Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church has a three-part order of worship: Preparing for the Word; Listening for the Word; and Responding to the Word. A key part of Preparing for the Word is the Prayer of Confession.
Here are three such recent prayers that speak to me because of their simplicity and their use of contemporary English language to address current issues we all face.
Prayer of Confession (May 29, 2016):
“When we limp around altars we have made to false gods, Lord, have mercy. When we sacrifice our very selves for that which cannot satisfy, Lord, bring healing. When we turn to idols to meet our deepest need and there is no response. Lord, save us!”
Prayer of Confession (June 26, 2016):
“God of forgiveness, as we gather for worship today we confess we do not offer you our whole selves. We come anxious of what others might think. We come with assumptions about one another, and how things ‘should be.’ Help us to come as we are, and allow others to do the same. Create open space in our hearts for understanding, empathy, and grace. Mold us into people who always choose love before hate. Make us peacebuilders, and those who point to goodness, in a world blinded by evil. We pray this for Jesus’ sake.”
Prayer of Confession (July 3, 2016):
“ O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times, O God, when we fail to recognize you in the dailyness of our lives. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small, and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. Sometimes doubt invades our hopefulness, and we degrade our own wisdom. Holy God, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Help us to see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.”
I pray that these prayers are meaningful for you, dear reader.
 These prayers are set forth in the bulletins for the May 29, June 26 and July 3 services. Earlier posts have discussed other such prayers: The Order of Worship at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church, dwkcommentaries.com (Nov. 15, 2012); Prayer of Confession, dwkcommentaries.com (Sept. 26, 2012); Prayer of Confession, dwkcommentaries.com (Jan. 29, 2014).