confession: no sense of direction

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

Healing God,
sometimes we have no sense of direction.
You point us one way…we stumble the other way;
You tell us to do one thing…we alter your plans;
You give us a clear vision…it often doesn’t suit our notions.
We create our own rules…our own criteria…
and our lives become complicated…
the church becomes smug and exclusive…
and the needs of the world are not served,
because we’re too busy serving ourselves.
So draw us from the limitations of our own minds,
and help us to see the landscape of possibility through your eyes…
so that we might be a healed and healing presence in the world…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

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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. 

confession: commodity god

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

God,
we’re not really sure what Simon and the others meant
when they told Jesus that “everyone” was looking for him.
Maybe they were trying to protect Jesus…
trying to keep him safe within their grasp…
as if he were some sort of commodity that belonged exclusively to them.
It would certainly make sense.
We often do that to you, as well…
as if the creator of all that is would be doomed without our witty, theological
comebacks to put the naysayers in their place.
Maybe we should spend less time trying to own you,
and more time trying to fully belong to you,
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

prayer of confession – broken, but reluctant to be made whole

submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, Virginia
inspired by Mark 1:29-39

O God, we come to you knowing that we are broken but reluctant to be made whole. We confess that we often fear your healing touch and what it might mean to be made well. We are comfortable in our brokenness because it is familiar. We are afraid that we would owe you too much if we allowed you to make us new. Yet that is what we long for, deep in our souls, for you to make our lives whole again. Heal our hearts, forgive our failings and mend our hurts. Reach out to us, O Lord, so that we might have the courage to reach back… (time for silent prayer)

confession: isn’t there someone else?

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake, IL.

One: God, we look at the world and see so much hurt and need.
All: We wonder: when you will do something about it?
One: We look for you, desperately seeking your help,
All: and sometimes we forget that you have called us.
One: We know you can heal and teach and love,
we know your presence is always with us,
but it is so easy to forget, to make excuses,
to look for someone else to do the work.
All: Remind us that, through you,
we too can heal and teach and love.
Take us by the hand, Lord, and lift us up,
that we may serve you and one another. Amen.

prayer of confession: miss the mark

submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Pastor, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

Great and Holy God, we confess that oftentimes we miss the mark. We mess up. We fall short. We disappoint ourselves or others around us. Most of all, we have not done all that you would have us do. This is why we are here today: for community that corrects and inspires us, for worship that lifts our spirits, for the urgent reminder of your Grace that abounds in our lives, for the peace that enables us to embody your Spirit of peace. In this time of worship, O Living Lord, remake us. In this time of worship, O Holy Spirit, fill us up. Remind us of our calling. Grant us the courage to be your people through the Risen Christ, the only One who sets us free. Amen.

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)

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