Call to Confession: Matthew 22:37-39
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.“
Prayer of Confession
Our God who is Love: We confess that you have summarized your requirements as to how we are to order our lives in this world into two great commandments.
Father, we confess that we are to love you with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. Yet, Father, we confess that by nature we’ll love anything else EXCEPT you with all our heart, soul, and mind. We love fame, we love money, we love pleasure, we love power, we love freedom or perhaps we love security – any or all of them – more than we love you. Father, we confess that if we love the world and not you, then your love is not in us.
Father, we confess that we are to love our neighbor as ourself. And we surely love ourself, though ironically not in the way that biblical love would treat ourself. We’re selfish, we’re impatient, we’re quick-tempered, we’re unkind, we’re dishonest, we’re condemning, and we’re hypocritical. We confess that the vast majority of the time we love ourself as we wish our neighbor loved us.
We confess that we as a human race love to throw around the word love as if we know what it means and as if we’re capable of loving. Yet we are in fact ignorant about love – until we come to know love by this: that Christ laid down his life for us. Only you, God, are capable of defining and exhibiting love. We confess that we have no idea that “God is love” until you out of love for your people do a supernatural work in our hearts – and make them capable of love as you define love. We confess that loving you means offering up ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to you through Christ Jesus, as our reasonable worship of a transcendent God.
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.
Father, we praise you that you demonstrated your love toward us – in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We confess that in response, out of love we must now lay down our lives for the brethren.
We pray this prayer of confession in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: 1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
If your faith is in Jesus Christ alone, and if you have repented of your transgression, then in Christ Jesus, be assured by the promises of God that your sins have been pardoned.