Psalm 32:5 (NLT) "Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone."
A prayer of hope and purpose for the New Year
A prayer of hope and purpose for the new year, from Philippians 3--
I want to know Jesus Christ and his resurrection.
I can't understand his power or his suffering,
or his perfection and righteousness.
But you know that about me.
You know I can't handle this world's problems on my own.
You know I can't keep perspective on what matters.
It's why you sent Jesus to us in the first place.
Because I can't manage on my own,
I cling to the hope that you can and will transform all things.
I will forget what is behind me in this year.
I will reach toward what you have before me in the new year.
I will strain toward the prize of winning Christ,
of choosing hope in my ordinary existence.
I will press on toward the goal of becoming more like your son.
My end of the pursuit is heaven.
May I long to live in your presence,
rather than be fearful of leaving this earth.
Mature me this year.
Transform me this year.
Use me this year.
I am yours.
That is my hope.
Help me fix my mind on eternal, rather than earthly things.
This world is passing away,
but your love and the hope of heaven remain secure.
My citizenship is with you.
Thank you for this year, however difficult it was.
You were present, and you were working.
I love you.
In Jesus' name,
A prayer about my money
You own all my money, but you know how sometimes I get attached to it.
I have plans for it, and there never seems to be enough of it.
But, oh, how amazing it is to watch you multiply it when I let go.
I don't have any excess, so how much do you want?
All of it? How is that possible?
You're showing me already where it belongs.
You've written someone on my heart.
You've sketched a place in my mind's eye that needs your touch.
Giving hurts. I feel nervous to let it go.
I feel afraid to participate.
What if I've misheard you?
Really, Lord? All of it?
Let me work, you say.
Okay, I will. I love you. I trust you.
Everything is yours, anyway.
Thank you for using me.
Thank you for growing me.
A Labor Day prayer, for those of us who labor too much to listenDear Lord,
I'm so grateful to sit outside this weekend and marvel at the beauty of your world.
Thank you for this weekend--for the chance to rest and breathe and think.
I labor too much.
My labor keeps me from hearing you speak.
So often, I'm too busy to hear you speak.
I want your wisdom, but I don't sit down long enough to listen.
I don't stop the noise and the activity and wait.
I don't go where I can hear you, some place where the noise is music, and everything reveals your glory.
Speak your love and blessing over me.
Help me hear and remember your promises.
Open my heart to be tender to conviction and correction,
to recognize where I need to change and then to have the courage to do it.
I'm leaning into you, Lord.
Speak to me.
Every day that I sit in your presence
is a Sabbath day.
Lord, may I sit and listen every week and every day!
In Jesus' name,
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. (Exodus 20:9 )
Confession of disunityLord, God of heaven and earth,
How your heart must grieve over the dissension and hate in the world!
You want unity here on earth,
among your children,
so the world will know that you are a God of love.
Instead, we manifest selfishness, dissent, criticism, and hatred.
Create unity in me.
I confess my prejudice toward others who don't think like I think.
I confess my jealousy and resentment toward others who have more than me.
I confess my anger toward others who behave differently than I think they should.
I confess my excuses and my blame-shifting of my perspectives and beliefs
because I think other people are worse than me.
That creates disunity.
I want your Spirit to reign in my life,
causing love and unity toward all people,
regardless of politics, religion, race, economics, or anything else.
Create unity in our church.
I confess our selfishness because we care more about what church gives us
than we do about giving ourselves to mission.
I confess our petty bickering about politics,
because we care more about the kingdom of men than the kingdom of God.
I confess our vanity because we care more about appearances, success, and vibe
than we do about worshiping you.
I confess our arrogance toward our leaders because we care more about being in charge than we do about supporting the leaders God's already put in charge.
Create unity in our country.
I confess our history of prejudice and racism.
I confess our obsession with the American dream.
I confess our distortion of freedom and religion.
I confess our worship of public officials, monuments, celebrities, and the wealthy.
I confess our disregard for the dignity of human life--for our abortions, our death sentences, our slums, our prisons, our neglect of the elderly, the poor, and the sick.
I confess our failure to model the love of Jesus and raise up generations that seek you above all else.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. May we reflect the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In Jesus' name,
"I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete . Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."--John 17:23
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect .--Colossians 3:14
"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ."--1 Corinthians 12:12
Forgive us, for we have sinned: A unilateral confession of racism
Oh Lord, the God of all peoples--
You tell us to confess our sins,
the sins of our country,
to one another
and for one another.
If we are truly righteous, we will take ownership of the sins of our land.
We have sinned for generations.
We have been arrogant, violent, heartless, and ignorant--for generations upon generations.
And now, our hatred and violence surprises us and devastates us.
Let our confession prompt your forgiveness.
Let forgiveness motivate us to make restitution to those we've sinned against.
"Therefore your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:17)
We have worshipped our own success,
our own privilege,
our own destiny,
to the peril of others.
We are reaping the legacy of that self-absorption and ignorance,
let alone the hatred and violence that preceded it.
And yet, you are a God of a thousand chances
and a thousand blessings.
You wipe away our sins as far as the East is from the West.
You will answer us, if we will humble ourselves and confess our sins.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Oh, Lord, forgive us for racism.
We weep in grief and shame over the deeds of our country,
of its leaders, its laws, and its citizens.
Forgive us for our mass incarceration.
Forgive us for our systems that facilitate poverty and class.
Forgive us for our ignorance and pride.
Forgive us for elevating the rich and demonizing the poor.
Forgive us for enslaving the weak and empowering the strong.
Forgive us for protecting traditions and avoiding change.
Forgive us for not having the right conversations and the right time,
even though its scary and divisive.
Now change us.
Help us love like you and live like you, Jesus.
In your name,
I'm never going back--a prayer of determination
We all struggle to follow God consistently. We all return to our nasty habits and warped way of thinking. Keep struggling--keep fighting for truth to become the loudest voice in your head.
Read the prayer below of confession and dedication. Click on the 8 prayers embedded in this one to find more encouragement to help you make the continual decision to follow God and reject your selfish nature. There is victory in Jesus! We have to stop making excuses about why we don't follow God completely or why we revise what he tells us to do (so that it fits with our lifestyle). Joy and contentment are found only in a pure relationship with God.
It's me again.
You see me every time I go back to the things I've left behind,
when I give in to my sinful habits,
my selfish thinking,
my comfortable natural inclinations
my all-out rebellion.
I don't want to keep going back to that life,
that endless pursuit of happiness
that never feels satisfied.
I want to be freed from the prison that I have built for myself.
Why do I think those things will fill me up
when you alone can fill me?
You created a God-sized hold inside of me.
No person can fill it.
No career can fill it.
No things can fill it.
No persona can fill it.
How can I know this and still believe it's not true?
How do I turn my life around?
I don't ever want to go back to that way of thinking or acting.
There's nothing but destruction there.
Collateral damage on those who love me,
continuing pain and anguish for my descendants,
and absolute obliteration of my self-image.
When I pursue the praise and acceptance of this world,
I mar the image of God.
I forfeit the way you created me and the life you designed for me.
I give up my true self,
the self who was created to live in harmony and complete joy with you.
I'm never going back.
I will pursue you, even when it costs me.
I will obey you, even when it's unpopular and frightening.
I will follow your Words alone;
I will not allow the world's philosophies to corrupt or dilute your loving laws.
I will invite the Holy Spirit into my life every day to guide me in this pursuit.
I will listen for your voice.
I will surround myself with people who will correct and encourage me,
whose lives reflect you and bear the fruit of right living.
I will follow the wisdom of those older than me whom I respect and emulate.
I'm never going back.
Back is destruction and desolation.
Back is the enemy of my soul.
Back is loneliness and despair.
Help me, Lord.
Cut away the sin.
I've said this before,
and I've meant it every time.
Help me put in place accountability
as well as intentional pursuit of you.
Fellowship with the body of Christ,
service through the church,
personal quiet time with you,
continual prayer and worship,
and a total rejection of self.
I fall at your feet and worship you.
I confess my sin and self-worship.
In Jesus' name,
Confession of racism in the U.S. & a prayer for Arbery's justice
Maybe you ran 2.23 miles Friday in honor of runner Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased down and shot to death by Gregory and Travis McMichael on Feb. 23, 2020. Arbery would have been 26 Saturday, May 8.
Four months after the shooting, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has decided to arrest the son and father vigilantes. But will Georgia justly prosecute this multi-level travesty of racism, racial profiling, aggravated assault, and murder?
As believers, we can and should pray for at least two things regarding this tragic situation:
1. confession of the racism in our country
2. requesting justice for the Arbery family and other non-white citizens who undergo similar persecution in "the land of the free"
Why should we confess something if we had nothing to do with it?
Answer: the same reason that Moses confessed the sins of Israel, even though he didn't commit them. Moses prayed to stop God's heavy hand of judgment, which was poised to annihilate the Israelites. Moses' faithfulness and intercession kept his people alive.
What a great reason for all of us to pray for our country!
What a great reason for moms to pray for their children!
Here's a prayer for the Arbery's family and all of us:
You are justice, and yet you're grace.
You are love and judgment.
I pray for your comfort and peace to fall on Ahmaud Arbery's family.
Surround his mother today with inexplainable peace and nearness.
I pray for the mothers of the world and America in particular--
to raise your children to love and respect others.
Let us raise a generation of peace-makers.
Lord, I pray for justice for all,
but especially for people of color,
for the poor,
and for the marginalized.
I pray for a shift in thinking--
for a rooting out of the detestable and insidious DNA of supremacy, privilege, and power.
May the change begin with us, those who haven't committed crimes,
who don't hurt others--
may we stand in the gap for those who cannot fight themselves
or who cannot win without our help.
Forgive us for our selfishness and self-satisfaction.
Forgive us for not caring more.
May we do more than hashtag our support.
Help us to be courageous--
to stand in the gap and advocate for those who are misunderstood and overlooked.
Pour out your holy vengeance on those who claim to be Christian but act like the devil.
Pour out your judgment on those who hurt, oppress, and kill your children.
Make your presence known in this country.
Restore to your good name the reputation you deserve--
one of grace, love, justice, and forgiveness.
Do what you do.
I give myself to you.
I will not stand in the path of love and justice.
Righteousness is who you are.
It's who I want to be every day.
In Jesus' powerful name,
Before you ask God for something, pray this...I was just about to pray and ask God for some important and noble things (things I can do for God), and it occurred to me that my motives might be selfish, that perhaps my heart isn't quite right. I thought about my locked doors, the little places I'd rather ignore than open.
So I didn't pray that prayer.
"When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures."--James 4:3
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."--Psalm 51:10
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and will purify is from all unrighteousness."--1 John 1:9
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy."--Proverbs 28:13
Here's what I did pray:
I can't ask you for anything right now,
not even direction,
not for your will,
not for your blessing.
I know your will:
it's to be in relationship with me.
Lord, I want my life to glorify you.
I want you to cleanse me
and root out all the selfishness and self-glorification.
(I know that will be uncomfortable,
But change me.
I'm no good like I am.
I'm a mess.
I need you.
I will wait for you to reveal what needs to change inside me.
I will let you poke me
and pry open those doors that hide the things I'd rather not face.
I will let you dig
and root out the evil I call by other names.
Make me more like you today.
In Jesus' powerful name,
Let's pray this prayer. Let's let God change us first, before we ask him to change something far less significant. (click here)
When you keep doing the same sinHave you noticed that you struggle with the same bad habits,
over and over?
Maybe it's your temper, your insecurity, your selfishness, or your critical tongue.
Deep down, you know they're not even habits.
This happens to me.
I make this happen, by my own choices.
Every time I try to pray,
I feel this weight.
At first, I can't tell why I feel this way
or why my prayers seems to bounce right back.
Then I realize I'm sinning again.
I'm doing the same things I always do when my soul isn't full of righteousness.
Of course, I want to confess it and stop doing it.
But I feel ashamed that I'm about to pray the same prayer again,
confess the same sin,
and enter the same battle.
I have a decision to make:
I can humble myself and confess my sin,
and start working to change,
I can give up.
I can say "This is me.
This is just the way I am."
I can pretend that change isn't possible,
even though I know it is.
I can assume that God is tired of hearing me tell him I'm sorry
and I don't want to be like this.
I can just keep doing the same thing because it's too hard to make the corrections.
I experience this choice a lot.
Maybe you do, too.
Today, I choose to humble myself.
Please forgive me for _________________.
I know you love me and you'll always hear a humble heart,
so I'm humbling myself right now
and saying I can't move on without you.
I need your power.
I'll change direction.
I'll put _____________ off (Eph. 4:22-31)
and put on the opposite.
I'll rely on your Spirit for my strength instead of my own will-power.
I will try to be more like Jesus, through internal change (Rom. 12:1-2),
by renewing my mind and pursuing you.
In Jesus' holy name,
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32)
Forgive me for not trusting you
Please forgive me.
I'm having control issues.
(You already know this.)
They come from trust issues.
(You know that, too.)
I believe that I trust you.
But then I find myself stressing
how you're going to make everything work,
as if that's in question.
You know how I secretly pray for trust--
I pray for trust,
and I wait to praise you after you make everything all right.
That's not faith.
It's not trust.
I need your strength.
I am too weak,
I want to trust you completely.
I confess my faithlessness to you.
You are the answer.
I know that.
You know my past, present, and future.
You aren't upset with me,
disappointed with me,
or frustrated with me.
You're not worried about what I will do
or not do,
what I believe or don't believe.
You know that I am dust,
and yet I'm also a masterpiece,
according to you.
I don't understand it.
But I trust you.
I really want to trust you.
Even when I don't,
I trust you.
Help me trust you.
Show yourself powerful in my life.
It's all you.
You are amazing.
You might want to check these confessions out, too:
Forgive me for feeling sorry for myself
Please forgive me for feeling sorry for myself.
Thank you for your grace and mercy towards me.
In Jesus' name,
Forgiveness for my enemies
Lord, I'm thirsty for You
"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13-14)
Forgive my friend
Forgive my friend for being rude,
for hurting others,
for hurting herself/himself,
for hurting me.
Show them your power
and envelope them with a desire to worship you with every tiny aspect of their life.
I confess their sins for them,
knowing that you will extend grace, conviction, and restitution.
It's who you are.
Make me an instrument of grace and forgiveness
when someone wrongs me.
Make me a mouthpiece of grace and forgiveness
when I see injustice and it makes me mad.
Make me a encourager
when I can comfort someone who's been hurt.
Make me an advocate
when I can fix something that's wrong.
Make me like you.
Click here to pray "Confessing Someone Else's Sin"
Click here to read about how Job prayed for his friends who hurt him.
You can have all of me
You can have all of me.
It belongs to you, anyway,
I don't know why I keep pulling this all back on me.
You want to carry it for me.
So you can have me back again.
I love you.
For more prayers about this, click below:
my secret places.
All of it.
I give it to you.
because I belong to you.
It weighs me down,
clouds my thinking,
discourages and scares me.
I am weary from the burden of it.
You want to carry me.
Again and again
and every time I forget and pull this all on myself.
Again and again.
I trust you.
I need you.
It's not about me
This life is not about me.
My pain is not about me.
My relationships are not about me.
My purpose is not about me.
My success is not about me.
My plans are not about me.
Or at least, they shouldn't be.
It's all about you
working through me,
changing the world.
What an enormous task you've begun!
I wonder why you use me at all.
So when I sin--
when I misrepresent you--
when I disappoint myself--
when I hurt others--
when I give up--
when I hide--
when I don't believe--
it's all about me.
Life is hard.
Wisdom is difficult.
I only have my own perspective.
But I need yours.
Sometimes your heart is hard to see
because I can only see mine.
I must lean into you,
remove my blinders,
open my soul to listen.
Forgive me for listening to the voices around me
instead of yours.
Confessing my country's sins
You know what's going on in my country.
You know our sins are enormous.
We exploit the naive, the weak, the old, the poor, and the traumatized.
We kill babies, no matter what their size.
We decide who has a chance to live and what life should look like.
We devalue human identity and created purpose, confusing our children and adults about who they are and how you created them.
We ignore the handicapped unless they do something amazing that fully-functioning people don't do.
We execute criminals, whether they've had a fair trial or not, and we say "Good riddance."
We waste our natural resources.
We mass-murder our own countrymen and look for someone to blame for it.
We desecrate our healthy bodies through dangerous lifestyles, immorality, substance abuse, and food addictions. We call it our personal right to do so.
We waste our time. Oh, such a valuable commodity. We act as if it will never run out.
We visit churches and read articles and buy books
by people who tell us we deserve a better life and we're special people, instead of reminding us that God has designed us to suffer for the gospel.
We bestow friendship and support on the demographics who look like us, act like us, and make us feel comfortable; and we ignore everyone else.
We pit the sexes, generations, and races against one another by confusing equality with similarity.
We give second, third, and fourth chances to the rich and famous when their sins are great--we even publish their memoirs and celebrate their mini-victories before they fall again into the same patterns. But--
We punish the poor and marginalized and tell them they've had enough time to get their act together.
We change our theology whenever something we're doing doesn't line up with your commands. If necessary, we change churches or stop going altogether. We avoid guilt at all costs.
We read secular philosophies and gravitate toward a perspective that exalts mankind and minimizes obedience and worship of God.
Please forgive us.
I confess my country's sins to you. I live here. I am a part of what's wrong whenever I don't stand for what's right.
Grant us your mercy and grace.
We don't deserve your love or favor, but we desperately need it.
Fall on us, Holy Spirit. Let us be the light to the who don't know you.
Help us light their way instead of pushing them into deeper darkness.
Convict me of my own sin--
of my inclination towards self-righteousness and condemnation of others.
Convict me to live boldly for good instead of boldly criticizing people who do evil.
Or excusing myself when I do evil.
Heal our land.
In Jesus' name,
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive sin and will ."--2 Chronicles 7:14
I really messed up this week: a prayer of awareness and repentance
but I guess you know about that better than I do
We don't really wait all that well.
A Prayer of Focus: Turn Your Eyes On Jesus
all the petty jealousies and regrets,
the self-doubt and self-loathing
(aka. the pride),
the insecurity and fear,
the ambition and greed,
the self-absorption and self-promotion.
Help me focus on Jesus only.
Only He matters.
Read these beautiful words from the old hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" by Helen Howarth Lemmel and/or listen to Lauren Daigle sing the song on her album Look Up Child. (2018)
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
and the things of this earth will grow strangely dime
in the light of His glory and grace."
Show me where I'm holding back your story
You are writing a story with my life.
I know that, but I often forget that my story is actually a tool to tell your story.
You're writing your story on my life
so people who don't know you will
see what love looks like through me.
I'm blowing this.
How much am I confusing the telling of your story?
Are the pages of my life so focused on me
and what will happen to me
and what has happened to me
that your message is blurred?
Lord, show me where I'm interrupting the story you want to write on me.
I know you've called me.
I've hard the sermons and read the Bible verses about calling and surrender.
It's just that sometimes,
I don't know what you're calling me to.
I see what I can do and what I want to do,
but I don't understand what's taking you so long to use me for something significant.
This is idolatry, and I confess it to you.
This is greed, fear, and selfishness.
This is me thinking that your gifts are for my success
instead of your glory.
Lord, remind me daily--hourly--that everything in my life is about telling your story.
About living your story.
I don't want to put parameters around the story you want to tell through me.
I don't want to hold back my most hurtful memories
or my most precious gifts
because my faith is weak concerning what you will do with them.
Lord, show me where I'm holding you back from writing the story you want to write on me.
I give everything in my life to you to use however you choose.
Just give me the grace and courage to keep giving everything to you,
especially when life is hard (which is a lot of the time),
so you can write my story the way you want to.
I desire to be a blank page in your book full of beauty, power, and legacy.
All of which points back to you.
Confession and Intercession over the value of human life
How grieved you must be over the callous attitude your creation has toward life!
I know you're not surprised because this has been reality since the beginning of time--
since Cain murdered his brother.
And parents have murdered children,
children have murdered parents,
people have waged war
and claimed to do it in your name and for your honor.
How we misrepresent you and your love for the whole world!
For each individual person,
no matter how helpless,
and how innocent.
They belong to you.
We are only custodians of your creation.
Of turtles, whales, eagles, leopards, water, earth, energy--
but especially of human life.
How can culture get this so mixed up?
I pray for your grace, patience, and conviction.
I ask for your forgiveness on behalf of those who kill innocent lives
and discount the lives of the elderly and handicapped.
I pray for your Spirit to permeate our world
and bring reason and value to every human life.
Especially our churches.
Make us a people of love, grace, and urgency.
Keep us from judgment, hate, and retribution.
Lord, I'm so embarrassed and grieved at the way Christians treat the world
because they don't believe in you or value your commands.
Of course they don't!
They are blind.
Give sight to the blind and freedom to the captive, both in mind, spirit, and body.
Use our legislature and our churches.
Change our parents and our families.
We are the light.
Help us shine brightly in a dark world!
In Jesus' name,
Praying forgiveness on believers who cause trouble in the church
I'm asking your forgiveness and grace on some fellow-believers.
They're mean and nasty,
and they don't love the body Christ.
They're always stirring up trouble,
berating believers, gossiping about fellow- Christians,
and spewing venom against the church
and what it doesn't do for them.
They are incredibly selfish, immature, and divisive.
I know you'll judge these people.
You hate this kind of behavior, more than you hate anything.
I know they will feel the effects of their attitudes in their own families.
Perhaps their children will reject You and the church because of their example.
Perhaps they will lose friends and lose community.
I don't wish these natural consequences on them,
although I know the course of rebellion can't be stopped
apart from repentance and your incredible grace.
Give me the grace to forgive them,
(even when their hate isn't directly against me)--
help me to not hold grudges and made assumptions about them.
Lavish your lovingkindness on them.
I pray for the Holy Spirit to speak truth and correction into their lives.
Please redeem the bitterness and anger in these families.
I ask forgiveness for them.
Send them people who will show your love and encouragement.
But most of all, lavish your love and grace on the body of Christ,
and make us resilient and long-suffering.
These are miracles only you can do.
A Prayer about getting involved
Dear Lord Jesus, the God who saves us--
I'm so thrilled to be a part of your mission on earth.
I sit in awe at how you love every single person,
how you desire hope and purpose for them,
how you call each person to yourself.
Some don't hear you calling.
They have too much pain
or too many sorrows.
Many are fighting to survive,
and some are just fighting.
I can help with that,
if I care enough to get involved.
I can sponsor a child,
I can feed the hungry,
I can welcome the stranger,
I can befriend the lonely,
I can visit a prisoner,
I can provide for the needy,
I can advocate for the weak,
I can comfort the brokenhearted,
I can provide healing for the sick,
I can rescue the enslaved.
But only if I'm willing.
I can't pray and ask you if I should get involved
because you've already told me to do it.
Now it's strictly a matter of obedience.
I must get involved.
Give me courage and selflessness.
I will take the next step.
I will answer the need right in front of me,
the need, perhaps, that I have been overlooking.
You've been calling me to mission all along.
I must involve myself in your work.
Forgive me for not seeing the needs everywhere.
I love you.
In Jesus' name,
A Confession of injustice
Dear Lord God,
You forgive us when we confess our sins,
and you give grace when we confess the sins of our ancestors--
of our family and our city and our country.
So I confess the great wickedness of our nation
at oppressing the poor,
marginalizing women, minorities, the elderly, and the ill,
enslaving the African-Americans,
red-lining poor communities,
indenturing and imprisoning the uneducated and underprivileged.
I confess our systemic white privilege,
even as I want to believe I am not a benefactor of it.
I confess our sins of racism and segregation,
even as I say that I have not overtly participated in any of it.
It is our heritage, and we are wrong to minimize its legacy.
I confess the church's sins of politicizing moral issues,
of drawing party lines through issues of compassion, grace, and mercy--
of using topics of mass incarceration, death penalty, immigration, life, and welfare
to divide party lines and provide ease and security for the privileged.
I confess these sins on behalf of the countless Christians who claim your name but do not behave like you did.
We do not touch the diseased,
help the prostitute,
protect the children,
shelter the foreigner,
or befriend the poor.
You condemned the religious rule-followers.
You called them serpents, dirty dishes, tombs.
You hated their sacrifices and their charitable donations and their prayers.
They made you angry.
We are them.
Oh, too often, we are them.
How angry do we make you
when we cry, "Lock him up!"
"Kill them all!"
"Take her children away!"
We do your name such injustice
when we prevent your creation from experiencing justice.
I confess it all.
I bear the blame.
May we all bear it,
and then, may we change.
Change us, oh God!
It's what you do best.
Instead of praying "Change them," change us!
and it's how the world will see that you are a God of love and justice.
"Oh, Lord, we acknowledge our wickedness and the guilt of our fathers; we have indeed sinned against you. For the sake of your name, do not despise us; do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember the covenant with us and do not break it. Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? Therefore, our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this." (Jeremiah 14:20-22)
I'm sorry I've been away
I'm sorry I've been away for awhile.
I let my daily routines consume my time.
I let my mind fill up with lists and stresses.
I really just needed more of you.
Help me to seek you first and your righteousness.
You will take care of the rest.
Change my devotional time to reflect new priorities.
I long for your presence and for your Spirit.
Come to me, indwell me, change me.
What are my idols?Dear God Almighty,
I want to sit in your presence and hear you speak to me.
But perhaps I'm worshipping something else,
something about me and for me,
instead of listening for your will
or obeying what I already know I should be doing.
I do desire clean hands,
a pure heart,
and a soul that's not idolatrous.
The truth is, worship of you only is hard.
I naturally drift toward self-centeredness.
Show me where I go wrong,
where I steer away from loving you completely.
What are my idols?
Are they people I love?
Cleanse me of these desires
and give me a pure heart
that seeks only You.
You are my One and Only,
my Alpha and Omega.
my Beginning and End.
And thank you for your patience with me.
In Jesus' name,
When you hate someoneHave you ever felt disdain for someone? Hatred, even? Guilt that you should forgive an enemy, but you don't know how?
Confession from a Control FreakLord of Lords,
I want you to be present in my life.
I even want you to be in control--
so why do I chafe against life's constraints, against unwanted circumstances?
Why do I grumble about the time it takes for you to work in my life?
Why do I say I want your will, even while I plan and control my own destiny?
I worry about what will happen and what hasn't happened.
Although I don't blame you audibly,
I find myself annoyed with my life
and avoiding my quiet time with you.
Because I've distanced myself from you.
My life is a testament to how and if and when I let you work.
My attitude reveals my heart.
I respect the beauty of your power, but not the impact of it.
It's like controlling the ocean, the surf, and the shoreline and thinking that would make the ocean better.
In essence, that would ruin the majesty of creation.
Lord, help me be willing to give you my whole heart.
Convict me when I don't.
Please forgive me. I want you to have all of me.
My Confession to youI read James 5:16 today. I think I should follow its commands.
It's a good, albeit humbling, cleansing method.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
I am proud: I care what people think and want them to respect and like me.
I want to think I'm better than other people at the things I value.
I am petty: I worry and obsess over things that don't really matter in life.
I am unforgiving: I like harboring secret resentment toward people who have wronged me. I cover it up by being nice to them, but deep down, I know I don't want them to prosper.
I am selfish: I think of my own needs and desires first. Even when I serve people, I am often aware of what I'm "giving up." This is still being self-oriented.
I am forgetful: I focus on the present, to the detriment of the past and all You've already done for me.
I am faithless: I believe that God has great purpose for my life, but when I worry and freak out over the time and effort it takes to obey Him, I reveal how faithless I actually am.
I do not want to be this person. In my Spirit-filled moments, I am. But the rest of the time, I am fighting it. My spirit and my soul are at war.
Heal me, O Lord Jehovah, Rapha and Redeemer!
Only you can take someone as sinful as me
and make me into someone like You.
It's unimaginable, but I believe it's true.
Remind me of Your grace and love.
Pour out Your power on me
so that Your power can course through me
and pour out on someone else.
You are that amazing! I worship You and adore You!
Confessing someone else's sinsLord God, the Holy One--
You are gracious and full of awesome power and purity.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.
I come today on behalf of someone else.
I want to pray for ________'s repentance,
so first I must ask you to forgive me of my wrong-doing and selfishness.
Convict and remove all the little pet sins I shelter in my life,
the things I say aren't a big deal.
Root them out.
I'll brace myself.
I know it will hurt a little to be honest with myself and change my will and behavior.
But when I do, I will have peace.
Forgive me, please.
So now I ask you to forgive __________. I confess on his/her behalf.
Forgive him/her for rebellion, selfishness, pride, and ignorance of Your laws and Your expectations.
Moses confessed for Israel, and even though they rarely repented,
You had compassion on them,
for Moses' sake.
You showed grace and mercy and lovingkindness.
Because someone cared enough to ask You for it.
Show Your lovingkindness to __________.
Put a wall of protection around _________,
not to keep him/her from consequences--
because sin always has consequences--
but to keep __________ from total devastation.
Insert someone into his/her path,
someone to speak truth,
to represent Your love authentically,
to dislodge the lies, the myths, and the willful rejection of Your plan for his/her life.
I confess it all and beg Your mercy and grace for _________.
Draw him/her to Yourself.
You are the only thing that satisfies.
You, the Holy One.
image by Barbara Jackson
Confessions of a critical tongueOh, Lord,
I did it again. I'm nit-picking and criticizing. I just can't stop myself. Or at least, I choose not to. I stand in front of people I love and I say unhelpful things with a big megaphone when I should just be listening.
Help me to choose edifying speech. I want to give encouragement to my kids and husband, to speak lovely things about extended family and friends, to notice the good in church, school, and community organizations. I want to be a blessing to others.
Lord, root out this spirit of criticism. I confess it. I know it comes from pride, and I confess it and pray against it in Jesus' name. Help me to learn your humility and your gentleness. Even when I see the wrong in something--even when I should take action against it or call it out--give me the grace to fight sin with mercy and understanding, to love sinners while hating sin. To give the Holy Spirit time to work in his own way and not according to my impatience.
Why is this so hard? I am such a sinner and a hypocrite. Please forgive me of my sinful arrogance and selfishness. I need you. Let my critical tongue remind me that I need you and only you to change me into your likeness. Help me to pause and pray every time I think a negative thought--I want to give the Holy Spirit time to stop me from speaking. I want time to remember your many blessings in my life, to erase my Pharisaical, entitled attitude and give me the attitude of Christ.
If I can learn that--then all my speech and all my actions would only bring you glory and bless others. May I long for that enough to change!
In Jesus' name,
"Your attitude would be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider quality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)
image by George Hodan
A prayer against shame
Dear Holy God,
You feel the ache I'm feeling.
You know the weight and sorrow of sin,
even another person's sin,
especially when it affects me.
Shame rolls in like a tidal wave,
wave after wave,
hitting the shores of my soul.
I want to cower and cover up
my sins and the sins of the people I love.
I chafe under conviction
(the very thing that seeks to release me)--
while I protect my shame
(the very thing that keeps me in bondage).
Oh, Father, give me the courage to welcome conviction for my sin
and the tenacity to fight the shame.
Your Spirit convicts,
but Your enemy shames,
because he knows that shame will make me hide in the shadows,
hide from the body of Christ,
and hide from You.
Lord, make us freedom-seekers!
Give us the desire to live freely in Your convicting presence,
in the holy of holies, where our souls are laid bare before You.
Help us confess our faults to one another
and pray for one another
so that we will be healed!
There is no limit to the power that will be unleashed when
righteous, shameless freedom-seekers seek the face of God and pray!
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)
(meme made in WordSwag)
(meme made in WordSwag)
10 Reasons You Should Fast and Pray
image by Kevin Phillips
A prayer for blessing our nationLord of heaven, the God of the whole earth and of America,
We are a smug, selfish people. Forgive us, Lord, for asking for you to move in our nation merely because we want spirituality to be popular and sanctification to be easy. Forgive us for wanting laws that accommodate our spiritual goals rather than laws that motivate our spiritual fervor.
Bless us with your conviction and the power of your spirit! Manifest your patience and lovingkindness for our weaknesses! Continue to bless us--not with material wealth and extravagant living--but with the reality of your presence. May your presence go before us, go with us, and shield us from behind, as we deliver your message to a lost nation of peoples. Give us the courage to share your word, as it lives and breathes among us, transforming us to become more like you.
Make us into missionaries within our own borders! Bless us with courage and determination to share Christ rather than impose morality.
Give us patience and lovingkindness for others, as we desire for ourselves. May all your plans succeed in your timing and for your purpose. We are the people you have called and chosen--not to live prosperous and happy lives, but to share the good news with a nation that doesn't know who you are or what you've done for us.
Bless America through our testimony, and nothing else.
"But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance."
image by Linnaea Mallette
David's Prayer of ConfessionHave mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of my salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:1-4, 10-12
image from crestock.com