Prayers of Confession on Repentance

Inspired by Jonah 3:1-5; 10

Father, we thank you that you are a God who provides second chances. You called us to go and we ran. We ran as far from your presence as possible. You pursued us in our abandonment of your call. Like Jonah, we have often rejected your mission of mercy for others and for ourselves. Like Jonah, we would have preferred that you squash those we dislike and simply leave us out of your plans for salvation. But you have not. You have relentlessly pursued us in our rebellion, imploring us again and again to turn to you and to embrace your Gospel of grace for others and for ourselves. Today, we return to you. We ask that you would forgive us for our recalcitrant hearts. May we today, relish the second chance, the opportunity for repentance, revival, and renewal. May we, today, like those of Nineveh to whom you poured out your mercy, present ourselves humbly and gratefully before you. Amen.   

Scott Bullock

Adapted from Job 40:1-2, 4-8; 42:1-6

Pastor: And the LORD said to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

All: Then Job answered the LORD and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”

Pastor: Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?”

All: Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Most holy and merciful Father: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,

We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;

Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,

That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,

Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

Book of Common Prayer: A Litany of Penitence for Ash Wednesday, Seabury Press, 1977.

Dear Lord, we come before You as Your children to give You honor and praise. You are the One and Only true God, the Giver of life and the Sustainer of our souls. We are grateful for Your grace, how You love us, how you call us to be Your hands and feet. Responding to Your great mercy, we need to confess how we have sinned and fallen short of the people You  created us to be. We have said and done mean and selfish things, we have hurt others, and we have lived as if the universe revolves around us. We have strayed from our worship of You and gone our own way. We are sorry. Please forgive us. Cause us to truly repent and turn around to face You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Now the careful words of repentance 

Must be said for me.

He from whom I hope for the robe of immortality

And the ring of immortality

And the ring of dignity,

Who for my arrival slays

The fattened calf from the herd,

Whose blood restored

The structure of the whole world,

And whose blood in the figure of a lamb

Sprinkled and painted on thresholds,

By whom the hand of Didymus is pressed in

And the house of Rahab the harlot is saved.

Modernized and adapted for Corporate Worship by Stuart Strachan Jr., Taken from “The Prayers of Moucan”, in Celtic Spirituality (Series: Classics of Western Spiritiuality) Trans., Oliver Davies, Paulist Press, 2000.

Almighty God,

you love us, but we have not loved you.

You call, but we have not listened.

We walk away from our neighbors in need,

wrapped in our own concerns.

We condone evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed.

God of grace,

help us to admit our sin,

so that as you come to us in mercy,

we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness.

Hear us now as we continue to confess our sins in silence…

Silent Prayer 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

Our gracious God, you repeatedly move towards us, even when we pull away. You are not deterred by our rejection of you nor our running from you. Your love is persistent. We confess our distrust of your promises and misunderstanding of your character. Restore our faith in your unfailing love so that we might live and love as you have taught us.

Submitted by Laura Murray

Almighty and Merciful God, the Fountain of all goodness, who knows the thoughts of our hearts, we confess to you that we have sinned against you, and done evil in your sight. Wash us, we pray, from the stains of our past sins, and give us grace and power to put away all hurtful things; so that, being delivered from the bondage of sin, we may bring forth the worthy fruit of repentance.

O Eternal Light, shine into our hearts. O Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil. O Eternal Power, be our support. Grant that with all our hearts, and minds, and strength, we may ever more seek your face. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Albinus Flaccus Alcuinus, Language Modernized by Stuart Strachan Jr.

Holy and Loving God, You created us in Your image to enjoy You, to love You, to serve You. But our souls have been corrupted by our hard-heartedness, by our self-centeredness,   by our pervasive sinfulness. We turn to you in genuine repentance and seek Your forgiveness. We trust Your promise that You will forgive, redeem, and restore. Help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. We ask for Your mercy in the Name of Jesus, who has come and will come again. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

God of mercy, you are full of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in mercy, and always ready to forgive. Grant us grace to repent of our sins and to cling to Christ, that in every way we may prove to be your loving children, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Holy God, we realize that You know us more intimately than we know ourselves. We come before You now asking You to show us our sin, to make us aware of our failings, to open our eyes to our brokenness. We are wandering sheep that have gone our own way. We need Your wisdom and guidance to show us the path of truth and life, for we are lost without Your grace. Search us, O God, and know our hearts. Test us and know our troubled thoughts. Give us true repentance that only comes from You. Do Your transforming work in us so that we can live as Your redeemed people in the world. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Almighty God, there is no one else like You. You are always true, as are your promises. You listen to us patiently with the compassion of a good Father. You also answer us with perfect wisdom. You brought us eternal salvation when no one else could. We confess that we sometimes neglect prayer and time with You. We also admit that we fail to follow through Your commandments. Yet, You call us to repentance and in You we find the abundance of life. Forgive us, Lord, for our failures and our lack of trust, and grant us the precious gift of Your loving grace. In the name of Jesus, our Savior we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness,  which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word and deed, against Thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings. The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake. Forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please Thee In newness of life, to the honor and glory of Thy name. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The General Confession from the Book of Common Prayer, 1662.

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

Wilderness Prayer

 God of the Ages
Our Deliverer and Provider
We bow in humility before your grace

You feed us with the divine
Your word
Your body

You quench our thirst with living water
A stream in the desert

You guide our feet through snares and snakes

You free us from slavery to sin and self and shame and death

You lead us the long way to holiness and home

Test our hearts
Have we exalted ourselves?
Have we forgotten you?

time of silent reflection and confession

Reveal the truth to us, O God
Exposed by your unrelenting light
Wiped clean with your Wilderness Wind

Grow in us wholehearted allegiance
that our blessing and devotion may never waver
that we may always recognize and trust your desire to do us good


Wilderness Prayer © 2017 by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

Contempt, a Prayer of Confession

 Contempt is so painful
To be dismissed, disregarded
Questioning instead of dignity
Accusation instead of personhood
I have felt its sting and hollowness
As have you, my Jesus
Help me hear the needed messages
Help me let go of what isn’t true or helpful
Heal my wound
Time of silent confession
I have wielded the weapon of contempt fully conscious of its destructive power
I have launched it from conditioning, in ignorance and reaction
You never have, my Jesus
Forgive me and heal all I have hurt
Make my ways like yours, my Jesus
Deliver me from a spirit of judgment, criticism, and contempt
Help me see all as you see them- beloved and needed
Especially those who are hard to love
Time of silent prayer
I am most ashamed of aiming contempt at you, my Jesus
For rejecting you, judging you
Making demands of you
I am so very sorry
Forgive me, renew me, abide in me so there is
More of my true me
More of you and your ways
More of your grace extended through me
For the healing of the world
Time of silent prayer

Contempt, a prayer of confession © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com