PRAYER: Prayers Of Confession For Lent (Ash Wednesday through the Second Week of Lent)

prayers of confession for lent

From Prayers for Lent and Holy Week, by David N. Mosser

Ash Wednesday

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole hearts, and we have not loved our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Forgive us, we pray.  Open our hearts wide to you, that you might renew our faith and strengthen us for obedient service.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession

O God who will not let us go, as we worship this day we confess that we have been so wrapped up in ourselves that we have taken little note of either you or our neighbor who is in need.  Forgive us, we pray, when we forget that our own scripture tells us that you, O God, “created humankind in your image, in the image of you, you created them; male and female you created them.” (Genesis 1:27)  On this Ash Wednesday, bring to our consciousness the truth that it is from the dust we came and to the dust we will return.  Between these moments of dust, Lord, let us shine as those “crowned with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:5)  Bring this to pass as we pray in Jesus’s name.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Psalm 51)

Holy God, wash us thoroughly of our iniquity and cleanse us from our sin; for our transgressions are ever before us and we have done what is evil in your sight.  You desire truth in our inward being, yet we turn our backs on the wisdom you would impart in our hearts.  Create in us a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within us.  Do not cast us away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from us.  Forgive our sins and lead us in your paths anew that we might teach transgressors your ways and lead sinners to return to you.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Psalm 51)

Merciful God, cleanse us with hyssop; wash us white as snow.  You desire truth in our inner being – truth about our many failings: lust, greed, oppression, violence, intolerance, racism.  Purge our sins with the atoning hyssop of Christ the Lord.  Amen.


First Week of Lent

Prayer of Confession

Our gracious God, Jesus taught us to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Jesus taught us to trust you completely.  We confess that we have often failed to learn, and what we have learned we have often failed to put into practice.  Forgive us, we pray, in the name of Jesus, the great teacher.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession

We confess, O God, that we are attracted to false gods and easy answers in life.  We are vulnerable to temptations that could damage us in ways that are not obvious.  Forgive us that sin draws us like moths to a flame.  Restore us and fill us with godly resolve.  In Jesus’s name, we pray.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, we confess that we often lose sight of the hope we have in you.  Our failures and our self-doubts preoccupy our thoughts and paralyze us from your work.  We feel at times intimidated and useless in making a difference in the world.  We pray for your forgiveness and we ask for your help so that we might be steadfast and faithful to you.  Help us focus on what you have given us in Jesus, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Luke 4)

Gracious God, you know the difficult paths we tread; you know the challenges we face.  Forgive us when we wander away from your guidance.  Reclaim us when we seek other gods that lead to our own destruction.  Guide us back to you that we may rest in your shelter.  Strengthen our resolve that we may face the demons of our lives and courageously resist the temptations that blind us to your love.  In hope and trust, we pray.  Amen.


Second Week of Lent

Prayer of Confession (Mark 8)

Gracious God, we want to hold on to what we know.  We are afraid to take risks for the sake of the gospel; we want to keep our lives safe.  Forgive us, O God, when we cling to comfort, when we build barriers to protect ourselves, when we choose the easy way.  Transform our fears that we may deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus to serve the world.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Forgiving God, we confess how we have rebelled against you.  We have allowed doubts and fears to hold us back from the freedom to which you have called us in Christ Jesus our Lord.   We have been quick to blame others for our weakness and slow to accept responsibility for ourselves.  Forgive us, and grant us your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Genesis 15; Psalm 27)

Eternal God, we are swift to join Abram’s doubt and impatience but we find it difficult to copy Abraham’s faith and trust.  We want to believe your promises but the here-and-now problems of daily life consume our focus and erode our faith.  Open our eyes to your light.  Open our hearts to your love..  Open our minds to your possibilities.  Speak to us today, O God, and strength our faith, that we, too, may know the everlasting power of your love.  We pray this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Almighty God, we confess that we are incurable scorekeepers.  We judge others with a standard we never use for ourselves.  We see the speck in others’ eyes while ignoring the ugly log in our own.  “Forgive us,” we pray.  Forgive us for ever thinking we could be, even for one moment, the measure of righteousness or the standard of justice.  As the cross of Christ casts its long shadow over our Lenten journey, call us again to lives of genuine penance and amendment of life.  By your grace and through your transforming love, make us the people you have fashioned us to be, your sons and daughter, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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