Jesus Christ is our Suffering Servant!
Pastoral helps for personal confession
Whoever confesses and forsakes his transgressions will obtain mercy (Proverbs 28:13).
We live our lives before God, and nothing is hidden from him. He knows what we think, say and do, and he knows if it is for good or evil. So a daily personal audit, a time of review and confession, makes sane spiritual sense. Here are three prayers that, if prayed with an engaged heart, can help focus your thoughts during a time of confession.
First, there’s the famous prayer of confession from The Book of Common Prayer:
Most 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; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.
The following prayer is an excerpt from a longer one found in The Valley of Vision, an excellent collection of puritan prayers:
Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find your mind in your Word, of neglect to seek you in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations. But I thank you that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ.
This one, adapted from The Book of Common Worship, reminds us of God’s grace to change us in the future:
Gracious God, my sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what my lips tremble to name, what my heart can no longer bear, and what has become for me a consuming fire of judgment. Set me free from a past that I cannot change; open to me a future in which I can be changed; and grant me grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world.