Prayers of Confession on the Holy Spirit


​​Lord God, we know that you are life, the life which is the light of the world

But sometimes we allow the darkness to close in

We find ourselves driven apart from you

We confess that we do not always trust Christ’s gifts

Sacrificing grace and truth in order to get ahead in the world

We do not always listen to your Spirit’s teaching and direction

Trusting instead in our own intellect or hard work

Please forgive our thoughtlessness, carelessness, willful ignorance and disobedience

Jacob Traeger

Gracious God, Who pours out freely the gift of Your Holy Spirit: We confess before You that we have failed to recognize this most valuable gift. We have been satisfied with ordinary things, suspicious of unfamiliar things, and blind to spiritual things. Cleanse and forgive us, O Lord. Burn away our presumption and self-sufficiency. Open us in faith to receive the renewing touch of Your hand. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

(Prayer of Adoration)

Jesus … Immanuel – our God come in the flesh 

so that we might know You and that You might save us: 

Thankfully, You watch out for us – help us to watch for You. 

Give us eyes to see You on the move, active, alive 

in our world every day, everywhere, all the time. 

Give us ears to hear the whispers of Your Spirit, 

recalling Your Word and guiding our steps each moment. 

Give us wills that are responsive to Your will; 

hands quick to serve, 

feet swift to go where there is a need, 

and a longing to taste and see that You are good. 

(Prayer of Confession)

Forgive us when we live as if You are not real, 

pushing You aside to play god in Your world. 

Forgive our impatience  

when we plunge ahead rather than wait for You. 

Forgive our arrogance when we think we have a better way  

than what You show us in Your Word. 

Forgive our words used to hurt others rather than encourage them. 

Forgive us for loving things too much,  

people too little, and You hardly at all. 

Forgive, also, what we are too embarrassed to say aloud,  

but need You to hear, as we confess our sins in silence. 


Richard Herman

Dear God, we confess that we have sinned and need Your forgiveness. We want to do things on our own, without You. We have been distracted from Your Word and behave as if Your instructions were vague. We are unworthy of Your grace and undeserving of your forgiveness. We’ve failed You once again. God, thank You for being merciful. Thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit to guide us. May we experience the Spirit’s presence more clearly every day. Give us the focus to follow Your Word and Your ways. Show us the way to your Kingdom and Your grace. Help us when we’re in trouble and guide us away from the darkness of this world. Show me what you want me to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, by the 2017 Confirmation Class

Heavenly Father, forgive us when we are lost, and when we do not seek those who are.  Forgive us when we harden our hearts and do not understand the magnitude of your love.  Lead us with your Holy Spirit to receive your grace and offer it to others.  We pray these things in the name of the one you sent to reclaim us, Christ Jesus.  Hear our prayers as we continue our confession in silence…

Submitted by Allen Thompson

(Prayer of Adoration)

Holy God of light and glory: 

You alone are good. 

You alone are pure and righteous. 

And, therefore,  

You alone are worthy of our praise,  

our devotion and honor.  

In the brilliance of Your light, 

we are revealed as we are and 

left speechless … without excuse; 

were it not for Your grace and mercy 

we are hopeless as well. 

 (Prayer of Adoration)

Seeing who we really are, 

we can hide no longer behind our bravado, 

our rationalizations and our protests. 

We confess that we are sinners 

in need of your forgiveness. 

As individuals and as a body. 

we therefore join our hearts and voices to pray 

together confessing our sins … 

(time of silence)  AMEN. 

Richard Herman

Gracious and loving God, Your Holy Spirit is always with us. You encourage and strengthen us, and You send us out to serve You. Your grace is sufficient for every need, yet we often doubt Your presence. We wonder where You are in all that happens in this world. We struggle with trusting wholeheartedly in Your love, power, and goodness. We fail to keep our hearts centered and our minds focused on the good news of Jesus, the Crucified and Risen One. Forgive us. Rescue us. Empower us. As Your redeemed children, may we seek to do Your will to Your name’s great glory. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Gracious and loving God, You are always present with us. Your faithfulness knows no limits. You call us to worship You in spirit and in truth. Yet far too often, our worship is perfunctory. We phone it in. Our minds focus on other matters. What seems urgent at the time distracts us. Worship is one more item to check off our lists. Forgive us for our cavalier and casual attitudes. Remind us of the importance of praising Your Name, hearing Your Word, and enjoying Your presence. Restore to us the joy of true worship. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Holy redeemer, we come before you in repentance. For we get so caught up in discerning who is worshiping you correctly that we forget to worship you ourselves. Fill us with your Spirit so that we might know how you call us to worship you. Help us to worship you in spirit and in truth as we silently confess our sins to you now…

Submitted by Austin D. Hill

Holy Spirit, you have come to reconcile us to each other, but we resist your work to bind us together.  We hold onto grudges. Even though we know God has forgiven us in Jesus Christ, we are slow to forgive each other. We have received grace, but we struggle to share it with others. Change our hearts, O Spirit, and grant us Christ’s willingness to forgive.  Forgive us for these and all our sins, as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent Prayer 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

Heavenly Father, we confess that we often see difficult circumstances and discouragement as barriers to doing the work you have called us to do.  Rather than rejoicing in what you have provided, we lament that we do not have more.  Help us to see the gifts that you give and the life that is possible in them.  Make your Holy Spirit’s work clear so that we can follow and glorify you, finding energy and encouragement on the way.  We pray these things in Jesus’s name, and we ask that you hear our continued confession in silence…

Submitted by Allen Thompson

We confess, loving God, that all too often we do not open our lives to the power of your Holy Spirit. We tend to ignore the Spirit rather than call on its fire to burn within us and strengthen us for our life with you.  We limp through life, drawing strength from poor substitutes, and wondering why our faith lacks the vitality we desire. Wrap us up in the Spirit’s arms, that we would joyfully welcome the divine wind rushing through us.  Forgive us, O God, for these and all of our sins, as we confess in silence…  

Silent Prayer 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

Father God, You alone are holy. We revere You as our one true God. Your name is higher than any other name. However, we confess that we can use that Name frivolously, without concern for its supremacy. Lord, please forgive us for those times that we neglect to give You the honor that You are due. Help us to walk faithfully in a manner that shows our respect for Your holiness. We pray this humbly in the name of Jesus, Your Son.  Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

Gracious God, you forgive us whenever we ask, and so we ask you now to forgive all of our sins.

We need your grace again, for we often return to the same sins, over and over again.

Your Spirit longs to make us more and more like Jesus,

Yet we resist, holding on to our old patterns of living as long as we can.

We presume upon your grace, counting on your forgiveness.

Give us, O God, the kind of faith which changes us more and more each day into Christ’s likeness,

And forgive us again when we seem to be moving in the wrong direction.

Pardon us for these and all of our sins, as we continue to pray in silence…

Silent Prayer

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Submitted by Chip Hardwick

O Lord, You have promised to send Your Holy Spirit to be with us, and to guide us. Yet we confess the many times that our eyes can’t see You, that our hearts can’t fathom Your work in our pain. Forgive us for assuming we are on our own to navigate this life. Teach us to pray expectantly for the Holy Spirit to reveal Your goodness. Give us the strength to wait, the courage to trust in You, for we place our lives in Your keeping, through Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

(Prayer of Adoration)

Good and Gracious Lord,  

You hold us in the palm of Your strong hand, 

working all things for our good and to Your glory. 

There is no place we can go  

that escapes your notice  

and is hidden from your loving attention. 

We are amazed by your power  

and in awe of Your grace: 

Your take what’s inadvertently or intentionally evil 

and bend it to Your will and ways. 

(Prayer of Confession)

We cover our sin. 

Thinking we can hide from You. 

we run, afraid you’ll find us out; 

afraid that if you – or others – really knew us 

no-one would love us. 

We try to run our own lives, 

and the lives of others, 

attempting to be our own gods. 

We love you too little, 

we love others hardly at all,  

and we love ourselves too much. 

Hear our silent confession 

and our whispers as we name our sin before You; 

and, we pray, forgive us! 

(Silence … 30-45 seconds) 

Richard Herman

O Lord, you have mercy upon all—take away from us all our sins, and mercifully kindle in us the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from us a heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ’s sake. Amen. 

Ambrose of Milan, Language adapted for Corporate Worship by Stuart Strachan Jr.

Plain text is for one voice. Bold text is for all voices. Or the entire prayer could be voiced by a single voice or all voices.


Holy Spirit, come again as cleansing fire,

Burn away all that is false and fruitless

Come, Holy Spirit


Holy Spirit, come again as refining fire,

Purify our words, our ways, and our hearts

Come, Holy Spirit


Holy Spirit, come again as prophetic fire,

Rouse us to courage and action

Come, Holy Spirit


The congregation offers silent prayers of confession

Lisa Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

God of wisdom, we come before you in humility. Too often we choose our own way, discern our own path, without looking to you. We ignore the prompting of your Holy Spirit, and choose what is easiest, most comfortable, or requires the least from us. Please forgive us for our narrowmindedness. Soften our hearts of stone, that we might have, instead, hearts of flesh to perceive your call in our lives. Then please give us the courage to act on your calling.

Austin D. Hill

Jesus, we receive your blessings and pray for the Holy Spirit to make them real in our lives. Renew a right spirit within us, a poor spirit, a spirit that knows our deep need of your grace and deliverance.

Living Water, soften our hard hearts with the gift of tears. Help us mourn our brokenness and the brokenness of our world.

Generous Savior, you fill each person with gifts, talents, and strength. Open us to meekness, so we may gladly surrender them to your authority and discipline. In our hands, they are often weapons.

Bread of Life, sour every false and destructive appetite, so we may hunger and thirst for righteousness alone- a right relationship with you, a right relationship with others, a right relationship with ourselves, a right relationship with your creation.

Suffering One, break our hearts as yours is broken. In the breaking, create in us clean hearts, pure hearts, undivided hearts. Hearts ready to make peace. Hearts ready to suffer for justice, truth, and the common good.

The congregation is invited to offer their own confessions 

Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Inspired by Matthew 8

Lord God,
We confess the smallness of our faith.
At those times when our lives seem stormy
we worry that you are asleep and don’t care about what happens to us.
When things are going well, we are quick to take the credit
and slow to give you thanks.
We have not loved you with our whole heart and we have not loved our neighbour as ourselves.
There are times when we are so focussed on our needs
That we miss the ways that you want to bless others through us.
You are the God who commands the winds and the waves
Yet you are also the God who draws near to us in love
Renew us with your Holy Spirit, draw us out of ourselves and deeper into your love
For Jesus’ sake

Jacob Traeger

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