A prayer of confession and repentance from The Book of Common Prayer.
One of my seminary professors opened every single class by having us recite this prayer together. It was a good reminder that we have all, each and every one, fallen short of the glory of God. We have all fallen short of his expectations. None of us are perfect, and it’s good to admit it on the regular.
The truth is that we will never become the people that the Lord has created and intended for us to be without taking a good long look at the sin that we’ve allowed to take up residence in our own hearts and confessing it in humble repentance.
When I slow down long enough to really look within, I’m horrified at what I see. There’s pride and anger and jealousy and indifference and self-righteousness and arrogance. There’s hate and bitterness and grudges and self-interest and a need to be right all the time. There’s so much ugliness in my heart that I’m honestly ashamed of it, but pretending that it’s not there doesn’t change anything. Only God can do that.
We cannot draw near to the Lord without first letting go of the pride and shame and sin that so easily entangles. Humble contrition is what the Lord has required of us, and it’s one of the most important means by which we declare our dependence on his grace. It’s surrender. It’s freedom. And it’s so very good.
Amen and amen.