Prayer of Confession for Lent
Lent, the 40 day period leading up to Resurrection Sunday, is a time for confession and turning away from sin. While this ought to be a daily discipline, it is still good to have a focused season for this. In my Lenten devotions, I've been using a guide called
On the Way to the Cross: 40 Days with the Church Fathers--a journey through John's Gospel with excerpts from sermons and writings from the church fathers. One benefit is that each day begins with this prayer of confession, which can also be accessed from the Book of Common Prayer.
Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have wandered and strayed from your ways
like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices and desires
of our own hearts.
We have offended against your holy laws.
We have left undone those things
that we ought to have done;
and we have done those things
that we ought not to have done;
and there is no health in us.
But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us sinners.
Spare those who confess their faults.
Restore those who are penitent,
according to your promises declared to mankind
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may live a disciplined, righteous and godly life,
to the glory of your holy name.
I have found benefit in reading the prayer slowly, focusing on sins that I have committed and on what I have failed to do. I find much encouragement that the prayer ends with a focus on God's merciful nature--one who forgives sins and restores--and the renewed hope and expectation of new life in Christ.
2/19/2013 10:09:55 pm
Thanks for posting this, I love the early church and early church fathers' writings. Growing up Episcopalian, almost ordained Methodist, married Presbyterian, and Baptist Seminary, allows me the privilege of seeing all sides. I still love the BCP and use it in services (funeral, wedding, Baptisms, Ash Wednesday) and no Baptist even knows. I've had them comment, "That's a beautiful prayer."
2/19/2013 10:22:10 pm
Thanks Matt, I, too am a bit of a mutt or hybrid Christian having benefited from the richness of various traditions. Blessings as you ministering during Lent and toward the celebration of Resurrection Sunday.
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