Prayers of Confession on Christmas

Adapted from Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

Arise, Brothers and Sisters, for your light has come! The Glory of the Lord rises upon you. Do not let the darkness that covers the earth cover your faith. Do not allow the thick darkness that is over the people to inhabit your soul. But let the light in, and all the nations will come to your light. Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers will finally see the glory of the Lord, through the life of a newborn, a newborn king.

Stuart Strachan Jr.

Adapted from John 1:10-11; Isaiah 52:7-10

Father in Heaven, we confess that we never knew you had come down. We confess that we were in the dark as to your light among us. Though the world was created through your Word, we could not grasp the reality that he had entered into our neighborhood and taken up residence. We could not receive him whom we did not see. In all his humility, in his appearance in unexpected places, we were blind. We have only ourselves to blame for not opening our eyes of faith and ears of understanding. May You forgive us and once again on this Nativity of Christ’s birth proclaim the good news of your comfort and redemption to us, so that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God. Amen.

Scott Bullock

When we allow darkness to overcome the light,

forgive us, Lord.

When we reduce Christmas to plastic and tinsel,

have mercy on us, Father.

When hardness of heart keeps us from seeing

and hearing and touching the needs of others,

 let your grace consume us, O God.

When the wars around us are of no concern,

forgive us, Lord, and move us to compassion

        for those who suffer.

When our caring is not extended to action,

move us to seek justice for our brothers and sisters.

We come to confess our sinfulness

      before you and before each other.

Remove all barriers that divide us,

      and let there be no obstacle to our love for you

      and for one another. Amen.

All pray in silence.

Lord of Christmas Peace,
we have done wrong. We have tarnished the gift you gave freely.  We have buried you so deeply in our hearts, the world doesn’t see you. We have not followed Christ,
we have ignored your teachings, we have lived lives of apathy
against your love, we have built fences and fortresses to push people away, and we have silenced the screams of those in need.

Forgive us, we pray. Free us from our sin,
Free us to a life lived in Joy through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Nathan Decker 

O eternal and gracious God, All year long we pursue power, money, and influence. Yet You come to us in the weakness of the manger. All season long we covet material gifts. Yet You alone offer us the only everlasting gift: Your Son, Jesus Christ, God with us. We confess to You our pride, our faithlessness, and our reluctance to accept Your grace. Through the work of the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, forgive us, heal us, correct us, and transform us. Then enable us to be still, to know Your presence, and to praise You. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Dear Lord,

We come to you this evening with great expectations. Expectations that your Son Jesus has been born, and that his life is a light for us and all people. We come with expectations that He can transform our often mundane, ho-hum lives into something different, something special. A life filled with faith, hope, and love. But often, we forget. We forget the good work you began in us, and instead of focusing on your coming, we focus on ourselves. We focus on gifts and parties and bonuses and all the other trappings that come with this season. Lord, may we return our expectations to your birth this night, trusting that you are our messiah, our savior. Amen.

Stuart Strachan Jr.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are loving and merciful.  Forgive us for being so captivated by Christmas that we forget that you, the little baby in the manger, grew up as the Lord over all creation. It is sometimes easier to leave you in the manger than it is to reckon with your difficult teachings and fierce challenges. So often we do not follow these teachings, and we do not live up to your challenges. We need your grace and your strength to follow you more closely.  Forgive us for al of our sins, as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

We confess, O God, that the Christmas rush is typical of our efforts to live the Christian life.  We pursue peace on earth, but we end up with frayed nerves and short tempers. We wish good will to all, but in our unceasing hurry we feel malice toward all instead.  Joy gives way to frustration, and the spirit of Scrooge replaces the Spirit of Christ. Forgive our foolishness, and remind us again that our Lord was born into a world just like this. Hear us as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

Almighty God, you have surprised us with your presence in unexpected ways. In the expectations of our routine, we have missed the treasure that you place before us. We come to worship you in community often expecting nothing more than the usual. We begin our days, our weeks, assuming all will run as it always has. We do not look for the unexpected, for your active presence in our daily lives and for that we confess our sorrow. Forgive us for not allowing our eyes to catch the unexpected, to glimpse your glory in the ordinary. May this season, we see the presence of your Son by the power of your Spirit in new and transformative ways. Amen. 

Scott Bullock

Lord Jesus Christ, at your birth the angels gave glory to God in the highest heaven, and offered peace on earth to all humankind. We struggle to follow the heavenly host. All too often we focus on giving glory to ourselves, trying to impress our friends, coworkers, and family. We make no move to further peace in our polarized world; we forget that you have called us to be ambassadors of reconciliation.  Forgive us for these and all our sins, and strengthen us to join the angels’ song. Hear us as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

Dear Heavenly Father, We confess that we have not sat quietly with You and listened for Your voice Through the hustle of Christmastime and navigating our world, we have given up the quiet space allocated for You. Forgive us for filling that space with things not of You. Thank you for desiring to meet with us in the stillness of Your creation. As Your humble servants, we thank You for Your forgiveness. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyerian Church