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

Prayer of Confession

Holy and merciful God,
in your presence we confess
our sinfulness, our shortcomings,
and our offenses against you.
You alone know how often we have sinned
in wandering from your ways,
in wasting your gifts,
in forgetting your love.
Have mercy on us, O Lord,
for we are ashamed and sorry
for all we have done to displease you.
Forgive our sins,
and help us to live in your light
and walk in your ways,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

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

The Great God

O Fountain of All Good,
Destroy in us every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,

Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,
Implant in us true lowliness of spirit,
Abase us to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in us a fount of penitential tears,

Break us, then bind us up;
Thus will our hearts be a prepared dwelling for you, our God;

O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,
inhabit us, a temple consecrated to your glory.

When you are present, evil cannot abide;
In your fellowship is fullness of joy,
Beneath your smile is peace of conscience,
By your side no fears disturb,
no apprehensions banish rest of mind.

Nothing exceeds your power,
Nothing is too great for you to do,
Nothing too good for you to give,
Infinite is your might, boundless your love,
limitless your grace, glorious your saving name.

adapted from “The Great God” (The Valley of Vision) © 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust