Prayer of Confession: Stephanie Shanks

Prayer of Confession: Stephanie Shanks

On Sunday, July 2, Stephanie Shanks led us in a Prayer of Confession. The text of her prayer is below. We hope that her words will continue to convict and inspire your hearts this week.

Heavenly Father-

We come to you with our hearts and minds already exposed to you. In the light of your holiness we cannot hide—and yet, because of your great mercy, we no longer have a reason to. So we come confidently to your Throne this morning, trusting only in the perfect intercession of Jesus Christ.

We confess that we have distracted thoughts and lukewarm affections toward you. Though you invite us into the unparalleled joy of fellowship with you, we are forgetful and stubborn. We gravitate toward every lesser joy within reach and become quickly preoccupied. We confess how much we love our comfort, our social image, our schedule, our health, our appetites, our financial stability—and how little we love you, the very Source of everything good in our lives. You are Love itself, come down to live within us by your Spirit, and yet we take your presence for granted. We neglect time with you. We do not keep our hearts tuned to the truth in your Word. We forget what it means to be beloved children of God.

Father, forgive us for failing to love you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

We know that when we love you little, we love others little, too. We confess to you the duplicity of our hearts. We say that we love you and yet fail to love our brothers in the way you have loved us. We can talk loftily about loving others, but often we fail to act it out—especially when it isn’t easy, convenient, or recognized. We are afraid to love. Forgive us for our willful prejudice; for our insincere words; for our lazy bodies; for our flippant attitudes. Most of all, forgive us for trying to love others out of our own resources instead of abiding in your love and letting it overflow. We have missed out on so much joy because we have not obeyed your command to love.

Father, forgive us for hearing your Word and not obeying it.

We know we love you only because you first loved us. So we ask you to clear the clouds from our eyes to better see the cross of Christ. Arrest us again with the sight of your perfect love. We join with a Puritan who once prayed:

Blessed Jesus, let us find refuge in your atoning wounds.

Though our sins rise to heaven, your merits soar above them;

Though unrighteousness weighs us down to hell,

Your righteousness exalts us to your throne.

All things in us call for our rejection,

All things in you plead our acceptance.

We appeal from the throne of perfect justice
to your throne of boundless grace,

Grant us to hear your voice assuring us;

That by your stripes we are healed,

That you were bruised for our iniquities,

That you were made sin for us;

That we might be righteous in you.

That our grievous sins, our manifold sins, are all forgiven,

Buried in the ocean of your concealing blood.

We are guilty, but pardoned,

Lost, but saved,

Wandering, but found,

Sinning, but cleansed.

Keep us always clinging to your cross,

Flood us every moment with descending grace.

In your holy Name we pray,