Prayer of Confession

 
O God who suffers at our spiritual and ethical failings, and rejoices at the turning to virtue of our hearts and spirits: We confess that we have gone astray by our thoughts, words, and deeds. We have been irresponsible by what we have done, as well as what we have left undone. We have diverted our attention away from your call to serve others as Christ served. We have ignored your encouragements to be more loving and forgiving. We have abandoned the way of peace when we are confronted with fears. We have placed prudence above integrity, and self-interest over honor. We have valued acknowledgment more than duty, and pride more than reverence. We have hypocritically judged others while maintaining that others should not judge us. We have been impatient when we were unwilling to be persistent.

We have been apathetic in our privilege, and insincere in our advocacy. We have blindly indulged our appetites at the expense of others. We have developed life-styles that are bent on having more than enough, and attitudes that are self-justifying of our excesses. We have exploited other people and your creation both directly and indirectly. We have let envy infiltrate our minds, rather than being glad about the good fortunes of others. We have prejudiced ourselves against others by evaluating their worth based on what they do rather than how you created them. We have let our frustrations turn into anger, and our annoyances into condescension. We have been dishonest to ourselves, and consequently to others and you.

We have been negligent in studying sacred texts, in listening to you, in being present in worship, and in allowing ourselves the time to do your will rather than our own. We have been indifferent to human needs and the sufferings of other parts of your creation. We have counted our own life-enhancing wants above the life-requiring needs of others. We have allowed cruelty to animals in order to serve our own desires. We have been silent at the injustices of others by faithlessly assuming that our own words and actions will not matter. We have let waste and pollution defile the beauty and dignity of your creation by our tacit approval of a culture of consumerism. We have become voyeurs of the private lives of others and have emotionally applauded the downfalls of those we have come to despise. We have been credulous in assuming the worst about others rather than seeking to understand with the intent to encourage.

Forgive us for all our failings that we may be restored to the loving and compassionate beings that you created us to be. May the image we project in our lives be one and the same as that in which you developed in our souls at our birth — the image of goodness and loving-kindness. May it be so.

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