An important part of every worship service at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church is the prayer of confession.
The text often differs, but the essential elements do not. They are confessing our individual and collective failures to do what we should do and our doing what we should not be doing and then asking for God’s forgiveness.
The Prayer of Confession on September 23rd was from the United Church of Christ, USA (1986). Here it is:
- “God of all mercy, we confess before you and each other that we have been unfaithful to you. We lack love for neighbors, we waste opportunities to do good, and we look the other way when you cry out to us in the suffering of our brothers and sisters in need. We are sincerely sorry for our sins, both those we commit deliberately and those we allow to overtake us. We ask your forgiveness and pray for strength that we may follow in your way and love all your people with that perfect love which casts our all fear; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.”
The Prayer of Confession then continues with silent personal prayers by the members of the congregation.
In response to these prayers, one of the ministers leads the congregation in the Declaration of God’s Forgiveness (from the New Testament‘s Romans 8:34; 2 Cor. 5:17):
- One: Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone; a new life has begun. Friends, hear the good news:
- All: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Alleluia! Amen.