Prayers of Confession on Neighbor


Adapted from Psalm 80

Shepherd of Israel, God of hosts,

we have turned away from you,

neglecting the welfare of your creation,

ignoring the plight of your people,

trampling on the creatures and the plants you have made,

taking from Earth what we cannot give back.

We have not helped our neighbors in need,

kept peace within our families,

or tended the vine you have planted in our own lives.

Forgive us and lead us to a more gracious life.

In your compassion, turn us to your way.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved. Amen.

Kimberly Bracken Long, Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year A, Volume 1, Westminster John Knox Press.

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

Merciful God, You made us in Your image, with minds to know You, hearts to love You, and wills to serve You. But our knowledge is imperfect, our love inconstant, and our obedience incomplete. We refuse to go where You lead us. We fail to grow into Your likeness. Have mercy upon us. Forgive us and free us from our sin. We ask in the gracious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

We praise You for Your goodness and love. Forgive and correct the wrong we have done. We have turned from the way of Your Son Jesus, and we have not cared for our neighbors. We have permitted pride to blind and anger to burn. We have failed to live the new life You have given us. We come to You with little to offer except our sin, and we seek Your mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. In His name we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Holy and merciful God, we come to You as Your humble children: in our sinfulness, and our failure to follow Your Word in loving our neighbors. God, You alone, know our hearts and how often we have sinned; in our selfishness, in ignoring Your calling to go after the one, in forgetting that Your Gospel isn’t just for the church, but for all. In Your great mercy, forgive our sins. Help us to live in a way that is glorifying to You, choosing to obey Your commandments, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Most holy and merciful Father, we your wayward children do humbly confess our shortcomings and our sin. All we like sheep have gone astray and have turned every one to his or her own way-We have lived too much for ourselves and not for you. We have not loved our neighbors as we should, nor faithfully followed our Master in unselfish service. But will you pardon all our offenses. Create within us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. May we go on our way with gladness, assured of your compassion; and forgetting the things which are behind, may we forget those things which are behind us and pressing toward the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. 

A Book of Worship for Free Churches, Language Modernized by Stuart Strachan Jr.

Gracious God, in Christ Jesus, you teach us to love our neighbors but instead we build dividing walls of hostility. You show us how to love one another as sisters and brothers but instead we hide from our own human family. You ask us to seek out the stranger and welcome the guest. You want us to share your abundant gifts with the poor but instead we cling tightly to our possessions and our privilege. You call us to proclaim good news to all people but instead we waste our words and hide our light. Lord, our loving God, have mercy on us. Forgive our sin, open our hearts, and change our lives. Fill us with the Holy Spirit. Make us holy and whole—one people, united in faith, hope, and love through Jesus Christ, Our reconciler and redeemer.

Presbyterian Mission Agency, Resources on Cultural Diversity and Racism

Holy and merciful Father, we confess to You and to one another that we have sinned against You by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart, mind, and strength. We have not fully loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have not always had in us the mind of Christ. You alone know how often we grieve You by wasting Your gifts and by wandering from Your ways. Forgive us and renew in us the grace and strength of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Heavenly Father, we confess that we too often center our lives around ourselves and our immediate needs, and that this blinds us from being aware of the needs of our neighbors.  Help us to know our true needs, and to use what you have given us in ways that give you the most glory.  Guide our decisions and our steps, that through our own life, you may be known.  Hear our prayers as we continue our confession in silence…

Submitted by Allen Thompson

Holy God, we come before You in humility, for we do not live as we ought. We do not love You with our whole heart and mind and strength. We do not love our neighbor as ourselves. We are sinners in need of rescue and transformation. So we pray, in all humility, that You will change our hearts and minds, that You will show us again how to love others the way You love us, that You will grant us the grace to experience your Spirit’s guidance and love, that You will put power and courage in our hearts to do Your will. This we pray in Jesus’ Name and for His sake. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

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

Loving God, you command us to love you and to love our neighbors wholeheartedly. This is a lifelong struggle for us. As we confess our inability to follow this commandment, please help us to find creative ways that we might grow in our capacity to love you and love others. We come to you in silent confession of our failures to love as you do. 

Time of silent reflection. 

Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Heavenly Father, You are a God who reaches out to us with love and compassion, and You clearly teach us to do likewise. Yet we confess we often do not demonstrate love for our neighbors. We have walked right past people in need, missing opportunities to serve and connect. We also justify our prejudices against others instead of finding reasons to build bridges of conversation and understanding. Have mercy on us, Lord. Restore us to right thinking. Teach us how to be agents of grace once again. May we be restored in this way for Your glory,  we pray in Christ’s Name. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

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 turned from our neighbors. We have refused to bear the troubles of others. We have ignored the pain of the world, and passed by the hungry, the poor, and the oppressed. O God, in your great mercy forgive our sin and free us from selfishness, that we may choose your will and obey your commandments; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Merciful God, you pardon all who truly repent and turn to you. We humbly confess our sins and ask your mercy. We have not loved you with a pure heart, nor have we loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have not done justice, loved kindness, or walked humbly with you, our God. Have mercy on us, O God, in your loving-kindness. In your great compassion, cleanse us from our sin. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Do not cast us from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation and sustain us with your bountiful Spirit. Amen.

O God, you make covenants with us and never break them. We find it much harder to keep our word. We offer promises we don’t intend to keep, and we make deals that we intend to break. All too often we are not trustworthy—not to you, not to our neighbors, and not even to those we love the most. We are sorry for the pain and disappointment that these sins cause. We need your Spirit to strengthen our will. Forgive us again, Lord Jesus, for all the ways we fall short of your desires for us, and hear us as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent Prayer 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

O God who will not let us go, we confess that we have been so wrapped up in ourselves that have not loved You with our whole hearts, and we have not loved our neighbors as we love ourselves.  By Your grace and through Your transforming love, open our hearts wide to You; forgive what we have been, help us change what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways, to the glory of your holy Name. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Lord, we confess that we do not love you with our whole hearts

And we do not love our neighbour as ourselves.

We seek the blessing of others

Rather than the blessing of your grace

We seek comfort in wealth

Rather than a generosity which reflects Christ

We live as rulers of our own kingdoms

Rather than sons and daughters in yours


Have mercy on us

Humble us

And make us hungry again for life with you


Jacob Traeger


God our Father

We confess to you and to one another

That we have been quick to anger

And slow to mercy

We have paid back abuse with abuse

Hatred with hatred

And violence with violence

The world does not always see you in us


Make us people of mercy and love

Pour out your Spirit of grace upon us

So that we would overflow with love

Not just for one another, but for those we call enemies

In Jesus’ name we pray


Jacob Traeger

Holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another, and in the company of the communion of saints, that we have sinned by our own fault, in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have not done.  We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength; nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves.  We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.  Have mercy on us, O God, and restore us to a life of obedience.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer by Bud Thoreen