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. 


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)

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.

confession: call

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

God…you call us…and sometimes…we duck under the table…
hoping you didn’t notice us when you walked into the room.
You call us…and sometimes…we grab a stapler and a stack of papers…
trying to look too busy to be bothered at the moment.
You call us…and sometimes we just say, “No!”
We know that we aren’t expected to do everything…
but we often forget that you call us to be our selves
in the places where our very self is what is most needed.
So give us the grace to say “Yes” to your call…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

prayer of confession: greatness and glory

submitted by Eric Beene, Pastor, White Bluff Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia

Almighty God, we know that the things you have done for us are great.  The powerful cannot rule us, and the hungry are filled with good things.  We know the greatness of your strength, and we know the unexpectedness of your mercy.  So why do we try to make your coming into the world cute, cozy, and soft, like a fuzzy blanket on a cold night? Forgive us, O Lord, for the ways we reduce your glory into something easy.  Prepare us, O Lord, to stop what we are doing, to look, and to listen; to let our jaws drop and let chills run up our spines; to stare wide-eyed in wonder and awe at the glory of the Lord dwelling among us.  We pray in the name of Christ our Lord.  Amen.

confession: speechless

We are filled with words;
and yet, it often seems as if we have nothing to say.
We like to speak when it serves our own purpose…
but we clam up when we’re asked to be prophetic.
We make excuses about disrupting the status quo…
or not wanting to risk our safe reputations.
The truth is…we are encouraged to speak out…
but all we can manage to say is, “What should I say?”
So give us transforming words…and empower us to speak them…

confession and pardon for Advent – God of wonder

Submitted by Shannon Meacham, Pastor, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Menands, NY

God of Wonder,
your works are mighty and your promises never failing.
Yet we turn from you,
wanting the promise to come too quickly.
Not understanding the depth of your mystery,
we become impatient and demand everything now.
As we wait for your Son,
who will be our wonder-filled counselor,
we ask your forgiveness in our impatience.
We pray to behold your glory, steadfast and true.
Open our hearts and pray for your peace to enter them.
For you have done wonderful things, Emmanuel;
come and forgive us;
come and let us stand in awe before you.

declaration of forgiveness:
One: The depth of the Wonder of Christmas is unending, so stand in awe of this promise declared to you. Christ did not come to the world to condemn but to set us free.
Many: We will not ignore the fact that God comes to speak tenderly to
us of hope, of love, of joy and of peace. Thanks be to God. Amen.

the peace:
One: Isaiah said. “A child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” In this same Spirit I say to you, the Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
All: And also with You.

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