Recently we got re-acquainted with what we consider to be the ultimate prayer of confession.
In the past several weeks, we’ve written a series of articles on forgiveness. So we wanted to give you a powerful prayer that speaks to forgiving yourself, forgiving others, and receiving God’s forgiveness for you.
We have used this prayer on many occasions ourselves, as well as used it in the last couple of years, with groups that we’ve led.
The Ultimate Prayer Of Confession
Gracious God, we have hurt others, and we have been hurt./ We have presumed upon others, and we have been presumed upon./
We have taken others for granted, and we have been taken for granted./
We have dishonored others, and we have been dishonored./ As we receive Your forgiveness for our wrongs,/ we extend forgiveness to others who have wronged us./ Have mercy upon us all. 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/ and what our hearts can no longer bear./
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.
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./
How To Use This Prayer-
- If using this by yourself, read line by line, and pause after each paragraph for a few moments of silence. Then read the next paragraph and pause again. Simmer in the spirit of the words and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you.
- If using this in a small group or with a friend or spouse, this can read line by line by one person and then repeated by the group, followed by a few moments of silence.
After the prayer, a member of the group (or your friend or spouse) may offer an assurance of pardon, perhaps using words like this:
Whatever is wrong, God forgives. Whatever is wounded, God heals. Whatever is partial, God completes. Whatever is weak, God makes strong. You are forgiven and loved, my brothers and sisters.
Now, as you have received grace and peace from God, share a greeting of grace and peace with one another, saying, “The grace of God is upon you,” or “The peace of Christ is with you.”
If you missed the most recent articles that we’ve written on the subject of forgiveness, here are the links to them.
The above prayer of was adapted from the Book Of Common Prayer as cited in Brian McLaren book: “We Make The Road By Walking.”
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