Faith & Worship Faith & Worship

Prayers of Confession

Prayers of confession and repentance

Confession and repentance

Confession and repentance are at the heart of the Christian faith. They are at the turning point between unbelief and belief, and they are the continual reminder to us that our earthly natures are very close to the surface.

In the same way that we cleanse our hands by washing as we begin a day, so it is good to remind ourselves in prayer that without the presence of God's Spirit in our lives through the day, we are likely to stumble because we are stained by the consequences of sin.

Confession earths our lives in the love of God, keeps us humble and enables us to be a blessing to others through the day.




Unclutter our lives, Lord
we have too much,
consume too much,
expect too much.

Grant us perspective;
to see this world
through others’ eyes
than just our own.

Grant us compassion;
where there is need
to play our part
not turn aside.

Grant us gratitude
for what we have,
our daily bread
the gift of life.

Unclutter our lives, Lord,
give us space,
thankful hearts.



God of healing,
God of wholeness,
we bring our brokenness,
our sinfulness,
our fears
and despair,
and lay them at your feet.

God of healing,
God of wholeness,
we hold out hearts and hands,
minds and souls
to feel your touch,
and know the peace
that only you can bring.

God of healing,
God of wholeness,
this precious moment
in your presence and power
grant us faith and confidence
that here broken lives
are made whole.


Loving Father
all the fancy words
in the world,
expressed in eloquent prose,
decorated with emotion,
spoken with conviction,
cannot compete with a heartfelt
when all other words fail.
There are times
when we are all too aware
of our limitations,
conscious of sin
and the distance it creates between us.
Sometimes 'sorry'
is all the heart can bear to say aloud.
It is only you
who can read and understand
the language of our hearts.
Only you who can translate our 'sorry'
into the prayer we would have prayed
if we had the words within us.
Then you forgive,
and having forgiven,
surround us in an embrace of love,
drawing us close to your heart
as it was always meant to be.
Thank you, Loving Father,
that you listen to hearts
as well as voices.
Thank you.


Your forgiveness is total,
no notebook,
tape recorder
or post-it note
to remind you of that moment
You take our confession,
offered with hands outstretche,d
and gently,
like the loving
heavenly Father that you are,
put it to one side
to be forgotten.
No grudges, no itching for judgement.
No resentment or ill-will.
Not like us,
who find it easy to say sorry
but so hard to forgive,
Forgive us, Father,
that we are often more willing
to accept forgiveness,
than to forgive.
More willing to accept your love,
than to share it with those
who have hurt us.
Teach us to forgive,
as you forgive





Has its source in you,
Creator God.
Flows from you like an ocean,
into a world as unyielding
as any shoreline cliff.
And like the ocean
which batters,
and wears away
even the hardest stone
your love persists,
finds cracks and inlets,
in hardened hearts,
flows inside and works a miracle.
Who would think that water
was more powerful than granite,
love mightier
than the hardest heart.
Thank you, Creator God,
for the power of your love.



You have given us a world of beauty,
and we have spoilt it.
A world to feed us,
and so many go hungry.
A world of riches,
and we are unwilling to share.
A world to care for,
and we think only of ourselves.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for those times your heart is saddened
by our selfishness.
For those times we have no thought
for others, no cares but ours.
Enable us to see this world anew
as a gift from you,
to be shared and nurtured,
and those who live upon it
to be loved and cared for.
We ask this that your name
may be glorified,
through the beauty of this world,
and the service of our lives



Lord God, you have shown us such love,
and stretched out your arms
to draw us into your embrace.
Yet we so often fail to show that love
within our lives,
or recognise its source.
Forgive our short-sightedness,
for the times we've failed to see your love
in the generosity of friend
or stranger,
the shoulder to cry on,
willing ear to listen,
a word of encouragement,
holding our hand that extra mile.
Forgive us for failing to notice
how much you care for us.


Father God,
you are the one who leads us
from darkness into light,
from captivity into freedom,
from anxiety into peace,
from despair into joy.
Yet we long to break free,
choosing independence,
convinced of our own wisdom,
forgetting your love and grace.
Forgive us,
draw close to us,
embrace us once again
in your loving arms,
and enable us to follow you
in worship and grateful service
each day of our lives


Lord God, your love for humankind,
present in the beginning of all things,
extends throughout history
and touches even my life.
Your love sees failings
and forgives.
Your love feels pain
and wipes away our tears.
Your love knows grief,
and comforts the sorrowful.
Your love sees sin
and still loves the sinner.
Forgive us when we fail to live
lives that reflect your love.
Forgive us the many times
when we take for granted
all that you have done for us.
Transform us, through your Spirit,
and empower us to serve you
this day and all days



Saving God, we are your people
yet the world cannot see this.
We are your children,
and fail to live in peace.
We are your voices
and choose to be silent.
We are your hands and feet
and walk a different road.
Forgive us, for ignoring your love,
for brushing aside your hand
and trusting our own wisdom.
Enable us to worship you
in spirit and in truth,
to bring to you our joyful songs
in the everyday moments of our lives;
that your name might be glorified
through our words and lives.



Heavenly God,
you gifted this world
and made us stewards of it,
gave us family from many lands
and ask us to care for them,
put your word upon our heart
and ask that we share it.
But we have thought only of ourselves
and the blessings of our lives,
forgetting that your grace
and love are for the benefit of all.
Forgive our selfishness,
enlarge our vision,
and enable us to be
the people we could be,
faithful servants
of our heavenly King



You call us to love
as you love,
care as you care,
seek justice,
mercy and truth
in a world that has yet to feel
the warmth of your embrace.
But we fail to heed your call,
draw back from those in need,
say nothing when we see
Become invisible.
Forgive us, you whose love
is better than life,
you whose Grace extends to all.
Forgive us, and enable us
to be the people we could be,
that your name might be
on the lips of all people.



God of all ages,
who from generation to generation
has heard the cries of your children
humbly seeking forgiveness,
and has welcomed sinners
back into your embrace,
hear the thoughts of our hearts,
examine our motives,
and forgive us our faults.
We ask this through your Son
who died and rose that we might know
the true cost of forgiveness.



Who is there like you,
God of mercy and grace
who loves us as you do?

Who knows and understands
our actions as you do?
Who hears the thoughts and words
of our heart as you do?
Who knows our joys and sorrows
and shares them as you do?
Who feels the pain we endure
and comforts us as you do?
Who hears as we confess our sins
and forgives as you do?
Who takes a broken heart
and makes it whole as you do?
Who finds a life that’s lost
and welcomes it home as you do?

Who is there like you,
God of mercy and grace
who loves us as you do?


Bring to my sinfulness
the cleansing waters of your forgiveness,
that having washed,
I might know refreshment and release.


Forgive me those times
when I consider myself to be of little value.
Remind me constantly
that you died for me before I even knew you.
I want to move forward with you, Lord,
but I am held back by burdens I carry,
afraid to let go, lessen the load,
let myself become vulnerable
to be loved and in turn love,
to receive and in turn give.

I want to move forward with you, Lord,
but my ways are often not your ways.
Open my heart to forgiveness,
and let it touch the hearts of others,
that all might be blessed
and in turn become a blessing.



For those whose hearts are troubled,
or spirits crushed
by sin or circumstance,
Good Lord, deliver them.
Bring healing and wholeness
of mind, body and spirit,
and freedom,
to be the person
they were always meant to be.


Remind me when my life falls apart,
that you are an expert in the art
of restoration.



Forgive me for the things I have done
and not done.
Forgive me for the things I have said
and not said.
Forgive me for the life I have lived
and not lived.
That I might reflect the image
of the one I profess to follow,
in thought, word and deed,
and in discovering my true self
draw others into that light.


You call us to follow
and our footsteps falter,
reach out your hand
and we treat you as stranger,
whisper our name
and we simply ignore you.
Gracious God,
slow to anger,
swift to bless,
forgive us,
restore us.
Grant us hearts that stand firm,
a faith that is strong
and a hope that endures. Amen

You are the everything we desire,
the everything we do not deserve.
You are the love we have yet to find,
the peace beyond imagining.
You are the breath of life
enlivening the hardest heart.
You are the vibrant colour
illuminating the darkest dawn.
You are the truth that calls
in quiet whisper and through storm.
You are the precious moment
we reach out and touch the divine.
For those days when we forget,
forgive us.
When life distracts and focus shifts
forgive us.
When self imposes its own will
forgive us.
When our praise and worship fail to please
forgive us.
Embrace us once again, we pray
in sweet and loving fellowship with you. Amen.

By your Grace
we are forgiven,
in your peace
our lives are lived.
By your touch
we know healing,
in your strength
are we made whole.
When this is forgotten,
our focus on self,
your face obscured,
forgive and restore.
Take our mustard seed of faith
and let it grow,
take root
and blossom
in our hearts and lives.
Through our Saviour
Jesus Christ
and in no other name
do we ask this. Amen

God of Grace
forgive our ingratitude
for the blessings we have received.
Help us live the lives we proclaim.
God of Peace
forgive our impatience
with the actions of our neighbour.
Help us live the lives we proclaim.
God of love
forgive our intolerance
toward those of other faiths or none.
Help us live the lives we proclaim.
God of mercy
forgive our reluctance
to offer a word of forgiveness.
Help us live the lives we proclaim.
God of hope
accept our repentance
as a sweet-smelling offering
along with the service of our lives. Amen

Let us be still before the Lord
Rest quietly in his presence
Let us bring before the Lord
the words that may have hurt
and all those left unsaid;
the anger we have felt
and resentment we have fed.
Let us be still before the Lord
Rest quietly in his presence
The Lord is slow to anger
willing to forgive
full of Grace.
Draw near to him
rest quietly in his presence

When faith is tested to the limit,
and we stumble,
forgive us.
When feet stray from the path,
and we wander,
forgive us.
When our neighbour is in need,
and we pass by,
forgive us.
When the voices of this world,
drown out your whisper,
forgive us.
When love draws us to your feet,
in repentance,
forgive us.

When we have failed to recognise your love
in the actions of friend or stranger,
forgive us.
When we have failed to recognise your presence
in the world in which we live,
forgive us.
When we have failed to remember your gospel
in our actions, thoughts and words,
forgive us.
Renew our hearts in worship,
our minds in wisdom,
and our hands in service.
Take our lives and use them,
as a sacrifice of love.

Forgive us, Lord
when we are struggling with life,
searching for answers in vain,
relying on our own strength
and failing again.
Remind us, Lord
that you are the strength
upon whom we can call,
the power to endure,
the answer that we seek,
the one in whose arms
we can safely fall.
Forgive us, Lord
when we forget.

You speak to us in many ways,
through rushing wind
or still small voice,
in Scripture’s Word
or through your Grace
and we in turn find many ways
to hear the world’s
insistent voice
break through the silence
and take your place.
Forgive our sin.
Help us hear your voice
above the clamour of this world,
recognise the difference,
and follow only you. Amen

We pray for confidence
to share your Word with others
and for the opportunity to proclaim it.
Forgive our reluctance,
our timidity.
We pray for wisdom
to know what should be said
and the moment in which to say it.
Forgive our reticence,
our anxiety.
We pray for knowledge
of the fullness of your Grace
and the willingness to live it.
Forgive our ignorance,
our self-reliance.
Be the centre of all we are
The Light by which we walk
The blessing we bring to others
Through Jesus Christ alone we ask. Amen

Your majesty is beyond
The eternal King,
high and lifted up,
to whom the angels worship.
Your power is beyond
The Creator God
who shakes the heavens,
yet holds us in his hands.
Your mercy is beyond
our deserving.
The Saviour God,
once born for us,
now sacrificed in love.
Forgive the smallness
of our faith,
the magnitude
of our need,
the depth
of our sorrow.
Raise us up to new life
and new ways of service,
through Jesus Christ,
Your Son, our Lord. Amen

We are drawn to your feet in worship,
Your creation facing its creator,
Hearts laid bare by your light,
Humbly asking for your mercy.
We come to you as a people in need
of assurance and forgiveness.
We come to you as a people in need
of healing and wholeness.
We come dependent upon your love.
Draw us close.
Enfold us in your arms.
Fill us with your Spirit,
that we might reflect your light
within this dark world,
speak your Word with boldness
and draw others to your feet.
We ask this through your dear Son Jesus Christ.

God of the journey, your invitation is to all,
to walk with you without fear of stumbling,
Your arm enough to steady the feeblest soul,
Your grace to rescue us should we fall.
Grant us faith enough to take you at your word,
To know that when our hearts are heavy,
and the destination seems so distant,
that you are there with us along the road.
Forgive us those times when we doubt your Word,
when we awake and feel alone.
Draw us ever closer into your family,
that we might know your presence,
and sing your praises,
all the days of our lives. Amen

Saving God, how easy to forget
The joy of Christmas morning
In the bustle of the moment,
when pressures of this world
obscure our vision of the next.
How easy to forget the gift
so undeserved and free,
with cards and baubles packed away,
and thank you letters sent.
Forgive our short term memory.
As one year leads to next,
lead us on a journey
to new beginnings
in our relationship with you.
May we live in your presence
all the days of our lives. Amen.

You gave your all to the world
In the bleakness of that stable,
Love was born that day,
Pure love,
Undiluted ,
Poured out for all
Who call on Your name.
Such Grace,
Deserves a response
In the life that we lead.
Forgive our ingratitude
After all you have done.
Draw us to your Word,
Give us a new song to sing
That will resonate throughout this world,
And begin with us today. Amen

Gracious God, you have done so much for us
And we so little in return.
You ask for humility,
And we are often a proud people.
You ask for willingness,
And we are often a stubborn people.
You ask for repentance ,
And we are often a deaf people.
You ask for service,
And we are often a busy people.
Gracious God, you want the best for us,
Teach us obedience,
Grant us forgiveness,
That we, like Mary,
Might be your willing servants. Amen.


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©John Birch · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced elsewhere please acknowledge author/website
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