Prayers of Confession on Idolatry

Adapted from Judges 2

Pastor: Oh God, you have been so gracious to us. You have given us so many wonderful gifts—they outnumber the starts in the sky! You have kept your promises to us, and you have been faithful!
All: But we, O God, have forgotten your grace and your faithfulness. The idols that we enjoy—self-righteousness, safety, prosperity—entice us and ensnare us. We think that we are our own god and king, but that’s who you are.
Pastor: We cry out for forgiveness to you, merciful Father! Only through Jesus’ death in our place do we have your forgiveness.
All: Continue to be faithful to your promise to love us, to walk with us, and to teach us. Strengthen us this week so that we may love, trust, and obey you, our gracious God.

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Adapted from 2 Kings 17:7-23

All: O God, You have loved us so well. You have been kind to us. You have given us all that we need. You have kept us from danger. You have given us new life and forgiveness in Your Son, Jesus, but we have sinned against you, doing what You told us not to do. We think and live like You don’t love us, like You don’t see our struggles, like You don’t see our needs. We think that other gods of money, more stuff, looking good, seeming smart, and feeling accepted will make us whole and happy. But really, only you can make us whole and joyful. Help us trust You when You say, “I will be with you.”

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Adapted from Psalm 115

Pastor: “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”

All: Yet because of the sin in our hearts, we have strayed far from you. We have disobeyed your commandments, we have trusted our own judgement, and we wonder why we feel distant from you.

Pastor: We have worshipped idols of silver and gold—really idols of self and comfort. These have no power, these have no soul, these have no life. “Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.”

All: Forgive us, gracious God, for not loving you as we ought, for not obeying you as we were taught, and for not trusting that our forgiveness has been bought.

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Adapted from Psalm 135:15-18

All: “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.” We have wanted more money and more things more than we have wanted more time with You, Jesus. We think more money, more toys, better health, more screen time, and more freedom will make us happy. But only you, Jesus, can fill our hearts with joy
and wipe away our tears. Please forgive us, and help our hearts to want you more than anything else.

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Repent and Return, a prayer of confession

Based on Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

ONE VOICE: Joel 2:13

Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful



We drift away from our true home

We forget we are Your beloved

We forget we are not God

Rend our hearts, O God, as we repent and return


ONE VOICE: Joel 2:13

Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful



We succumb to the temptations of money, sex, and power

We ignore the cries of our sisters and brothers

We focus only on ourselves

Rend our hearts, O God, as we repent and return

Time of silent confession


Remember who you truly are

Let God be God in your life

Begin again with God



No despair, for there is mercy

No fear, for there is grace

We return with all our heart

Lead us home, Lord

Lead us home

Repent and Return © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Dear Lord, You are the King of the world, the Creator of all things, and the Giver of life. You have made us in Your image and invited us to be Your children—the heirs of Your Kingdom—and we give You our thanks and praise. We confess that we have sinned and fallen short of what You would have us be. We have found our identity in earthly things like work, money, family, reputation, our homes, our friends, even our country. We have worshiped them more than You. We have turned away from being part of Your Kingdom work to satisfy our own agendas. We have broken Your heart with our sin, and we are sorry. Please forgive us. Help us open our hearts to receive the gift of forgiveness that You offer through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Create in us clean hearts and fill us with Your presence. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Please forgive us, O Lord, for we often forget how powerful you are. You are the potentate of time, yet we think we rule our lives. We are sorry for creating images of you that are smaller than reality. Please show yourself to us as we silently confess our sins to you now…

Submitted by Austin D. Hill

We are complicit and we do not even realize it, O Holy God. Every day we participate in systems of idolatry, and we promote the captivity of a nation to gods. We have bought the subtle lies of our culture that cheapest is best and more of anything is always better. Give us humility to seek your face as we silently confess our sins to you now…

Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Each of us, Lord, has failed to fully observe your beauty.

We fall in love with our own image and are left disappointed and alone.

Please be faithful to us, Jesus, even when we turn from You.

We trust that You will be stalwart, our dedicated Savior, to the end.

Lord, as we seek to embrace our neighbors, no matter the loves of their hearts,

help us to see them as You do, with compassion and zeal for their good.

Forgive us, Holy Spirit, for when we have excluded our neighbors

from our hearts or our tables, knowing how deeply You cherish them.

Forgive us now, in the name of Jesus and for his glory,

and may your face be shown vibrantly where we have failed to show ours.

Submitted by Charles Teixeira

Almighty God, we bow before You, humbly able to admit how small, fragile, and dependent we are. Unfortunately, for many of us, it takes a disaster to convince us that we are not in control. Over the past days, we’ve been stripped bare of so much of what we cling to normally. We’ve lost earthly possessions, precious hours, and patience. We’ve also gained more than we could have imagined. Deeper love for our neighbors, an appreciation for what truly matters, and restored faith in mankind. As the waters recede and the debris clears, we ask that we don’t return to the idols that were swept away. We beg You to remain on the throne of our hearts and for us to continue to live out the Greatest Commandment. We seek You as a desperate people, laid low, confessing our need. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

O God, you are indeed worthy of our praise and worship. Yet we turn away and worship other gods. We find ourselves at the altar of our careers, our financial security, our self-image, our status. We take you for granted. You call us to live for the praise of Christ’s glory, but we often seek praise for ourselves instead.  Forgive us for these and all of our sins, as we continue to confess in silence…

Silent Prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

Dear God, Sometimes fear is an idol that we believe will help us control our lives. Sometimes fear is a companion that we let take the place of You. Sometimes fear is the enemy that tells us You are not greater. Forgive us when we let our fear be larger than our faith, and when we forget that you are a faithful God. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Almighty God, during this tumultuous time, we see so clearly our frailty and powerlessness. Any illusions of strength and grandeur have been stripped away. We are utterly dependent upon you. Even with technology, we are still gripped with fear, anxiety, and isolation. We see that have placed our trust in idols of wood and stone. We see how desperately we need your grace every day. Please help us to trust you completely and to give of ourselves when we are so tempted to live selfishly. We confess to you all of our self-centered thoughts and actions. In your mercy, hear our prayer.

Time of silent reflection and confession…

Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Dear Lord, we come to You this morning first to give You our worship and praise. You are the King, You are the Lord, You are the one who did indeed create us and give us life. You never leave us. You are always reaching out Your hand to lift us up. We praise You. But we also come because we need to confess our sins to You, to open the hidden places of our hearts before You. We confess that we forget that You love us more than anything and that You call us to follow You alone. We too often arrange our lives around the idols of this world and not around You. We want what others have or what they tell us to want. We are afraid of rejection by the world, forgetting that You are the only one we need to serve. We look for love in ways that will never bring us peace or lasting joy. Please hear our silent prayers of confession……Lord, we are sorry. Please forgive us. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Lord Almighty, you alone are worthy of our praise. Yet we worship idols. We place our desires, passions, and ambitions in a more prominent position than we place you. We fail to serve you alone. We fail to revere you. We fail to enjoy your presence. Please help us today to place you in the rightful position in our lives as we confess our sins to you…  

Time of silent reflection.           

Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Eternal and Almighty God, To You is due all our praise and thanksgiving. You are a gracious, loving Lord! But we create false gods we choose to worship. Money, power, and pleasure guide our steps, not Your life-giving Holy Spirit. We put our trust in our efforts, not in Your grace and truth.We value what our culture offers, not the clear teachings of Scripture. Forgive us for our idolatry, O God. Help us to live as Your Son’s disciples to the glory and honor of Your name. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Call to Confession

James 5:16 invites us to confess our sins so that we might be healed. Let us go before our Creator in humility and confession.

Prayer of Confession

Lord Almighty, we come to you in humility today. We have sought security in the wrong places. Rather than having the courage to confront our own sins, we often settle for false gods. We seek control and power, money and possessions, comfort and complacency. Call us to action, O God. Help us to see the error of our ways and give us the courage to do something about it as we confess our sins to you.

Austin D. Hill


Looking for More Liturgical Elements?

Check out our Calls to Worship on Idolatry.

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