Responsive Prayer of Confession from Psalm 51

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions.
Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin! For we know our transgressions, and our sin is ever before us.
Against you, you only, have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Hide your face from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities.
Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us.
Cast us not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation, and uphold us with a willing spirit.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or we would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
Our sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

-from Psalm 51:1-4; 9-12; 16-17 (ESV
adapted from Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell


Corporate Prayer of Confession from The Savoy Liturgy

O most great, most just and gracious God; You are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; but you have promised mercy through Jesus Christ to all who repent and believe in him. Therefore we confess that we are sinful by nature and that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We have neglected and abused your holy worship and your holy name. We have dealt unjustly and uncharitably with our neighbors. We have not sought first your kingdom and righteousness. We have not been content with our daily bread.

You have revealed your wonderful love to us in Christ and offered us pardon and salvation in him; but we have turned away. We have run into temptation; and the sin that we should have hated, we have committed.

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father! We confess you alone are our hope. Make us your children and give us the Spirit of your Son, our only Savior. Amen.

-from a 1661 prayer of Richard Baxter, The Savoy Liturgy

Prayer of Confession: Continual Repentance

O God of Grace, You have imputed our sin to our substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to our soul, clothing us with a bridegroom’s robe, decking us with jewels of holiness.

But in our Christian walk we are still in rags; our best prayers are stained with sin; our penitential tears are so much impurity; our confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; our receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

We need to repent of our repentance; we need our tears to be washed;

We have no robe to bring to cover our sins, no loom to weave our own righteousness;

We are always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace are always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly;

We are always going into the far country, and always returning home as prodigals, always saying, Father, forgive us, and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let us wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant us never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.

adapted from “Continual Repentance” (The Valley of Vision) © 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust

Contemporary Prayer of Confession

You asked for my hands,
that you might use them for your purpose.
I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them,
for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth
to speak out against injustice.
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.
You asked for my eyes
to see the pain of poverty.
I closed them, for I did not want to see.
You asked for my life,
that you might work through me.
I gave a small part, that I might not get too involved.
Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you—
only when it is convenient for me to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so,
and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Father, forgive me,
renew me, send me out
as a usable instrument,
that I might take seriously
the meaning of your cross. Amen.

adapted from The Worship Sourcebook, ©2004, Faith Alive Christian Resources

Prayer of Confession from Psalm 40

O Lord, do not restrain your mercy from me;
may your steadfast love and your faithfulness ever preserve me!
For evils have encompassed me beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!

-from Psalm 40:11-13 (ESV)
adapted from Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell

Responsive Affirmation of Faith from John 1 and Colossians 3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, 
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

-John 1:1-5; 9-10; Colossians 3:16-17 (ESV)
adapted from Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell

Responsive Scripture Reading: The Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

-The Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-16 (ESV)
adapted from Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell