I’m hoping to lead us today in a prayer of repentance. I’m going to pray it for myself, and I would ask you to pray with me where you feel it’s right to do so.
Lord, I am sorry for the times I have missed an opportunity to welcome someone to our church. Sometimes I am busy being wrapped up in myself, and sometimes I just don’t want to get over the social awkwardness. Starting today I will stop expecting someone else to do it and try to be part of a welcoming church. Please help me.
I am sorry too for the times I have missed someone in church’s need for help or comfort. Starting today I will be looking to help my brothers and sisters in this church in any way I can. Please show me how.
I am sorry for the judgements I have made about people in this church based on how they look or speak, or on what someone else has said. Starting today I will try to remember your passionate love for every person in this room, and show that love myself, expecting exciting and real relationships with the people here. Please stop me when I slip into wrong thoughts.
I am sorry for the ways I have turned against people in our church because of something real or perceived that they have done against me. Starting today I will remember the forgiveness you have given to me, and begin to forgive other people, with your help. Please show me who I need to forgive, and help me do it.
Lord, we as a church are sorry for the times when we have relied on our own strength. You have given us people with such gifts and talents – it is easy to think we can achieve your objectives for us if we just set our minds to it. In reality we can’t make a single step without total reliance on you. Starting today we will try to plan in total humility, never assuming we can do it ourselves. We need your help to do this – it is frightening to trust you – please teach us.
[Prayed at my church on 2009-02-15.]