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.

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CTW: commitment

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

One: We come today O Lord to make an offering to You.
All: Our lives, our vocations, our work, everything to You.
One: We come today O Lord to make an offering to You.
All: Our commitments, our callings, our selves, to You.
One: We come to today O Lord to make an offering to You.
All: Our communities, our congregation, all of it is for You.
Together: Today O Lord, we recommit ourselves, to You—who first called us to Life. Alleluia! Amen!

confession: monotony v. risk

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

Today, O Lord, we confess that too often in life we have failed to remember that you created, called, and sent us into Your world. We have failed to acknowledge and live into this great gift with joy and celebration. We prefer work of monotony to the work of risk-taking. We crave predictable and safe lives to prophetic life-risking action. Remind us again of our callings. Renew in us your Spirit and your urgent thirst for the peace and justice you desire for all of Creation. Disturb our peace and draw us closer to you in Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Confession: turn back or go forward

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

Too often O God we have become a church of “we always used to do it that way” or “we should do something else” or a church of “we can’t.” We have failed You O God of endless possibilities, God of New Life and Resurrection! We worry, fret, obsess, or want to turn back the clock to a time that does not exist anymore in our lives or in the life of the world. We have failed you O God of new beginnings, of Creation, of birth and of death. As we gather today to worship you help us to really worship. To be completely open to your leading, and fully ready for your powerful, change-making power in our lives and in this community. We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ—the one to makes all things—even our broken selves—fresh and new. Amen.

confession: struggling against

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

Too often we wrestle and we struggle. With ourselves, with our friends and family, where we work, with the world around us. And we confess that we struggle against you, Loving Lord. As we push back against all sorts of things we fall into the trap of thinking that we can be gods. We can fix or control, we can change someone or something else. We beat our heads against the wall, grow more and more frustrated, and finally fall down in exhaustion. It is an endless, vicious cycle—and so often O Lord we fall into it. On this day, remind us of the opportunity you always hold before us to do something new and something different. To let go, to relinquish the controls we so tightly cling onto. To trust You, and to believe once again that you are with us. Help us in this time of worship, O Lord, to stop the struggle and begin to believe again. Amen.

confession: direction, directionless…

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

Many times O God we take steps backwards instead of forward. We retreat from our lives and from our calling. We wander or struggle. We become directionless. In those moments we have lost sight of You, and we have lost sight of ourselves. We no longer have a vision or a dream inside of us. Sometimes this season in life lasts for just a moment, or a short day. Other times it lasts much longer—and we struggle to regain control. This happens to all of us. And so today O God we pray for you to be with us and make us new when this way of life is of our doing, because of our refusal to follow your call. And we pray O God for you to help us when this way of life is not our doing—when depression or hopelessness has a grip on our lives we are unable to release on our own. And we especially pray O God that we might have compassion and patience to love each other through all seasons of the lives that we share—and to always remind others of your Good News, your Eternal Love, and your Hope-filled Promises. We pray these things in Christ’s name. Amen.

confession: on this Pentecost Sunday

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

On this Pentecost Sunday, we confess to You, O Lord –
our division, for we are not gathered together as Your people in one place;
our fear of the rush of your Spirit in our lives and what it might call us to do or to be;
our desire for a monolingual society,
even when you allowed the early church to transcend all language,
not favoring one over another;
our actions that can be like the crowds that taunt and torment,
mocking those who are filled with your Spirit that burns like fire and rushes like wind.
On this Pentecost Sunday, O Lord –
help us to let down our barriers to your Spirit;
guide us to live with joy, abandon, and faithfulness;
and create in us new hearts to be new people who worship only You.  Amen.

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