The Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon

Most Gracious Heavenly Father, hear us this morning as we come to you out of desperation. We feel the heavy weight of our sin and we need the relief that only you can offer us. So we come to you in the only way that we know how, the only way that we are able to. We come as sinners in need of your grace. We come crippled in need of your healing. We come wounded in need of your repairing touch.

We have reached the depths of misery and we cry out for your uplifting mercy. We have wandered away from the fold and we need your guiding hand to draw us back. We have yielded to the temptations of this world, our flesh, and the devil more times than we can count.

We confess that the dangers of this world strike more fear into our hearts than the righteous fear that should result from standing before a holy God. We fear the consequences of the direction our government is leading us more than we fear the consequences of our own sinful corruption.

Our lips have spoken lies. Our minds have delighted in evil. Our hearts have boasted in our own achievements. Yet we have stubbornly deflected our guilt to others just like our earthly father Adam. We have been quick to blame our sinfulness on our circumstances, as if it were unavoidable.

We are too proud to admit our iniquities to others because we crave their praise. In our arrogance we contend for the glory that is due to you alone. Just like the Pharisee who prayed in the temple, we compare ourselves to others and think that we should be honored. We think that we deserve your grace because of our superiority. Yet, you despise the proud and give grace to the humble.

So we come to you now with contrite hearts. We bow before your throne of grace and cry out for mercy. Hear the sound of our mourning and accept our repentance. You have promised not to break a bruised reed, and a smoldering wick you will not quench. We cling to that promise this morning.

You have promised to hear us when we come in the name of your Son. So we come into your presence with boldness, not because we are worthy, but because of the infinite worthiness of Jesus Christ. It is through his active and passive obedience that we our found acceptable in your sight. He lived a life that we could not live, and he died a death that we could not die. We come to you not with our own merit, but based of the merits of Christ. We repent of our wickedness and rest in His righteousness.

“Nothing in our hands we bring, simply to Thy cross we cling.”

Because of Christ our despair becomes hope. Because of Christ our mourning is turned to gladness. Because of Christ the righteous demands of the law have been satisfied. “He has hushed the law’s loud thunder, He has quenched Mt. Sinai’s flame.”

Now, out of sheer gratitude, we present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you, which is our spiritual worship. Keep us from conforming to this world; rather transform us by the renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:1-2).