Liturgy, Prayer

The wrong we have done

All-knowing God,

We do not want you to know what we do.

When we say we do what we hate
what we mean is this:
we do exactly what we want
and we expect that no one will know,
or no one will stop us. 

The good we want is hard,
or it is painful,
or it requires discipline or honesty
or self-reflection,
and we do not do it.

The evil we do is easy
or attractive
or tempting
or so commonplace
it can be hard to believe it is wrong.

Help us to look at ourselves and see
how things really are,
not the fairy tale versions who do no wrong,
but our actual selves, 
in all our brokenness.

Help us to take an honest look
and not despair
or resort to defensiveness.

Help us to face the wrong we have done,
and the things our ancestors have done
and left undone before us.

From our stories and yours
help us to learn a better way,
to begin to live in wholeness
as the people you made us to be. We ask it in the holy name of Jesus. Amen. 

I wrote this prayer in response to Romans 7:15-25a. You’re welcome to use it, or the image below, in any way that would be useful this week.

Liturgy, Prayer

Make us the engineers of your change

Holy God,

We know you call us to faithful lives. You send us emissaries, both in the stories of Holy Scripture and in the lives of people we meet. We give thanks for the brave proclaimers of truth, the tireless workers against injustice, and the quiet heroes of goodness who respond to your call by saying, “Here I am.”

And yet, we hesitate.

We confess our own fear of speaking up. We confess our exhaustion in the struggle. We confess our fear of seeming different from our friends and neighbors.

Help us to welcome your messengers, no matter what the world may think. Help us to open more than our doors, to offer more than a cup of cold water. Help us to open our hearts to your Word. Help us to offer our lives for your Way.

Give us the courage to take the next step, to follow where you lead, and to live lives that testify to your truth. 

Make us the engineers of your change in the world: the protestors for peace, the provokers of justice, the agitators of love, and the instigators of mercy. 

(Add local prayers here.)

We ask all these things in the name of the One who offered us everything, Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying…

You’re welcome to use the prayer above or the image below in any way that would be useful this week.

Confession, Liturgy, Prayer

The violence of our silence

Holy Three-in-One, 

What are human beings that you are mindful of them?

We confess that we forget the scale of our importance in the universe,
making ourselves larger and more powerful than we have any right to be.

We take the words of scripture
and twist them until we imagine ourselves to be like you,
all-knowing and all-powerful. 

We bend the meaning of your commandments
by classifying some people as less than human
and therefore not worthy of our care. 

We take offense,
insisting our personal behavior is innocent
while forgetting our complicity in systems that oppress.

Holy God, Creator, Christ, and Spirit,
we want to turn from our sinful ways.  

We repent and confess our actions:
the harm we have done in service of racism
as individuals and institutions,
both in history and today. 

We repent and confess our inactions:
the indifference of our ignorance and
the violence of our silence.

We ask for your forgiveness,
Holy One-and-Three,
yet we still have work to do.


Assurance of Pardon

Even as we grapple with our collective and personal sin, there is good news. God has loved us, loves us now, and will love us always. Trust in God’s abundant grace and healing mercy and live into the image of God we were created to be, forgiving and forgiven. 

This confession for Trinity Sunday is admittedly a prayer for majority white communities of faith, written in response to Psalm 8:4a. You are welcome to use the prayer or whatever parts of it might be useful in the coming week, as well as the image below.