

Call to Worship
One: We are waiting on you, God. We are still waiting.
All: The darkness is deeper, but look! The star is beginning to shine.
The everlasting light is creeping closer.
Hope is in the air. Peace is promised. Joy is on the tips of our tongues.
One: Love is coming. Love divine, all loves excelling.
All: We are waiting on love. And Love is waiting on us.

Prayer of Confession
Living God, Love Incarnate, we confess that we are not perfect.
You who are everything, we acknowledge that we are lacking.
Child of the manger, we admit that we prefer to be sentimental rather than sacrificial.
Hear us now as we confess our faults and admit our frailties.

Silent confession

One (sung): O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.
All (sung): O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.

Assurance of Forgiveness
All: The truth of Advent is this: God is coming to us! We are not alone.
In Christ, we are accepted. We are set free of the past. We are given to the future.
One: Hear the water splashing: this is what forgiveness sounds like.
Look at the light shining: this is what hope looks like.
Take one another’s hand: this is what incarnation feels like.
Share a sign of peace: this is what the world is waiting for.

Advent 3 confession & assurance

From Rev. Stephanie Anthony, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Hudson, Wisconsin

Confession
God of light and love, We confess our lack of attention to the prophets and messengers you send. We confess that we do not keep our eyes peeled and our ears open to the ways that you are revealing yourself and announcing your message in our lives. We confess that we dismiss those who might be speaking for you who in our minds are not old enough, not educated enough, not refined enough. Open our hearts, our eyes, our ears, and our minds to watch and listen for your Word being proclaimed among us this day and always. Amen.

Words of Assurance: (based on Isaiah 61)
L: Friends, We can rejoice in the Lord! With an everlasting covenant sealed by love and mercy, God has clothed us with salvation. God has covered us with righteousness. The prophets have promised this good news: In Jesus Christ, our coming Lord, we are forgiven!
P: My whole being shall exult in my God. In Jesus Christ we are indeed forgiven. Thanks be to God.

Call to worship, confession, & assurance for advent 3

Third Sunday of Advent from Rev. Ross Reddick, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Sylacauga, Alabama

Responsive Call to Worship: (based on John 1:6-8, 19-28)
Leader: With joy this day we anticipate the one who is coming, the arrival of the Messiah.
People: The one we call the Word! The one we call the Light.
Leader: Like John the Baptist, we are not the light. In our worship, we testify to the light.
People: Our testimony is prayer and praise, song and scripture.
Leader: Our testimony is preaching and teaching, learning, and serving.
People: May our testimony be a sweet sound in your ear, O God.

Prayer of Confession: (based on 1Thess. 5:16-24)
Mighty and powerful God, your word says, “Rejoice always.” But we would rather sulk about the things that don’t go right. Your word says, “Pray without ceasing.” But we go for days without even thinking about You. Your word says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” But our thankfulness is fleeting, because we think we deserve blessings. Your word says “Hold fast to what is good,” while we hold fast to sinful ways of thinking and acting.

Assurance of Pardon / Declaration of Forgiveness: (based on Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)​
The prophets of old have declared, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robes of righteousness. Friends, believe the good news: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Advent 2 call to worship, confession, assurance

Second Sunday of Advent resources from Rev. Ross Reddick, Pastor First Presbyterian Church
Sylacauga, Alabama

Responsive Call to Worship: (based on Isaiah 40:1-11)

Leader: The voice of the Lord declares, “Comfort, O comfort my people”.
People: A voice cries out, “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
Leader: The earth will be transformed, God’s glory will be revealed.
People: We expect your arrival in fire and flame. Instead, we follow a star on a cold night.
Leader: You meet us in this place, as we remember your curious way.
People: As we wait, cleanse us. As we wait, mold us.
Leader: Our ears and eyes perceive no other god besides You, and so we worship this day.
People: We are all your people and we will wait for You.

Prayer of Confession: (based on Mark 1:1-8)

Forgive us, Lord, for the times we refuse to listen to those who announce your presence. Forgive us when we ignore the cries that come from the wilderness. Allow us to understand that, like John the Baptist, we too are unworthy before the Lord of All. Help us live into our baptisms. Remind us of the beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and empower us to be the continuation of that Good News. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon / Declaration of Forgiveness (based on 2 Peter 3:8-15)

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved. With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

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