Too often when we gather for worship we miss out on a vital part of worship: Confession of sin and need for God. Of course confession is all too often left out of our worship gatherings but that is our great loss. It is only when we allow ourselves to be humbled at our desperate condition that we can rejoice most fully in God’s gracious salvation. The stars are seen and enjoyed most when the darkness around us is greatest.
So to help you prepare to worship God with other believers tomorrow, here is a possible prayer of confession. It is loosely based upon one of the prayers from the little book Valley of Vision.
You are good beyond all our thought, but we are defiled by sin, wretched and miserable in our sin, and blind to the awfulness of our sin.
Too often our lips are ready to confess but our hearts are slow to feel our need and our ways relunctant to change.
We bring our souls to You; O, Father. Break us, wound us, bend us, mold us. Unmask to us our sin’s deformity and ugliness, that we may hate it, abhor it, and flee from it.
Our thoughts and senses have been weapons of rebellion against you. And as rebels we have misused our strength and served the adversary of your kingdom.
Give us grace to hate and mourn our senseless and foolish sin! Grant us to know that the way of sinners and rebels is hard; that evil paths are wretched paths; that to depart from You is to lose all good.
We have seen the purity and beauty of Your perfect law, the happiness of those in whose hearts it reigns, the calm dignity of the life to which it calls us, yet we daily violate and break its precepts for us.
Your loving Spirit strives within us, he brings us warnings from Scripture and he speaks to us in startling ways. Yet we choose to live life on our own terms and to our own hurt. In pride we grieve and provoke your Spirit to abandon us.
All these sins we mourn, lament, and cry pardon for them.
Work in us a more profound and abiding repentance;
Give to us the fullness of godly grief:
– A grief that trembles and fears,
– Yet A grief that always trusts and loves you alone,
– A grief that is powerful and yet confident in your grace.
Grant to us through the tears of repentance that we may see more clearly the brightness and the glories of the saving cross of our Savor and King, Jesus Christ.
In whose name we pray,