“We practice confession not to change God’s heart towards us, but to change our heart towards God” – Fr. Aaron Wright
Confession is hard. We almost always struggle with it. It means that we messed up, that our actions or ref raining f rom action has hurt ourselves or another. We struggle with confession because it makes us vulnerable. It exposes us. Yet while we fear retribution, what confession exposes us to, is grace. In confession we acknowledge where we are, what we have done or not done. It is reminding us of where and who we are and simultaneously of who God is and what He longs for us.
The following prayer is from the Book of Common Prayer, it has been used for centuries across the church. We have broken it down and inserted some scripture references for you in case you desire to go a bit deeper on the topic addressed.
Take some time to work through the prayer, stopping when the Holy Spirit may cause your heart to pause or your mind to ponder. May God lead our hearts to Him.
Prayer of Confession
Almighty and most merciful Father,(Luke 6:36)
we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep.(Psalm 119:176)
We have followed too much the deceits and desires of our own hearts. (Titus 3:3-5)
We have offended against your holy laws.(Proverbs 1:28-31)
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done,(Ephesians 4:1-6)
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done;(Romans 7:15-20)
and apart f rom your grace, there is no health in us.(James 1:17)
O Lord, have mercy upon us.(Matthew 20:29-34)
Spare those who confess their faults.(1 John 1:9)
Restore those who are penitent,(Psalm 32)
according to your promises declared to all people in Christ Jesus our Lord;(1 John 2:1-2)
and grant, O most merciful Father,(Matthew 7:11)
for Christ Jesus our Lord,(Romans 5:11)
that we may now live a godly, righteous, and sober life,(1 John 1:5-7)
to the glory of your holy Name. Amen.(Philippians 2:9-11)
Downloadable Version: Confessional_Prayer