Call to Confession: Exodus 20:8-11
8Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Prayer of Confession
Father God: Thank you that in your grace you give us one day each week to gather as the local body to worship you. Thank you that on the Lord’s Day, the day of the week on which our Savior rose from the dead, the first day of the week, Christians are welcomed into your presence as we physically gather as the people of God. Thank you for the significance of the first day of the week – that you bless us with rest before you call us to work during the rest of the week.
Yet Father we confess that we are quick to look to things in this world rather than to you for true rest. Father, we confess that we look to food for rest – we even call it “comfort food.” We confess that we look to money for rest – as if financial stability solves all of life’s problems. We look to entertainment for rest – the hope that distraction will cause us to forget the challenges we face. We look to our families for rest. We praise you for the gift of family, but we confess that we are not to put our hope in family.
Father we also confess that we can be guilty of not treating the Lord’s Day with the priority that it demands. Our lives are not our own – you instruct us to glorify you with our lives, and that certainly requires gathering with the saints each Sunday. We confess that if we knew with certainty Jesus Christ himself were going to be in this building on a given Sunday, we tell ourselves we’d overcome any obstacle to be here. Yet you assure us that Christ is here every Sunday, but we can be quick with an excuse to not gather. We also confess that too often when we do gather, our heart is somewhere else.
We know that if we say “amen” to this prayer and yet we still intend to go on sinning, this prayer will have no effect on our lives. So we ask Father that you hear us… As we confess our sins to you.
Heavenly Father, we praise you for the rest you have given us and that you promise us as believers in Christ Jesus. We thank you that we can live our lives in this world resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ – that there is no work we must add to his to gain favor with you. We thank you that there is a future eternal rest waiting for us – worshipping you all day every day in your presence.
We pray this prayer of confession in the name of him who purchased that rest, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Psalm 32:5
Hear this assurance of pardon – an assurance that comes not from a man, not from your pastor, not from any earthly priest – but from God Himself
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
If your faith is in Jesus Christ alone, and if you have repented of your sin, then in Christ Jesus, be assured by the promises of God that your sins have been pardoned.