Here's a beautiful prayer of confession that we used this past Sunday in worship:
Holy God, we confess that we have not lived as you have taught us.
We have put our longing for money, success, or happiness
above our desire for you and your kingdom.
We worry about what others will think, what we wear,
how our reputation can be polished.
We make idols out of the winning record of a sport team,
the next promotion at work, the perfect family,
the cleanliness of our house, or the latest technology.
WE are careless with our words, saying things we don’t mean,
things that are hurtful to our children or friends.
We are so busy with our lives
that we forget our every breath depends on you.
While we waste time on meaningless activities,
we fail to recognize moments of grace throughout our day.
We indulge in hateful thoughts against those we feel have offended us,
and we are indifferent toward the suffering in our own neighborhoods.
We forget that all people bear your image.
In an effort to look better, we compare ourselves to others.
We take advantage of weakness and are passive in the face of injustice.
For personal gain and reputation, we lie blatantly, and we lie by omission.
We would rather blame others unjustly than accept fault.
We long for what is not ours and begrudge the blessings of others.
Forgive us for thinking of ourselves before others and before you.
Free us from unreasonable expectations of ourselves and others,
from the need to compete, and from loss perspective
so that we may glorify you in all we think, say and do. Amen.
Assurance (from Psalm 13)
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.