Prone to Wander Quotes by Barbara R. Duguid
Prayer: of Confession, Assurance, and Pardon
Sometimes, O God, we forget people, or we toss them aside — the difficult ones, the needy ones, the ones that are hard to spend time with, the ones who confront us. We are uncomfortable, or we feel guilty, or we follow brighter, shinier people, or we worry about what will make us look good. We are in such desperate need of your forgiveness. We need to be forgiven for our sin, for our mistakes, for mistaking what the world values with what you value. Help us to be better, and to see more clearly, and to care more thoroughly. In Christ we pray.
If you use this resource and would like to help with the cost of its continuing development, then donations are always welcome! Confession and repentance are at the heart of the Christian faith. They are at the turning point between unbelief and belief, and they are the continual reminder to us that our earthly natures are very close to the surface. In the same way that we cleanse our hands by washing as we begin a day, so it is good to remind ourselves in prayer that without the presence of God's Spirit in our lives through the day, we are likely to stumble because we are stained by the consequences of sin. Confession earths our lives in the love of God, keeps us humble and enables us to be a blessing to others through the day. Unclutter our lives, Lord we have too much, consume too much, expect too much. Grant us compassion; where there is need to play our part not turn aside.
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So we thought it would be worthwhile to share an example. It helped our congregation see our own sin better and lead us in confessing it, while also teaching us how to confess sin on our own. I hope it will encourage you both for its own sake, and in leading your congregations to pray. Father, we come, not as those who are strong in faith, but those whose faith is feeble, weakened because we have trusted in ourselves—in our own abilities, in our own strength, in our own intellect—instead of trusting in you. We have awakened from our beds this morning, and partaken of meals, and moved our limbs, and used our senses with thankless hearts, ignoring you, the Sovereign Lord over every detail of our lives. We confess that we have thought you to be a little God, and the people of the land to be like giants.
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. Thanks be to God! It takes a great deal of energy to live the life for which God created us… and sometimes, we are simply too exhausted. So please join me in the prayer of confession, printed in the bulletin, followed by a moment of silent reflection and personal confession.
Corporate worship, as our local church understands it, is a time of joyful covenantal renewal which includes confession of sin, assurance of pardon, responsive prayers, corporate song, the preaching of the gospel and the covenantal climax of communion in the Lord's Supper. To be frank, I previously never thought I would find liturgy to be a meaningful form of worship in a church, but after experiencing it, I have found it to be a much more meaningful form of worship because of its connection to Scripture, history, the corporate body and the depth of its ability to illumine the covenant. Many churches have put aside the corporate confession in favor of only music but the church has historically made the corporate confession central to worship. For most it makes the time of worship more authentic and joyful for it strikes a blow against self-righteousness and humbles us before God as we say what we know to be true of ourselves and the only Lord who saves us. It reminds us that we are not better than others and that it is only grace an alien righteousness which makes us what we are.