Holy God, your word declares that you have taken away our iniquity, and that you remember our sin no more. But we confess that we focus so much on ourselves, and our failures, and our feelings and our merits that we choose to be consumed by our guilt and shame, and refuse the salvation you offer us freely through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Forgive us when we forget the comfort of your love, our fellowship with your spirit, and the tenderness and compassion you have called us to show to a world in need. Forgive us when we care so much about ourselves and what we want that we forget to love our neighbor, and in so doing forget to love you.
Almighty Father, take from us all hatred and prejudice and discord. Remind us that there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, so that we may all truly be of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and that with one mind and one mouth we may glorify you, through Jesus Christ our Lord who reigns together with you and the Holy Spirit, in a Kingdom without end. Amen.
Holy God, we come before your throne and admit that most of the time we are too busy singing and praying and feeling goood and feeling bad and feeling so-so to stop and listen for your tiny, little whispers. In your word you paint for us a picture of full and abundant life, life that can only be had by drinking your living water, knowing you not as a title, but intimately, a mystery, as a wife knows her husband.
We pray that our lives would be planted near you – that we would send our roots deep into your word and your life, that we would draw nourishment from you, and that with the life you give we would in turn provide shelter and comfort and blessing to whoever comes under our branches.
We pray that we would not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor abide in the house of hte scornful, but that our delight would be in you, in your truth, in your grace, now and forevermore.
Holy God, we proclaim that you are good, and that for us there is nothing better than to be near you, to hear your voice, and to speak of the wonderful things you have done. We confess that like the psalmist we sometimes are seduced by the lives of people who ignore you and prosper, and we wonder whether we have kept ourselves pure for no reason at all. We ask that you lead us into your sanctuary and remind us of the destiny of the wicked.
Above everything, we desire to belong to you – to cling to your right hand. We declare that we have nothing in heaven but you, and desire you more than naything else on earth.
We pray all of these things in hte name of Jesus, who rules over all powers and principalities, now and forevermore.
Lord, God most High, we come before your throne and speak with you as a friend speaks with a friend, knowing that you yourself sit in heaven and speak on our behalf.
We confess that many times the relationship we share is shallow – that we serve you out of selfishness, believing that you bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.
We look at Job and wonder whether we would react as he did – recognizing your Sovereign right to do what you wish, accepting both good and bad from your hand with grace. We take comfort that you were pleased with Job, and declared that he spoke rightly of you – even in his bitter complaints, and we ask that you teach us to speak honestly with you – that we would approach your throne with honest and sincere hearts.
Teach us to seek your favor, and not only your blessing – your wisdom, and not only your rewards. Make our lives so intertwined with you that we cannot let you go, even in the depths of despair – in the land of darkest shadow.
Remind us that wherever we are, even there your hand will guide us.
We come to you and speak only by the name and the power of Jesus Christ, our advocate and Lord, who reigns with you forever.
Almighty God, with your Holy words you spoke the world into being, and with those same words you enter our lives and offer to be in us a new creation, transforming us not through coercion or force, but by living inside our hearts.
We are ashamed to admit that many times our hearts are not a place we really want you to visit, much less live. We honestly would be much more comfortable if you let us meet you on our own terms, rather than insisting we surrender everything we are to you.
But we pray, O God, that your words and your story would become reality to us, and that as we leave this place today, your story would narrate our lives, so that we will be a part of your unfinished work on Earth.
As we meditate on these Holy Mysteries, may we imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
In the Holy Name of Jesus our Savior and Lord we pray.
God, your scripture teaches us that someone who hears your words and then fails to put them into practice is like a person who looks at their face in a mirror but turns away and forgets what they look like. And as we listen to your words we are convicted because that is who we are. We pick and choose among your words like people at a cafeteria buffet, thinking we can have what we want and avoid the things we find unpalatable. But your teaching do not allow us that luxury, and so we repent, and ask that you help us begin to take you seriously.
We are grateful that you offer us
grace, though we don’t deserve it,
hope, though we often ignore it,
peace, though we often refuse it.
You shower blessings on us even when we don’t acknowledge you, and in humility we say thank you.
Teach us to remember who we are.
Teach us to remember who you have made us to be.
Teach us to trust in your promises.
Teach us to believe in you.
And as we meditate on these holy mysteries, may we imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
In the holy name of Jesus Christ.
Holy God, you are the maker and sustainer of all things. You teach us to be good stewards of your generosity, but we confess that we have been dishonest managers of your blessings. You teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but most of us are so isolated that we don’t know our neighbor’s name. You teach us that if ew are dishonest in small things, we will be dishonest in greater things, yet we treat your words as if only the big things really matter. We have heard your high and holy standards, and then lowered the bar so low that we can hardly even trip over it. We repent, and know that our only hope is for you to treat us with mercy and favor that we do not in any way deserve.
We are grateful for your patience with us.
We are grateful that you have blessed us in spite of our faithlessness.
We are grateful that you continue to work through us in spite of our selfishness.
We ask, O God, that you change our ways:
Open our minds to understand your purpose in the world around us.
Open our hearts to the hurting world around us.
Open our ears to the cry of the oppressed.
Open our eyes to see the path you would have us walk.
Open our lives that we may fallow you, no matter where you lead.
We place our lives and our futures in your mighty hands. We confess and praise and plead with you in the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.