I’ve been considering writing out prayers for our congregation’s worship service. Here’s this Sunday’s Confession.
Our Heavenly Father, forgive us our sin. Instead of turning to you who is the fount of every blessing, we have dug cisterns of our own when we were thirsty. We have, in our stubbornness, assured ourselves that we may have peace without you. But Father, there is no peace.
In our restlessness, we have given ourselves over to pleasure and comfort believing we would never be free of sadness, pain, or boredom.
We have been faithless in our devotion to you, and have not kept our promises, nor have we wanted to honor those to whom we have made promises.
Rather than love you and others, we have set our affections on other’s approval or upon circumstances playing out as we demand. We have looked to them to save and deliver us, even as we hoped they would give us peace.
We have kept for ourselves the recognition and property which belongs to and is due to others. Our over-desires have conceived in us an envy in which we would rather see others deprived of the good they enjoy if it means that you would not give us the same.
These are the kinds of people we are, and we are sorry.
Father we want more than regret over our failings,
We want brokenness for the offense to you.
We want more than managed behavior,
We want to love you obediently.
We want more than cleaned up lives,
We want new hearts.
Father, we cannot be who we ought, let alone who we want because we do not have the power to be other than who we are: miserable sinners. And that is what we are.
But is that all you must be?
No. To those who are dead, Jesus Christ came to give life. To those who are stuck in old thoughts and patterns of living, Jesus came to make all things new. To those who are sick with sin, Jesus says, I have come not to call the righteous but sinners. And to those who are thirsty, Jesus Christ says, “…let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.