On Sunday, April 22, 2018, Stephanie Shanks shared the following Prayer of Confession to begin our meeting. We hope that her words continue to convict and encourage your heart this week.
O LORD. You are the Covenant-Keeping God.
We come to you now because you first came to us. You are the Author and Finisher of our faith. You grant us faith, you preserve it, and you reward it. So we stand here in full assurance of faith, beside our brothers and sisters and before you, to whom we all must give account. You see us to the bottom, to the basement of our souls, and you see all the sins, lies, doubts, fantasies, frailties, wounds, and regrets we have tossed into its darkness. Jesus has carried all these things up into the light of your grace to plead them as His own, in exchange for His righteousness. Because He intercedes for us, we can confess without fear the things that we have clutched.
We confess that we have hearts that are turned in on ourselves instead of toward you.
Though you have generously revealed your glory in the intricate beauty of creation, in the diversity of your image-bearers, in your perfectly incisive Word—we don’t always see them as you intended—to see YOU more clearly. Instead we see our own reflections, our own character, egos, schedules, accomplishments, roles, and good works.
LORD, forgive us for failing to worship you.
We confess the ways we disregard and dilute the reality of your holy judgment against sin. We twist the standards of righteousness to commend our own lifestyle, and bend the meaning of wickedness to reflect the hearts of others but never ourselves. We presume that we would be on the Ark with Noah.
LORD, give us the grace today to be less certain. Give us the humility we need to tremble before your Word, that we may fear you and flee to Christ.
We confess our failure to walk with you in wholehearted obedience. We so often flirt with the things you hate, and shrug off the chances to express your righteousness. We are like distracted children in the supermarket—we don’t walk with you. We confess that we forget the full meaning of our salvation:
that we are freed for obedience, not from it;
that you save us through our active faith, not just the profession of it;
that faith without obedience is as good as dead.
LORD, forgive us for our lack of faith that has spawned unrighteous behavior, conversation, and thoughts. Save us to the uttermost—that’s what you came to do.
LORD, we need you. We cannot walk this narrow road on our own. As we wait for you this morning, and when we wait again tomorrow, give us Jesus. Give us the assurance we need
through His obedient life, death, and resurrection;
through your promise to never leave nor forsake us;
and through the working out of our salvation as we choose to walk in your ways.
Thank you that It is you who work in us, from start to finish. We love you.
In the name of Jesus alone,