Prayers of Confession

Prayer of confession #1

Adoration and Confession: Isaiah 40:28

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom. Prayer of Adoration Creator God, who thought of making spring blossom and wattle and young babies, we praise you. Designer God, who first imagined physics and chemistry and mathematics, we praise you. Artist God, who revels in rainbows and sunrises and waterfalls, we praise you. You are the God of new beginnings, creation and re-creation, and we are work of your hands. We praise and thank you, Lord. Amen.  Prayer of Confession We come to confess our sins. Lord, when you created us, you meant us to be beautiful and complete. You must be very disappointed. We confess that we all, in our own ways, have spoiled your creation. We have scribbled over your image in us. We have tangled up the threads of our lives into a knot which is hard to unravel. We have tipped rubbish over ourselves and over others, ruining what you meant to be lovely.
Lord, have mercy on us.
In silence, let us confess the ways we have destroyed God’s best plans for us in our own lives. …… Forgiving God, you have promised that you will make us and re-make us. We need to begin again. Please take the work of your hands, our lives, and in your mercy, forgive and restore us. Thank you. Amen.

Prayer of confession #2

Psalm 37: 1-11, 39-40

Leader: Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong. All: for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Men: Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Women: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Children: Commit your way to the Lord Trust in him and he will do this. Men : Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Women: Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. Men: The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; Women: he is their stronghold in time of trouble. All: The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. Confession: Loving Lord, we want to be honest with you. We have just said those strong words of confidence in you but we confess that often that is not the way things are. We come looking for peace, but our hearts are not at peace. We say, Trust in the Lord, but we are more likely to panic. We say, Be still before the Lord, but we are doing a lot of thrashing about. We say, Delight in the Lord, but we come today with breaking hearts and unanswered questions. Lord, you know the realities of our lives. You understand what this past week has meant for us. We are sorry for so much that has happened. [SILENCE] Forgive us and, in your mercy, heal us. [SILENCE] Thank you, God of forgiveness. Amen.

Prayer of Confession #3

Let us pray: We worship you, our God. We have been singing songs of praise, trying to find words to express who you are, trying to say how very great and wonderful you are, but we know that we will never have the right words. We remember your goodness to us through the years, the times when you have blessed and protected us, times when you have guided and disciplined us, times when we have been at the point of despair and found you there beside us, touching us when we felt unclean, embracing us when we felt unloved, forgiving us when we knew we were undeserving of forgiveness. We thank you. Lord, we come again in need of you, to confess our sins. There are times, our God, when we feel as if, every time we come to confess our sins, we are repeating ourselves, time after time dragging out the same sorry collection. Help us to be honest with you and ourselves. Shock us with your truth, that we say sorry, sorry, sorry, like a child but go and behave in exactly the same way next week as last. Show us your truth when we find it impossible to believe that you really have forgiven us for a long-ago sin. In silence let us see ourselves kneeling at the footstool of the throne of God. God is here. In the quietness let us talk to him about the sins and burdens on our hearts. He is listening. Lord you are hearing the prayers of your people. We are confessing those things which are giving you pain, hurting our neighbour and are damaging ourselves. Lord, you have promised that you will forgive all who truly repent. Help us to receive your forgiveness; to know that you are love to believe that through Christ our sins are forgiven. Let us take hold of this forgiveness and live our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Confession #4

We bring our prayers to you, our Lord, knowing that nothing we say to you is going to surprise you. You already know us so well that you know our hearts better than we know ourselves. And yet, although you already know it all, we want to put words around the things that are weighing us down, and acknowledge them in your presence. Some of us are here against our will. We didn’t want to come to church today, but here we are, reluctant and irritable. Some of us are very tired and it is going to be really hard to concentrate. Some of us are angry angry with others and angry with ourselves and you know why. Some of us are harbouring secrets which have the potential to destroy us. Some of us are afraid afraid to believe your promises and retreating every time you call us to come to you. Why do you still love us, Lord? We don’t deserve your love. In your mercy, please receive us as we are, complete with all those things we hate about ourselves. We confess them and plead for your forgiveness. Pause. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. In your mercy and grace, you have promised to forgive. Help us to truly believe this. Amen

Prayer of confession #7

We have come to worship God. We come to worship God, with friends and strangers, the very young and the beautifully old, each of us with our own story. We come to worship God, bringing all the complications of our every-day life with us. Let us put aside everything that is distracting and turn our hearts to our wonderful God. Candle: we light this light to remind us that you, God, are present with us today. Prayer of confession Lord God, we have just sung our praise to you. But now we come to confess. God of justice and truth, here we are again, wearing our nice Sunday morning faces. You’d never think, to look at us, that we have ever said anything done anything thought anything That wasn’t right in your eyes. LORD, HAVE MERCY. We look as if we have never thrown anything that we should have held back a hurtful word a look of scorn maybe a plate or two LORD, HAVE MERCY. We look as if we have never held on to anything that we ought to have let go a generous gift a grown child a grudge LORD, HAVE MERCY We pretend that we are free people, as if we were not dragging our past along with us, as if we were not immobilised in a prison of our own situation as if we were not trapped by chains of fear about our own future In silence, let each of us talk to God with the uncensored version. Forgive us, Lord Christ and set us free to live again. Amen

Prayer of confession #8

As we pray we are going to use our hands to help us. Some people like to hold their hands like this – clasped. Some hold their hands open, open to God. Some lift their hands in praise. These prayers are specially to say that we are sorry. As we think of the things which we have done which hurt God and other people, we can look at the cross. The cross reminds us that the death of Jesus on the cross was so that we could be friends with God again. As we pray, I’d like you to draw a cross on the palm of your own hand, to remind yourself that because of the cross of Jesus you can be forgiven. Try it! Including children. Loving God, we don’t deserve your love. You know that. Our friends and family know that. And we know it. We are sorry for the things that have broken down this week – the way we have behaved to our own family and friends – the way we have acted at work and school – the things that happened that we hate to even think about These things have hurt you and hurt others. Draw the cross on your hand. Remember the cross of Jesus. We are sorry about the things we should have done – the helpful thing we should have said – the job we should have finished – the apology we should have made We mark your cross on our hand and remember that you are willing to forgive. We are sorry if our hearts harbour bitterness and anger and a spirit of fear and we find that there are people we can’t forgive. We mark your cross on our hands and remember that your pain was for us, your dying was to defeat fear and death, your cross led on to new life. You may feel able to turn to the person sitting nearest you, and each mark the cross on the hand of the other as a sign of God’s love and forgiveness. Mark the hands of your children. If you don’t feel you can do that, feel the shape of the cross on your own palm and know God’s forgiveness.

Prayer of confession #9

Holy God, you call us to unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. We confess that there are times when that bond of unity has been twisted into bondage. We have complained about those chafing ties of inherited links to which we have no commitment. We have resented those hindering handcuffs of good intentions when we are walking at a different pace from our partner. We have longed to throw off the painful chains of binding obligation when we have grown apart. We have spoken the language of unity but have acted out division. [Silence] Forgive us, in your mercy. Forgive us, in your mercy. May our unity become an embrace of peace that we choose to offer and to receive, a bond of peace. AMEN.

Prayer of confession #10

Psalm 146:6-10 (CEV) God made heaven and earth; he created the sea and everything else. God always keeps his word.     He gives justice to the poor and food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free     and heals blind eyes. He gives a helping hand to everyone who falls. The Lord loves good people     and looks after strangers. He defends the rights of orphans and widows, but destroys the wicked. 10 The Lord God of Zion will rule forever! Shout praises to the Lord! Great creator God, you are a promise-keeping God. You promised to bring justice to the poor and food to the hungry. But we seem to care about justice most when it affects us personally And if there is food on our own table we don’t always notice the hunger of others. God you promised to release those who are trapped And give vision to those who cannot see. But we tend to think it is too hard to get involved And think, what would we know about it anyway? God, you promised to lift up those fall down And care for those who are grieving and alone. But we are a bit busy. God, we are sorry for our apathy and self-centredness in the face of the world’s need. Please forgive us. In the name of our forgiving Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen

Prayer of confession #11

It is winter. Frost edges the grass. Dead leaves lie underfoot. We confess that some of us are living in winter in our spirits. There is a chill in our experience of God. There is an icy wind where we once felt warmth. We shiver in isolation, standing outside in the cold. We confess that our winter of failure hangs like thick fog. It is hard to remember the times of hope and life. It is hard to imagine that this winter of the spirit will ever end. Forgive us, God of grace, who created and knows the seasons of life. Forgive us, Jesus who loves us even in our darkest moments. Forgive us, Holy Spirit who trudges beside us through the muddy puddles of despair. Melt the frost in our hearts. Warm us with your love. Renew your spirit in us bringing us to new life and hope. In the name of Christ, Amen

Prayer of confession #12

Invite people to use hands during prayer. Close both hands into fists and turn them over. Loving God, we come to you as your children, trying to hide things from you, hoping you can’t see what is hidden in our hands. You say to us: what are you hiding, my child? [Pause] You say to us: what is it that you cannot let go, my child? [Pause] You say to us: open your hand and let it go. I will not prise your hand open, finger by finger. You know what is hidden and hurting. You can empty your hands You can open your heart. See the open hands of Christ, torn by nails. This pain was offered for us. This loving sacrifice can set us free. Let us, in our hearts, place our fistful of pain into the wounded hands of Christ. He will hold it for us. Thank you, Christ Jesus.
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