Prayers of Confession on Justice


God, the fact that we feel uncomfortable is evidence that we perceive the injustices in our world. We don’t ask you to help us hear the cries of injustice, but rather to give us courage to act against the forces of selfishness and pride that would alienate us from the work of wisely stewarding your earth. Teach us how to seek the full manifestation of your Kingdom on earth, which includes justice. And as we embark in this important work, heal our lands, touch our families, and reveal your glory. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Taken from Mark D. Roberts, Life for Leaders, a Devotional Resource of the DePree Leadership Center at Fuller Theological Seminary

Lord our God, we have sometimes not listened for your summons to praise you; we have not acknowledged that this good news we proclaim is for the whole world; and we have too often been silent to the summons that the created world should join us in praise; we have lamented the inequities of our world, and rightly so, but frequently failed to celebrate your righteous and equitable judgment, that you will make all things right. Forgive us for our impatience; pardon our lamentation when it should have been celebration; Turn our silence into singing the joyful news of your presence with us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hassell Bullock

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith, let us confess our sin to God.

We declare together, oh Lord With hearts breaking, eyes weeping and souls stirring

We will continue to stand and cry and weep with our brothers and sisters

We will continue to make a place of peace for even the enemies at our table

We will continue to open our doors and our hearts to those who enter them

We will continue to seek to forgive as we have been forgiven

We will continue to love in Jesus’ name because you taught us that love conquers all.

Taken from Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World by Kent Annan Copyright (c) 2016 by Kent Annan. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

God of glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light of the world, to reveal your love for all people. We confess that our sin and pride hide the brightness of your light. We turn away from the poor; we ignore cries for justice; we do not strive for peace.  In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin, and pour out the gifts of your Spirit, that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth your glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ.

Time of silent reflection and confession..


Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Eternal God, our judge and redeemer, we confess that we have tried to hide from You, for we have done wrong. We have lived for ourselves, and apart from You. We have turned from our neighbors and refused to bear the burdens of others. We have ignored the pain of the world and passed by the hungry, the poor, and the oppressed. In Your great mercy, forgive our sins and free us from selfishness, that we may choose Your will and obey Your commandments through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

May God bless you with a restless discomfort

about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,

so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger

at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears

to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish,

so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness

to believe that you really can make a difference in this world,

so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

A Franciscan Blessing

Gracious Father, we confess that we have all sinned and fallen short of Your glory. We have neglected and misused Your holy worship. We have dealt unjustly and unkindly with our neighbors. We have not sought first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness. You have revealed Your wonderful love to us in Christ and have offered us pardon and salvation in Him; but we have turned away. We have run into temptation, and the sin we should have hated, we have committed. Have mercy on us, merciful Father. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your holy Name, Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Righteous God, we receive your grace and forget your justice. You teach us to move with compassion yet we have remained complacent. God, forgive us for our complacency and our apathy. Fuel us with your truth, your hope, and your joy to stand for your justice, your righteousness, and your love in this world.

Submitted by Laura Murray

God of justice, you repeatedly call us to action, but we so often fail to respond. Your word convicts us, demonstrating that inaction is just as sinful as the wrong actions. Lord of mercy, forgive us for the times we’ve been silent in the face of injustice, when we’ve turned a blind eye toward suffering and brokenness. Renew our passion for the downtrodden as we silently confess our sins to you now.

Time of silent reflection.


Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Lord God, we rejoice in your resurrection and in your promise to return. Help us live today as people who await the fulfillment of your kingdom. We confess we often look for comfort outside of you. Bend our knees to the hard work of prayer, worship, repentance, and intercession. Throughout history you have used the seemingly weak to nurture justice, to fight poverty, and to walk bravely toward human thrones of power proclaiming another way. Help us find comfort and hope in our afflictions, knowing you are present with us always. In the name of Jesus, our Savior, Amen.

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

Almighty God, too often we settle for brokenness in our lives.

Rather than offering forgiveness, we hold onto offense.
Rather than pursuing justice, we turn away.
Rather than offering mercy, we continue in judgment.
Gracious God, these are not the ways of your kingdom.
Make us hunger and thirst for righteousness that we might see our need for Jesus.

Being nourished by his goodness, help us live out God’s ways on earth.

Submitted by Laura Murray

Almighty God, we settle for false peace.
We see no need to rock the boat,
so we allow injustice to rule and reign.
God, give us the conviction to take on the work of peace-making.
Give us the courage, wisdom, and passion
to bring your perfect peace into our world.
May we be peacemakers,
as sons and daughters of the God of true peace.

Submitted by Laura Murray

O God of the ages, you have created each of us uniquely.  We each have so much that makes us interesting and unique!  Yet at times, even against our own wishes, we find ourselves falling prey to the -isms that undermine our society:  racism, sexism, classism, anti-Semitism, and too many others. Pardon us for categorizing each other so quickly, easily, and harmfully. Help us to see each other as individuals, through your eyes of love. We pray that you would forgive our sins—these and all others—as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent Prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

You give us prophets, holy God,
to cry out for justice and mercy.
Open our ears to hear them,
and to follow the truth they speak,
lest we support injustice to secure our own well-being.
Give prophets the fire of your Word,
but love as well.
Though they speak for you,
may they know that they stand with us before you,
and have no Messiah other than your Son.
Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. Amen.

The Worship Book: Services, The Westminster Press, 1970.

Gracious God, you shower us with so many blessings, yet we struggle to share them with others. You love a cheerful giver, but we sometimes give grudgingly. We forget that all we have is yours, and that you can use our gifts to bless the whole world. Give us generous hearts which long to share our bounty, giving extravagantly, loving at great risk, and working for justice in seemingly impossible situations. Forgive us for clutching too tightly what has always been yours in the first place. Pardon us for this and all of our sins, as we continue to confess in silence…

Silent Prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

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.

Isaiah 59:1-4

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,

Nor his ear too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God;

Your sins have hidden his face from you,

So that he will not hear.

For your hands are stained with blood,

Your fingers with guilt.

Your lips have spoken lies,

And your tongue mutters wicked things.

No one calls for justice;

No one pleads his case with integrity.

They rely on empty arguments and speak lies;

They conceive trouble and give birth to evil.

Looking for More Liturgical Elements?

Check out our Calls to Worship on Justice.

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