Friday, June 5, 2009

Prayer of Confession

If the prayer is printed in the bulletin, you will want to let people know where they can find the prayer. You might say something like: “Using the Prayer of Confession found in the bulletin, let us join our voices together in prayer.”

If the prayer is not printed in the bulletin, you may introduce the Prayer of Confession with a simple: “Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.”

If the prayer is not printed in the bulletin, you may construct the prayer in your own words. The confession should be general enough so that all participants in worship may find it to be applicable. Each prayer should include not only admission of our sins, but a request for forgiveness.

Almighty God,
you have raised Jesus from death to life,
and crowned him Lord of all.
We confess that we have not bowed before him,
or acknowledged his rule in our lives.
We have gone along with the ways of the world,
and failed to give him glory.
Forgive us and raise us from sin,
that we may be your faithful people,
obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who rules the world
and is head of the church, his body.
In his name we pray, Amen.

We confess to you, Lord, what we are:
we are not the people we like others to think we are;
we are afraid to admit even to ourselves what lies in the depths of our souls.
But we do not want to hide our true selves from you.
We believe that you know us as we are, and yet you still love us.
Help us not to shrink from self-knowledge;
teach us to respect ourselves for your sake;
give us the courage to put our trust in your guiding power.
Raise us out of the paralysis of guilt and fear
and take us into the freedom and energy of forgiven people.
And for those who through long habit find forgiveness hard to accept,
we ask that you would break their bondage and set them free.
Through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

God our Lord and Creator,
we have sinned against you
in thought, word and deed:
we have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.
But you have kept faith with us.
Have mercy on us;
strip us of all that is un-Christian;
and help us to live up to our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Merciful God,
we confess to you now that we have sinned.
We confess the sins that no one knows
and the sins that everyone knows.
We confess the sins that are a burden to us
and the sins that do not bother us
because we have grown used to them.

We confess our sins as a church.

We have not loved one another
as Christ loved us.
We have not forgiven one another
as we have been forgiven.
We have not given ourselves
in love and service for the world
as Christ gave himself for us.

Father, forgive us.
Send the Holy Spirit to us,
That he may give us power to live
as by your mercy,
you have called us to live.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

All or part of the following may be used…

Lord, please forgive our sins,
and set us free from them.

We confess to the sin of pride:
We have been sure of our own goodness and importance
and have looked down on others.
Help us to appreciate the true worth of other people.

We confess to the sin of envy:
We have been displeased when others have been more successful
or sought after than we have been.
Help us to be glad when others prosper.

We confess to the sin of self-indulgence:
We have had enough and more.
Yet we have neglected the needs of others.
Help us to deny ourselves so that others may not be in want.

We confess to the sin of unchastity:
In one way or another we have used sex wrongly.
Help us to create and uphold right relations between men and women,
both in and out of marriage.

We confess to the sin of anxiety:
We have worried about many things.
Help us to trust you to see us through.

We confess to the sin of laziness:
We have been lukewarm Christians.
Make us eager to do your will.

We confess to you our sins
and we ask for your forgiveness.
In the name of Christ we pray, Amen.

Eternal God,
in whom we live and move and have our being,
whose face is hidden from us by our sins,
and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts:
Cleanse us from all our offenses,
and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires,
that with reverent and humble hearts
we may draw near to you,
confessing our faults,
confiding in your grace,
and finding in you our refuge and strength;
through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen

Almighty and merciful God,
we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep.
We have followed too much
the devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have offended against your holy laws.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Spare those who confess their faults.
Restore those who are penitent,
according to your promises declared to the world
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O merciful God, for his sake,
that we may live a holy, just, and humble life
to the glory of your holy name. Amen

Gracious God,
our sins are too heavy to carry,
too real to hide,
and too deep to undo.
Forgive what our lips tremble to name,
what our hearts can no longer bear,
and what has become for us
a consuming fire of judgment.
Set us free from a past that we cannot change;
open to us a future in which we can be changed;
and grant us grace
to grow more and more in your likeness and image;
through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen

Merciful God,
in your gracious presence
we confess our sin and the sin of this world.
Although Christ is among us as our peace,
we are a people divided against ourselves
as we cling to the values of a broken world.
The profit and pleasures we pursue
lay waste the land and pollute the seas.
The fears and jealousies that we harbor
set neighbor against neighbor
and nation against nation.
We abuse your good gifts of imagination and freedom,
of intellect and reason,
and have turned them into bonds of oppression.
Lord, have mercy upon us;
heal and forgive us.
Set us free to serve you in the world
as agents of your reconciling love in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God,
you love us, but we have not loved you.
You call, but we have not listened.
We walk away from 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;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

Merciful God,
we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will,
we have broken your law,
we have rebelled against your love.
We have not loved our neighbors,
and we have refused to hear the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray.
Free us for joyful obedience;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
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.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us amend 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. Amen.

Holy and merciful God,
in your presence we confess
our sinfulness, our shortcomings,
and our offenses against you.
You alone know how often we have sinned
in wandering from your ways,
in wasting your gifts,
in forgetting your love.
Have mercy on us, O Lord,
for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you.
Forgive our sins,
and help us to live in your light,
and walk in your ways,
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

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 apart from you.
We have turned from our neighbors and refused to bear the burdens of others.
We have ignored the pain of the world,
and passed by the hungry, the poor, and the oppressed.
In your great mercy forgive our sins
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.

16 Christmas Day
God of grace and truth,
in Jesus Christ you came among us
as light shining in darkness.
We confess that we have not welcomed the light,
or trusted good news to be good.
We have closed our eyes to glory in our midst,
expecting little, and hoping for less.
Forgive our doubt, and renew our hope,
so that we may receive the fullness of your grace,
and live in the truth of Christ the Lord. Amen.

17 Epiphany
God of glory,
you sent Jesus among us as the light of the world,
to reveal your love for all people.
We confess that our sin and pride
hide the brightness of your light.
We turn away from the poor;
we ignore cries for justice;
we do not strive for peace.
In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin,
and baptize us once again with your Spirit,
that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth your glory
shining in the face of Jesus Christ. Amen.

18 Lent
God of mercy,
you sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost.
We confess that we have strayed from you
and turned aside from your way.
We are misled by pride,
for we see ourselves pure when we are stained,
and great when we are small.
We have failed in love,
neglected justice,
and ignored your truth.
Have mercy, O God, and forgive our sin.
Return us to paths of righteousness
through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

19 Easter
Almighty God,
in raising Jesus from the grave,
you shattered the power of sin and death.
We confess that we remain captive to doubt and fear,
bound by the ways that lead to death.
We overlook the poor and the hungry,
and pass by those who mourn;
we are deaf to the cries of the oppressed,
and indifferent to calls for peace;
we despise the weak,
and abuse the earth you made.
Forgive us, God of mercy.
Help us to trust your power
to change our lives and make us new,
that we may know the joy of life abundant
given in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. Amen.

20 Pentecost
Almighty God, you poured your Spirit upon gathered disciples
creating bold tongues, open ears,
and a new community of faith.
We confess that we hold back the force of your Spirit among us.
We do not listen for your word of grace,
speak the good news of your love,
or live as a people made one in Christ.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Transform our timid lives by the power of your Spirit,
and fill us with a flaming desire to be your faithful people,
doing your will for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


  1. Should the Unison Prayer of Confession always be such? Or can it be replaced by a Unison Prayer? I'm really struggling with the way our service is being put together in between pastors.

  2. Thank you very much for these resources.