Prayer of Confession

Vocation or calling was the overall theme of the inspiring January 26th worship service at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. Several parts of that service were especially meaningful for me and will be discussed in this and subsequent posts.

The unison Prayer of Confession led by Rev. Stephen Robertson was a major focus of the first part of the service—“Preparing for the Word”— and provided the right introduction. It went as follows:

  • “Hear us, O God, as we blend our voices in common confession. You have taught us that there are a variety of gifts, yet we judge others because they do not fit our mold. You have called us and blessed us, but we do not trust that we are good enough. We turn our attention inward and can’t see beyond our own perceived shortcomings to know the ways you would use us to feed, clothe, shelter, and comfort. Help us to realize that you have equipped us to be your instruments of peace, justice, and reconciliation. Forgive us our fears and the barriers we place between ourselves and you, between ourselves and others and free us for the new life you call us to in Jesus Christ.”

Several sentences of this prayer jumped out at me, especially after the article earlier that day in the New York Times about the purported determinants of success, one of which was a sense of insecurity, of not feeling good enough. Here again are those words:

  • “You have called us and blessed us, but we do not trust that we are good enough. We turn our attention inward and can’t see beyond our own perceived shortcomings to know the ways you would use us to feed, clothe, shelter, and comfort. Help us to realize that you have equipped us to be your instruments of peace, justice, and reconciliation.”

This rang true to me. A sense of inadequacy is natural when looking out at the many problems in the world and can, and often does, prevent us from doing what we can do to help others. We need God’s help to overcome such perceived shortcomings.[1]


[1] The Bulletin for the January 26th service that includes this prayer is available online along with a video recording of the service. Other blog posts have discussed Westminster’s order of worship and another prayer of confession while clicking on “Westminster Presbyterian Church” in the Tag Cloud at the top right of the blog will give you all of the posts about the church in reverse chronological order.

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dwkcommentaries

As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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